Just above Factory Locks in Tipton there is the entrance into a disused basin.
This was the gateway to the Factory Interchange Basin and old phots of this area often feature a distinctive lift bridge which provided land assess to the centre of the two canal arms. The bridge is unusual in that its deck lifted vertically rather than being hinged on one side.
Whilst the basin and the various sheds which surrounded it , including the Lloyds Proving House, have all gone this distinctive bridge lives on, having moved barely a mile to the entrance of the Black Country Living Museum.
Factory Interchange (foreground)
The unusual lift bridge which crossed the middle of the basin
Crane inside Lloyds Chain Proving House 1973 (Hugh Potter)
Three Furnace Line Junction
Adjacent to the interchange was the Tipton Gauging Station, the place where each boat came to be loaded with defined weights and measured to see how deep it sat in the water. These details were recorded by BCN and the depths of loaded boats were used to calculate the tonnage they carries and so the tolls they had to pay.
Icebreaker Tug Governor at Factory Top Lock with the gauging station behind.
Stepping just outside the basin the following views were taken at Factory Junction looking towards Tipton, with the distinctive St Matthews Church tower visible in the distance.
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).