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frangar

Navigating Wendesbury Oak Loop BCN

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I had a visit on foot as I was over that way along the Wendesbury Oak loop (or Bradley Arm as marked on some maps) of the BCN and noticed that for an urban branch of the BCN it looks pretty quiet and clean of other rubbish...however the weed growth even at this time of year looked heavy....has anyone ventured down there and if so how have you found it?

 

It looks like there might be a few places to moor and it gave the impression of not needing a 24hr guard but I might have got it on a good day!

 

Theres certainly seems to have been a fair bit of new housing been put up on old factory sites which has probably opened the towpath out a bit...Im very tempted to give it a go next time we are passing through brum but I think I might be fighting the weed a bit!

 

Any info gratefully received!

 

 

 

 

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Only been down the Bradley Arm once about 18 years ago. Many trips down the weed hatch. Was a hire boat so cruised many hours each day so turned by the BW workshop and back up.

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Made it half way about 3 years ago but could not go any further due to a huge log in the narrows further on. Weed was thick but passable. 

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I was under the impression it was dredged recently?

It was the finish line one year for the BCN challenge, fair chaos it was, like the m25, I do remember it being more damp mud rather than actual water

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The BCN challenge ended down there a few years ago and we had no problems with it but maybe all the boats before us cleared it. Its wild down there, we even saw a fox.

 

.............Dave

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4 minutes ago, dmr said:

The BCN challenge ended down there a few years ago and we had no problems with it but maybe all the boats before us cleared it. Its wild down there, we even saw a fox.

 

.............Dave

I remember it being very slow going and we got there before the main horde, the locals were really surprised and apparently happy to see the boats as well

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Looks like it might be worth a go then..I was surprised how quiet it was for airborne noise considering what’s around it. And the one boat I did see moored on someone’s garden didn’t even have shutters over the windows! ...what could possibly go wrong with a trip down there.....?

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We did it about 6 years ago. No particular issues, a little shallow near the end for our fairly deep boat. Certainly no trouble from the natives (in fact they seemed very friendly) and yes, a lot of wildlife. First and only time I’ve seen Dabchicks diving under water and swimming along (under water). The water was very clear. Also kingfishers. Not much weed when we did it.

 

Compared to the dreaded Walsall canal, it is lovely!

Edited by nicknorman
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There are always reports that it has been dredged/weeded. In fact, there is a weed cutter moored down at the Bradley workshops. Going is slow, and there is some debris to compound the weed problem. Not only do you have to contend with that round the prop, but also the wedge you push along with the bow.

it's worth doing once, particularly if it coincides with a Bradley Workshop open day.

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Been down to the CRT workshops at the end about 4 times on the BCN Challenge over the last 9 years.  Never had that much problem with weed, say one trip to the weed hatch in each direction.  It has been recently dredged, so should be better going now.

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Been down a couple of times on BCN explorer cruises  First time they still had the manipulator open to view . Just checked the first was 2003 the Icicle Cruise.

DSCF4127small.jpg

 

 

DSCF4141small.jpg

 

CNV00026small.jpg

 

 

CNV00028small.jpg

Edited by ditchcrawler

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18 minutes ago, frangar said:

I’m definitely tempted to use it as an overnight mooring on the journey to/from Brum. 

I stop in Tipton near the Fountain pub.

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I navigated down to Bradley Workshops in May and the dredging certainly made it a far easier journey.There was still some weed growth to the sides but again no problem.I was ticking off a Silver Propeller location and with the Great Western not too far away at Wolverhampton Top Lock,spent an enjoyable evening in there.So no idea how safe any mooring on the arm maybe.

2019-05-08 17.03.47.jpg

Edited by Quaffer

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13 hours ago, ditchcrawler said:

Been down a couple of times on BCN explorer cruises  First time they still had the manipulator open to view . Just checked the first was 2003 the Icicle Cruise.

DSCF4127small.jpg

 

 

DSCF4141small.jpg

 

CNV00026small.jpg

 

 

CNV00028small.jpg

Nice photos. We, me and a gf, did the Icicle cruise down the arm to the workshop in 94 or 95, a very cold wet day. We were all shown round the works, and the boat cradle, then went to the neighbouring pub (name?) to warm up. I remember the water as being quite clear, with a reasonable flow from the pumps at the far end, but with some river style weed. No trips down the weed hatch that I can remember. 

The boat next to us had had it’s holding tank split, which was why it had been fully refitted, AND had a porta potti. :)

Funny the things one remembers.

 

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1 hour ago, Stilllearning said:

Nice photos. We, me and a gf, did the Icicle cruise down the arm to the workshop in 94 or 95, a very cold wet day. We were all shown round the works, and the boat cradle, then went to the neighbouring pub (name?) to warm up. I remember the water as being quite clear, with a reasonable flow from the pumps at the far end, but with some river style weed. No trips down the weed hatch that I can remember. 

The boat next to us had had it’s holding tank split, which was why it had been fully refitted, AND had a porta potti. :)

Funny the things one remembers.

 

The bottom two are 2003 we started from Tipon Stables and it was organised by Ivor Caplin and the top two were the BCNS Spring Cruise (I thought it was the explorer) in 2016 In the bottom one you can see the manipulator in the right hand dry dock still in usable condition

Edited by ditchcrawler
added a bit

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Went there on the Explorer last year.  V weedy then.  Not quite as bad on the arm as at the junction with the main line. About 90 mins in and 45 out, with the pumps on.  Raked the weed out of the blades in every bridgehole, but no need to dive the weed hatch. No depth issues at 2 ft 6 in static draught.

It was dredged earlier this year, and is much easier according to BCNS but don't know if that was a proper dredge or a CRT idea of a dredge.  Suspect the latter and in any event the weed will grow back quickly without frequent traffic to keep it down.

Bradley workshops well worth a visit.

N

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