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BCN Restoration Priorities


Ian Mac
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Surely the Lichfield and Hatherton restoration is well advanced? Isn't that what David Suchet has been raising money for for a number of years. and the one which had a new aqueduct built over a motorway a couple of years ago?

Yes, but when you actually visit those canals, there has been very little progress as a percentage of the overall length, in the last 20 years. Based on current progress it's hard to see it would be finished in another 20 years.

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Surely the Lichfield and Hatherton restoration is well advanced? Isn't that what David Suchet has been raising money for for a number of years. and the one which had a new aqueduct built over a motorway a couple of years ago?

Remember the Lichfield and the Hatherton and 2 completely separate canals. Both canals are heavily locked as they are coming off the Birmingham plateau.

 

Has anything much actually happened on the Hatherton?

 

On the Lichfield much has been done for sure, but there are still big sections and many locks that are untouched (or to be built new), so it would seem still a lot of work to get the through route from the Coventry to the BCN open.

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Thanks for the information. When they opened their aqueduct it was accompanied by such a fanfare that I thought that the system was virtually complete.

The fanfare was really about the fact the the M6 Toll (as it now is) would not sever the route.

 

If you look on Google maps, here you can see the aqueduct, sitting there all alone.....

 

If you zoom out a few steps you will see Ogley Junction on the Anglesey Branch where it will join to the BCN, back out further and the edge of the built up area of Lichfield is where it needs to get to. Unless I am very mistaken most of that part is still untouched in terms of restoration, and there must be over 20 locks in that section.

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The fanfare was really about the fact the the M6 Toll (as it now is) would not sever the route.

 

If you look on Google maps, here you can see the aqueduct, sitting there all alone.....

 

If you zoom out a few steps you will see Ogley Junction on the Anglesey Branch where it will join to the BCN, back out further and the edge of the built up area of Lichfield is where it needs to get to. Unless I am very mistaken most of that part is still untouched in terms of restoration, and there must be over 20 locks in that section.

 

Thirty:

 

lichcanalplan.jpg

 

http://www.lhcrt.org.uk/lich.htm

 

Richard

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The fanfare was really about the fact the the M6 Toll (as it now is) would not sever the route.

 

If you look on Google maps, here you can see the aqueduct, sitting there all alone.....

 

 

Oh yes. That comes as a surprise. It looks as if some work has been done a little to the left of the hackaduck, but there is obviously still much to do.

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I think the problem is, if they were realistic about the timescale it would put many off contributing or helping. Yes, long timescales are to be expected in a restoration but unless there's a significant funding stream available, that timescale is going to be 60+ years by the looks of it. At least by saying its within the lifetime of donators, it gives hope that they might see their donation come to fruition before they die.

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Oh yes. That comes as a surprise. It looks as if some work has been done a little to the left of the hackaduck, but there is obviously still much to do.

 

No works have been done west of the aqueduct.

LHCRT now own the canal from the aqueduct back to the Lichfield - Walsall rd, the Summerhill pound. Work is commencing to join to the aqueduct and the section has already been cleared ready to repuddle and restore the towpath.

 

Edited to add, see below for the progress being made, LHCRT are really getting on with the job in more than one place:

 

http://www.lhcrt.org.uk/wpblog.htm

Edited by Laurence Hogg
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There is a flyover the Lichfield canal on their Facebook page.i think there are 2 pages one iyou have to join.They seem to have work parties Saturdays and Sundays at least and seem to be getting on well with it and the hatherstone one

Edited by greywolf
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Firstly I must congratulate Ray on the Foxyards Canal, I'd never ever heard of it and I thought I knew the BCN, but having used google and discovered it is not in Hadfields, I understand why, I had never heard of it - private canal indeed. Having said that, the reason I did not list it, is that as far as I am aware there isn't a group of people actively attempting to restore it as they are for the 4 links I listed. I don't think I've missed any other BCN canal which has a group wanting to restore it. No one has made a start on the Bentley Canal have they? Maybe there is a group for Tollend Locks, maybe not.
No one has really answered my question which is, if a bucket of money should turn up which one first and why. The Lichfield link may be the most advanced in term of getting on with the job, however I think that the cost benefits which the Lapal link would offer may win the day. It will provide a better one week hire boat ring, bringing tourist into the heart of the black country, and then out again, effectivly making a Worcestershire ring, and its relativley cheap to do. Having said that The Lichfield link also makes loops which may well be equally benificial, however the costings could be much higher. However people already complain about doing flights of 18 locks so 31 in a day may well be well over the top for the average boater! Maybe this is a good thing. Makes them stop and spend money in Lichfield maybe, although that isn't halfway.
The Haterton Link is the least likely to prove usful in my opinion, as it doesn't really help in travel times and there are no real torist places on the link. The Bradley link may well help with regeneration of the area, and could just happen in a favourable political climate.

 

Some people mentioned the projects nationally, that is a lot harder to do the cost analysis, a bit like comparing chalk amd cheese. My favourate project would be A Grand Package. Norwood to Chesterfield, Chesterfield to the Calder via the Don.

So thats finish the restoration of the Chesterfield. Build a length of new canal down to the Don, and the restoration of the Dearne and Dove and the Barnsley canal which would hopefully kick start the regeneration of this very depressed region. A super big project but a great route up the east of england. Just need to get the Calder and Hebble lengthend, as they agreed to do 150 years ago! to make a realy big ring, well I would like to take my boat around it ;- The Chesterfield is the secret gem of the waterways what's there now is epic, the last few miles would make it brilliant in my opinion. Golden valley would be hard pressed, to out glow the climb upto Norwood. And I don't think Loxwood does it either.

--

Cheers Ian Mac

Vote just for Ian McCarthy in the Volunteer constituency C&RT Council elections.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I would like a lock from Anglesey basin onto Chasewater. Not strictly restoration but it could prove a big tourist attraction for boats on the bcn.

Can you imagine the mess when the local scrotes decide it would be funny to open those paddles though.

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I wouldn't let them! Did I also mention that electric, water would be nice there too.

 

Incidently my grandad goes to great pains to tell me about a steam boat that used to take paying passengers on Chasewater. Does anyone else know anything of this? My grandad is renowned for winding me up...

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I wouldn't let them! Did I also mention that electric, water would be nice there too.

 

Incidently my grandad goes to great pains to tell me about a steam boat that used to take paying passengers on Chasewater. Does anyone else know anything of this? My grandad is renowned for winding me up...

Hes not winding you up..

 

 

http://brownhillsbob.com/2015/03/10/a-bill-you-cant-ignore/

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Some people mentioned the projects nationally, that is a lot harder to do the cost analysis, a bit like comparing chalk amd cheese.

 

For the potential number of boaters, I've become convinced that the no. 1 prospect is the eastern Wilts & Berks, the North Wilts and the eastern Thames & Severn. A week-long ring with a bit of everything (gentle river, narrow canal, broad canal), not too many locks, plenty en route (not least Oxford), lovely scenery, and in an area already established as popular boating territory. I think it'd give the Four Counties a run for its money.

 

But as I'm sure you know better than me, getting the big grants isn't just about the number of boaters, and the regeneration argument in rural Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire is much less strong than in the Black Country. Still, W&BCT seem to be going great guns around Swindon these days...

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As regards the BCN I couldn't possibly comment

 

(four canals, three past or present clients, and certainly possible future ones!)

 

I do think though that there is a lot of potential in short additions that may or may not be the start of bigger schemes. It would make sense to get the Stroudwater as far as Whitminster for example, but also to reopen it to Framilode. It was only once I owned a boat and was married at the same time that I realised how often boats are used for surprisingly short distances. I've known for a long time the economic value of short lengths to worthwhile locations, so long as they are connected to the main system

 

I'd also like to see lock free or lightly locked connections to the western K&A - the Coal canal as far as Combe Hay (where a blimmin' great flight awaits the energetic!) The Wilts and Berks to Melksham and Calne, and perhaps a new route to Frome along the lines of the projected Dorset and Somerset Canal

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I do think though that there is a lot of potential in short additions that may or may not be the start of bigger schemes. It would make sense to get the Stroudwater as far as Whitminster for example, but also to reopen it to Framilode. It was only once I owned a boat and was married at the same time that I realised how often boats are used for surprisingly short distances. I've known for a long time the economic value of short lengths to worthwhile locations, so long as they are connected to the main system

 

Surely if they concentrated on restoring the canal to Lichfield so boats could cruise to the city there would be greater opportunities to raise funds.

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Surely if they concentrated on restoring the canal to Lichfield so boats could cruise to the city there would be greater opportunities to raise funds.

 

I would agree - getting to Lichfield would tick all the boxes for an interim terminus, part of a bigger scheme that makes sense in it's own right.

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Although we moor on the end of the Hatherton Branch,my vote goes for the Cotswold Canals.The work done on phase one (the Stroudwater and Thames and Severn near Stroud) is truly impressive .If the application (already made) for funding for phase 1b is succesfull,it will be possible to cruise from the main canal system to Stroud and maybe even to Brimscombe Port.

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The W&E seems to be getting more traffic these days and long may it continue or my boats will be stranded at Longwood!

 

 

I'll don an even bigger flak jacket!

 

The problem is not just restoring more canals, it is also having the funds available to keep the additional miles running and maintained in good order thereafter. any of the restorations that have already occurred have meant already available funding has inevitably been more thinly stretched.

 

Much though I would like to see may schemes succeed (on the BCN and elsewhere) I fear for the funding and maintenance of the canals we already have.

 

(Ducks !!!)

 

Going back to the first question.

 

I have always been surprised by how few boats I have seen on the BCN Main Line. The Walsall level is the pits and has even less boats, but Walsall has much to offer. The Town Hall, is fascinating. If you look up in the High Street, it has more cats than London Zoo, not to mention the Ark of the Covenant & the Walls of Jericho falling down.

 

The Bradley arm will have moorings and good quality housing about mid way, (to pay for maintenance, H&G style) and the top lock will need to move up to be adjacent to the CRT yard making the drop less demanding.

All his should improve traffic and the interest level, on each cut and boost the need for the L&HT work.

 

For the Dudley No2 to go anywhere, the occupants of Hawne Basin need to get a finger out and put a shovel where their name is. The next 250 yards would be a good start! Particularly now with all the work going on at the other end.

 

Nationally, I would love to see the North Wilts get through Latton with all its difficulty’s.

 

As for the Monty, it is desperately in need of more boats IT IS NOT OVER USED!!!!!!! And will not get HLF funding unless it is used.

Edited by oboat
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But where would the water come from for a restored Lichfield - Huddlesford canal?

Surely that applies in any piecemeal restoration as well assuming some sort of trip is running to gain/keep attention.

Edited by pearley
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oboat I've no idea where or who you are but I can assure you that Coombeswood Canal Trust ( Hawne basin) is being pro active about getting further from our end .

Things are happening and CRT are involved and supportive .

 

Maybe you could consider joining CCT and helping to get " beyond the stank "

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oboat I've no idea where or who you are but I can assure you that Coombeswood Canal Trust ( Hawne basin) is being pro active about getting further from our end .

Things are happening and CRT are involved and supportive .

 

Maybe you could consider joining CCT and helping to get " beyond the stank "

 

Thats great news.

 

What is the proposal for the road bridge? No question the embankment on the other side is or should be classed as one of the wonders of the canal age.

 

4 years back I was told in no uncertain terms by a very vocal group it would not happen.

Went back last year for a 2nd look.

 

Not been this year.

 

My apologies if things have happened on site this year.

Edited by oboat
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