Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Grove Colliery - Norton Canes

Grove Colliery - Norton Canes

Technically, Grove Colliery isn't on an abandoned section of canal.

It sits at the extreme end of what remains of the Cannock Extension Canal and formed part of the interconnected Brownhills Colliery, which had its pit head 1.5 miles to the east.

I have included it within the lost canals records because even after the rest of the Cannock Extension Canal was closed in the 1950's, this pit remained operational to the very last, transporting its coal to the power station at Birchills in strings of open day boats towed behind specialist canal tugs. As late as 1965 about 70,000 tons of Cannock coal was being transported from here and Anglesey Basin to the power stations of Walsall and Wolverhampton, after which the water borne service finished.

It therefore provides a good case study for how these canal side pits used to look, and showcases the craft which served them.

In its day this colliery basin was the first of several along the line of the Cannock Extension Canal and in the 1930's and 40's the names of  The Cannock and Rugeley, The Grove, Jerome, Leacroft (aka Fair Lady) , Conduit 1, 2 and 3, Coppice, West Cannock, East Cannock and Mid Cannock were familiar destinations to the old boatmen.

Grove with the wash plant to the left

Grove 1950's

Tramway from Wyrley No3 Pit to Grove

Grove Basin today

Probably south of Grove Colliery

Lime Lane Pelsall Road Bridge

Horse boating at Bloxwich

Diesel tugs take over

Pelsall area

Pelsall Works Bridge - the first Horsley Iron Works bridge built

Artistic representation of he ironworks on what is now Pelsall Common

An early photo of the same scene

Maps of the Pelsall Ironworks

Leonard Leigh Tug and Day Boats iced in on Pelsall Common 1940 Bob May (BCNS)

Possibly the longest shot of Grove Colliery with the wash tower is just visible on the right hand horizon - taken from the colliery basin on what is now Pelsall Common. Arthur Watts - 1959

BCN Cottage at the junction of Cannock Extension Canal

Ice Breaker in action - BCNS Archive

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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