Friday 8 May 2020

The Chemical Arm

The Chemical Arm (Albright and Wilsons)

This area is threaded with canal branches and just below the Jim Crow Branch the Chemical Arm reached into the various chemical works which operated in the area.

The local industry  specialised in Phosphorous, a key ingredient in the munitions industry. It was also highly toxic and resulted in "fossy jaw" among the workers. The toxic waste was one of the last commercial cargos carried on the BCN, with white stained boats making a steady passage to their dumping ground in Rattlechain Lagoon.

These days just the first few hundred feet remain in water plus, buried beep within the works, a rectangular cooling pond can be seen which is a remnant of he old canal channel.

Entrance to the twin Chemical Arms 1950 with Stone St Bridge beyond - Source Sandwell Archive RPS

Chemical Branch entrance 1950 - Source Sandwell Archive RPS

Chemical Arm entrance RCHS (original is reversed)

Two images of Stone St Bridge with Chemical Arm entrance to right
 Source Sandwell Archive RPS

Chemical Arm used as a settling pond

Chemical Arm 1956 - V Evans Worcestershire Archive

Up the Chemical Arm 1950 - Source Sandwell Archive RPS

Chemical Branch 1950 - Source Sandwell Archive RPS

Chamical Arm, Oldbury - Brenda Ward

Arthur Farrand Radley - BCNS Archive

Chance and Hunt boatyard at entrance to Chemical Arm

The last surviving fragment

Chemical Arm behind the Jim Crow Branch

A closer look

Allbright and Wilson 1954 - Aero Films Worcestershire Archive

Phosphorous waste

Close to the Chemical Arm the M5 runs directly over the Old Main Line, and to achieve this end several of the bends in the original canal channel had to be realigned:

M5 Motorway realignment

Boatyard under the M5 BCNS Archive

Same place after the M5 was built

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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