Monday 4 May 2020

Cape Arm - Main Line

Cape Arm - Main Line

When Telford carved his New Line Canal through the twisting loops of Brindley's 1767 original, he created a host of loops. Most of the loops nearer Birmingham have remained in water but beyond Winston Green Junction they become ever fainter.

The Cape Arm started out as a loop but with a toll station included just outside the loop, the southern end was closed immediately to prevent the boats circumventing the toll station. However, the northern end remained open and resulted in s significant arm which latterly ran through the GKN works.

Cape Arm 1946

Cape Arm 1947

These days a new hospital occupies the site but much of the canal arm has been retained as a water feature.

Northern entrance 1937

Soho Loop with Rotten Park feeder 1972 by Bob May (BCNS Archive)

Avery / Cape Junction - Hugh Potter

Feeder from Rotton Park alongside the Cape Loop - Hugh Potter

A rare archive image taken within the Cape Arm

The following images reflect the site before the hospital was constructed.

In 2023 the guillotine barrier was removed from the entrance to the Cape Arm and a few intrepid boaters tool a trip down it under the suspicious gaze of the builders on the site next door.

The following sequence of images were taken by Daniel Fasham. Given the ear defenders I suspect this  trip was on Rivets which is probably the only motorised boat able to squeeze in:

Into the tunnel under the feeder

Out the other side

The lowered culvert under the road

The eastern entrance to the Cape Arm was behind this toll office

Winson Green Toll Office in busier times

The above photos have been assembled from various sources, including those freely found on the internet. My thanks go to the many photographers alive and dead who have contributed to this collection and in so doing, are keeping the memory of these lost canals alive. These images are reproduced for ease of research are are not necessarily the property of this blog, and as such should not be used for commercial gain without the explicit permission of the owner (whoever that may be).

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