Friday, 8 May 2020

Tat Bank Branch - Titford

Tat Bank Branch - Titford

The Tat Bank Branch was originally constructed as a feeder channel by Brindley to connect the Titford Pools to the old top level Mainline summit at Smethwick in 1769, but when that summit was lowered, the feeder was extended to supply Rotton Park Reservoir at Edgbaston.

Later on the first section of the feeder was opened out to navigable dimensions and a wharf built at the end, but it never carried much commercial traffic.

Tat Bank Branch 1934

The navigable extent of the Tat Bank Branch Canal

Zooming in (pumphuse in centre)

Taken from above the pumphouse

Complex image with Tat Bank in foreground and Jim Crow, Chemical and Churchbridge Branches behind

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).


Steve Abbott said...

Hi Andy
Does anyone know how far the Tat Bank Branch was navigable? There is a basin shown on the 1892-1914 Ordnance Survey 25 inch to the mile map available on the National Library of Scotland website ( I'll call this the 1900 map.
The basin was on the eastern side, about 605 yards (556 m) from the junction with the Titford Main Line. The basin itself was about 80 yards (73 m) long, enough for three boats to tie up. This marks the minimum extent of the navigable length. On the 1900 map, the canal narrows to feeder width beyond the basin. However, the canal has since been widened to 30 feet (9 m) as far as Rood End Road Bridge. Indeed, the last section before the bridge is 50 feet (15 m) wide, suggesting there was a wharf there. Rood End Road Bridge is 945 yards (864 m) from the junction.
Fortunately, there is a later map on the same website, the 1949-70 OS 6 inch series, which I'll call the 1949 map ( This marks a drain where the basin had been, but just beyond the basin is a railway swing bridge. This is strong evidence that boats must have navigated beyond the basin. Furthermore, the wider section is marked on the map and looks like it could have been a wharf for the adjacent Tube Works. However, there is no evidence of a winding hole on the 1949 map, so any boats would have had to capable of working from either end, or else be backed out. Perhaps someone from Liberty Tubular Solutions (current owners of the Tube Works), or a local, would know.


Andy Tidy said...

Steve - Navigation ceased at Rood End Lane / Road Bridge, just beyond Badgers Basin.
Beyond that the watercourse narrowed down to its original feeder dimensions. I cant see any sign of a winding hole near the bridge to my guess is that boats turned in the basin entrance.