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I have long advocated walking BCN towpaths and with the approach of BCN 250 in October, there is much of the original route that can be walked.

 

The Flapper- Farmers Bridge

Sheepcote Bridge- Ladywood Junction- the original Sandy Turn came close to the bridge before turning back to the Oozells. This area frequently grounded boats and was straightened into the present line to the Oozells

Ladywood Junction to Icknield Port Loop- this part was straightened and widened by Telford, yet the course now is close to the original route

 

The Icknield Port Loop is presently not walkable, but parts are accessible. Originally there was a towpath on the inside of the loop throughout

 

Eyre Street Junction via the Winson Green Loop to New Main Line

 

The Cape Arm is not presently walkable

The route through Avery factory is not walkable

 

There were sections from the Avery Soho Works that crossed and recrossed the Telford improved route

 

Old Smethwick Locks are on the original route- these are now filled in but walking along the towpath is close to the original. There were 6 locks up at this stage with the top three removed 1788-1791- the original towpath being on the north and then south of the present  cutting. 3 locks down from the summit were also removed.

 

From Spon Lane to Spon Lane Locks the canal was diverted to pass under the M5, but Spon Lane Locks are on the original route

 

From the bottom of Spon Lane to Puddling Green the canal was widened and straighted creating the Izons Loop near Pudding Green

 

From Pudding Green to Ryders Green is essentially the original line, but sections were straightened with surplus land sold off by the BCN

 

From Ryders Green to the Black Country Route road is another part of the original.

 

There is another section by the junction with the now isolated Ridgeacre Canal

 

From there it is a case of looking for canal remains on the closed route through Golds Hill and across Harvills Hawthorn where the oriignal canal terminated to serve the mines at Golds Hill  

 

Edited by Heartland

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