Sunday 17 May 2020

Wolverhampton Centre

Wolverhampton Centre

In many ways the centre of Wolverhampton is a counterpoint to the centre of Birmingham at the other end of this early canal. 

Both towns became major commercial hubs and the canals were core to their development. In both locations we see industry crowding around the waterfronts but whereas in Birmingham we saw a fan of branches and basins, the development in Wolverhampton was more linear, with a multitude of quite short arms and basins coming off he main canal. 

These arms were mostly privately owned, penetrating the works which lined the canal corridor all the way out to the massive iron works at Bilston.

The problem with this proliferation of basins is that recording each one is an impossible task, so this page captures the main ones and aims to provide a feel for the industrial vibrancy which used to pervade the area.

The Britain from Above from the 1930's and 1940's are possibly the most telling of all. At a time when the rest of the canal network was coming to a standstill, the canals of the West Midlands were still core to the local transport infrastructure, and the aerial images reveal the continued use of thousands of day or joey boats carrying millions of tons of cargo long after trade had slowed to a trickle elsewhere.

Wolverhampton Top Lock 1955 - Stan Heaton

Broad St Basin

Hay Basin in Wolverhampton - BCNS Achive

Extra wide "Hampton Boat" at Top Lock 1958 by Roy Martin

Broad St Basin 1952


The old Broad Street Bridge


Victoria Basin (left)


Broad St Bridge 1975 (Hugh Potter)

Broad Street Bridge awaiting relocation (Hugh Potter)

Awaiting transportation to Dudley (Hugh Potter)

Broad St before the new channel in1975 (Hugh Potter)

Broad St Basin - Wolverhampton Archive

Canal routed under new bridge

Broad Street Bridge after relocation

Can Lane Basin being filled in

Can Lane Wharf 1975

Opposite Can Lane Wharf

Wolverhampton Rly Bridge 1955 - Stan Heaton

Can Lane Wharf Buildings 1975

Can Lane later

Albion Wharf

Wolverhampton Lock 3 1955 - Stan Heaton

Wolverhampton Locks 1955 - Stan Heaton

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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