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AMModels

Wyrley & Essington branch canal

209 posts in this topic

While I have been absent from the boards Ive wasted my time on a couple of google map overlays, I thought there used to be a function of attaching files to the forum but it seems to have disappeared but if anyone has an interest in the above then feel free to message me your email addy.

S'ok you can download the .kmz from here just a bit of fun really, I have got one for the whole of the Curly Wyrley somewhere but seem to have misplaced it.

 

:cheers:

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Few things to add on that Andy, First site of the engineers house at the junction, the pool to the east of lock one was connected as a basin, the resevoir keepers house is now completely rebuilt, Sneyd resevoir and the ducting still visible, top two locks have copings visible, the house near to the Esssington branch is not a canal co house but belonged to the pit served by the basin, most lock sites on the Essington are discernible, the bridge site is across th tail of the lock, the southern terminus basin is wrong, the existing house on the site is a rebuild of the original wharf cottage. On the great Wyrley end the final bridge still in place was one of the few lifting bridges on the BCN, in 1972 the main uprights were still in place.

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While I have been absent from the boards Ive wasted my time on a couple of google map overlays, I thought there used to be a function of attaching files to the forum but it seems to have disappeared but if anyone has an interest in the above then feel free to message me your email addy.

S'ok you can download the .kmz from here just a bit of fun really, I have got one for the whole of the Curly Wyrley somewhere but seem to have misplaced it.

 

:cheers:

not sure whats supposed to happen andy, is a .kmz filesomething that needs a particular program to open it as it tells me it is downloading and then doesnt??

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you need to have google earth installed on your computer mate, its free and theres no ads with it download here and then the file should open automatically. Once you have earth you can create your own maps too.

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you need to have google earth installed on your computer mate, its free and theres no ads with it download here and then the file should open automatically. Once you have earth you can create your own maps too.

oh, I already have google earth, does it have to be open when I open your file?

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Im not sure, I thought it opened earth up when you clicked the file but maybe you do need it to be open first. Thinking about it I have earth open before opening up the files. :wacko:

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Yes, it takes a little while. Mine showed an error and allowed 'error fix' button. After that it took about forty seconds and left me with a tab at the bottom of the page. Clicking on that began the zoom into the area on the already opened 'Earth' prog.

 

Interesting map, thanks for the effort Andy.

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Few things to add on that Andy, First site of the engineers house at the junction, the pool to the east of lock one was connected as a basin, the resevoir keepers house is now completely rebuilt, Sneyd resevoir and the ducting still visible, top two locks have copings visible, the house near to the Esssington branch is not a canal co house but belonged to the pit served by the basin, most lock sites on the Essington are discernible, the bridge site is across th tail of the lock, the southern terminus basin is wrong, the existing house on the site is a rebuild of the original wharf cottage. On the great Wyrley end the final bridge still in place was one of the few lifting bridges on the BCN, in 1972 the main uprights were still in place.

 

 

How many lifting bridges were there on the BCN as a whole Laurence?

 

This looks like the area you were talking about Campian's Wood Swing Bridge

 

And they reckon there was one at the other end of the branch as well linky

 

There was the one on the entrance to Hawkins/Walkmill basin Hawkins Branch Bridge - Hatherton Canal

 

Although the same site says there was a bascule bridge on the walsall canal, I presume they are talking about the one inside Rubbery owens and later Garringtons by bughole bridge but I thought that one was a swing bridge with the little wagons running across it with castings in about late 70's early 80's. Was there another one or did the bridge get replaced with the swing version?

 

There is a modern addition at Huddlesford, not as aesthetically pleasing as some of the others tho. http://www.movablebridges.org.uk/BridgePage.asp?BridgeNumber=1394

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How many lifting bridges were there on the BCN as a whole Laurence?

 

This looks like the area you were talking about Campian's Wood Swing Bridge

 

And they reckon there was one at the other end of the branch as well linky

 

There was the one on the entrance to Hawkins/Walkmill basin Hawkins Branch Bridge - Hatherton Canal

 

Although the same site says there was a bascule bridge on the walsall canal, I presume they are talking about the one inside Rubbery owens and later Garringtons by bughole bridge but I thought that one was a swing bridge with the little wagons running across it with castings in about late 70's early 80's. Was there another one or did the bridge get replaced with the swing version?

 

There is a modern addition at Huddlesford, not as aesthetically pleasing as some of the others tho. http://www.movablebridges.org.uk/BridgePage.asp?BridgeNumber=1394

 

Andy, in answer to question one I havent a clue, we know there were not many as most bridge sites survive in one form or another.

 

"Campions wood Swing Bridge" in its final guise was a lifting bridge, this shows just how information can be misleading on the internet if not researched fully. Its not part of the W&E either, it was a private branch canal opened in 1854. The new signposting up there annoys me everytime I pass it!

 

I took this in 1971: gallery_5000_522_149321.jpg

 

The basin was still intact just!

gallery_5000_522_150575.jpg

 

Also at that time the original terminal basin of the W&E still existed (known as the Cannock Lodge branch) seen here:

 

gallery_5000_522_77229.jpg

 

Now I remember the canal being intact at Sneyd before Vernons way was built, there was a solid access across the canal near lock 5 (top copings now visible again) but whether it was a bridge I am not sure. The culvert shown in the picture is a modern one which I think was put in to link to the resevoir house below the dam which was totally rebuilt a few years ago. There may have been a bridge there at some time but I cannot remember see it. There were the remains of the pump house and valve conduits visible too so a bridge would have got noticed.

 

The Hawkins basin bridge was of course a Staffs & Worcs bridge and had a tramway set in the deck.

 

The Walsall canal bridge was a swing bridge if it refers to the one at Rubery Owen.

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the bridge site isn't very accurate either as i can think of at least 6 bridges that are not on there at all, 1 existing (whipley manor sliding) and 1 new (haybarn) on the wey & arun 1 existing (egremont) 1 missing (manhood tramway lifting) and 1 moved (Poyntz)on the chichester canal and now fixed (Ford rail sliding) on the river arun just to name the local ones

Edited by hamsterfan
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And they reckon there was one at the other end of the branch as well linky

 

 

I had to go over to Norton Canes Docks today so stopped off at Vernons way on the return, I could not find this "bridge", what I did find looking suspiciouly like it (see link above) was the entrance to the top of lock 1 oppositte Vernons way. Recent work has installed safety railings around this infilled lock, yes I did say INFILLED!!

 

gallery_5000_522_293168.jpg

Edited by Laurence Hogg
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I agree totally about the bridge site and used the Ruberys bridge as an example, I also remember the sneyd canal in water although Im not sure about Vernon way, that could have been in situ. We used to play in the derelict Sneyd House and access was over a concrete pad at the head of Lock 5 or thereabouts, although I wasnt looking for bridge footings back then so cant say what was and what wasnt there, according to a 1970's's map it was a 'drawbridge' over the head of the lock and I definitely dont remember a drawbridge. The chamber of 5 was still complete and empty but it was filled in by 1980 as it was used as access to the new school by those of us who lived on the Mossley, the tail of the lock was still there too but again when filled in it disappeared and I think some of the copings were dozed into the chamber.

 

Looking at your pic Laurence I know where youre standing, from what Ive seen on http://www.old-maps.co.uk/maps.html the drawbridge was above lock 5 if you search mossley estate and choose the 1977 map you can see the drawbridge served Sneyd House.

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I agree totally about the bridge site and used the Ruberys bridge as an example, I also remember the sneyd canal in water although Im not sure about Vernon way, that could have been in situ. We used to play in the derelict Sneyd House and access was over a concrete pad at the head of Lock 5 or thereabouts, although I wasnt looking for bridge footings back then so cant say what was and what wasnt there, according to a 1970's's map it was a 'drawbridge' over the head of the lock and I definitely dont remember a drawbridge. The chamber of 5 was still complete and empty but it was filled in by 1980 as it was used as access to the new school by those of us who lived on the Mossley, the tail of the lock was still there too but again when filled in it disappeared and I think some of the copings were dozed into the chamber.

 

Andy,

5 is still in situ and visible with virtually all coping stones now through grass and the mouth opening into the dry canal. 4 is buried but intact and is the flat raised ground at the turn into the school, 3 is lost under the road, 2 intact but buried under the verge, 1 is infilled, fenced but totally intact, sadly the roller has been stolen from the mouth.

What also survives is the arm which ran alongside 5 towards the resevoir, filled in but very obvious.

 

I think that bridge site is a bit sus, certainly the "bridge" is almost certainly a lock mouth!

Edited by Laurence Hogg
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I thought 5 was the one by the turn? The height at lockside was, I thought, the same as the rest of the embankment round to the junior school, I am back this weekend I think I need to refresh my memory of the area lol. We used to have to run cross country around the towpath til the junior school then back along the other side of the fields back to lock 4 (what I thought was 5) and I dont remember the ground rising at all once we were on the lock level.

I thought 1 was and is still visible from Sneyd turn, 2 was just under Sneyd Lane bridge, 3 and 4 were towards the pub now under Vernon Way and then 5 was the one visible raised to the right of the pub as you looked at the school from said pub.

 

Just looked at a map from 1938 and it seems like my memory is correct and also that the marking for a drawbridge wasnt near lock 5 back then, whether it was a later addition I now have no idea.

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I thought 5 was the one by the turn? The height at lockside was, I thought, the same as the rest of the embankment round to the junior school, I am back this weekend I think I need to refresh my memory of the area lol. We used to have to run cross country around the towpath til the junior school then back along the other side of the fields back to lock 4 (what I thought was 5) and I dont remember the ground rising at all once we were on the lock level.

I thought 1 was and is still visible from Sneyd turn, 2 was just under Sneyd Lane bridge, 3 and 4 were towards the pub now under Vernon Way and then 5 was the one visible raised to the right of the pub as you looked at the school from said pub.

 

Just looked at a map from 1938 and it seems like my memory is correct and also that the marking for a drawbridge wasnt near lock 5 back then, whether it was a later addition I now have no idea.

 

My ex has insisted we are both wrong! locks 3 & 4 were close together 4 being next to what is now Glastonbury close, so 3 & 4 according are lost under the road. Looking at a 1:2500 map from the 20's it appears she is right. Having been back and took a look I now agree, the flat land at the turn is just landscaping.

The map does show "drawbridge across tail of lock 5 though as access to Sneyd House. I'm pretty sure the solid access I remember must have been over 4 as you could get into the ruins of the valve house.

 

I can also confirm that the "bridge" on the bridge site is the upper exit of lock 5.

Edited by Laurence Hogg
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Im not sure, I thought it opened earth up when you clicked the file but maybe you do need it to be open first. Thinking about it I have earth open before opening up the files. :wacko:

 

The download the OP posted is a zipped (compressed) file.

 

I have uploaded the uncompressed version which you can download here

 

This will deposit a .kmz file called doc on your PC. Assuming you already have Google Earth installed, clicking on this file will automatically load Google Earth with overlay displayed.

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My ex has insisted we are both wrong! locks 3 & 4 were close together 4 being next to what is now Glastonbury close, so 3 & 4 according are lost under the road. Looking at a 1:2500 map from the 20's it appears she is right. Having been back and took a look I now agree, the flat land at the turn is just landscaping.

The map does show "drawbridge across tail of lock 5 though as access to Sneyd House. I'm pretty sure the solid access I remember must have been over 4 as you could get into the ruins of the valve house.

 

I can also confirm that the "bridge" on the bridge site is the upper exit of lock 5.

 

Yeah Im pretty sure thats where I placed them on my original map overlay, whereabouts is the arm into the reservoir you mentioned earlier Laurence? I cant find any sign of it on the old maps, there was a colliery basin which heads towards the school lake but of course the school lake wasnt there when the canal was in use, being part of the open cast workings that took place in the area in the 70's.

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Yeah Im pretty sure thats where I placed them on my original map overlay, whereabouts is the arm into the reservoir you mentioned earlier Laurence? I cant find any sign of it on the old maps, there was a colliery basin which heads towards the school lake but of course the school lake wasnt there when the canal was in use, being part of the open cast workings that took place in the area in the 70's.

The arm came off immediatly beside the top lock and ran parallel to the main canal until about half way along the resevoir embankment, I guess it acted as a feed with excess water running into the resevoir rather than down the locks. Today the embankment remains but pierced by the road into the school. Although overgrown you can still see it was a canal near the top lock.

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Back in the early 80s when Vernon way had not long been built the wall of what must have been the pumphouse was very visible about halfwayish along, you could see the bright orange brickwork with plenty of recesses and holes in the wall, must have been something to do with the machinery in there.

 

Had a quick google and this site has some 'good' pics of the workings of the reservoir.

Ahab

 

A great pic of the top lock as I remember it

 

My link

 

bottom lock

 

off cresswell crescent nr school

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Thanks for sharing the links and photos all. Such little bits of history are all the better for being chewed over and passed down for the future, and for the present to those such as myself who never knew the area.

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The Wyrley and Essington are on my cruising plans for next year. Last time I went there about 5 years ago it was very hard work!!!!

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The Wyrley and Essington are on my cruising plans for next year. Last time I went there about 5 years ago it was very hard work!!!!

You will find a world of difference now, spot dredging, foilage removal, weed removal and volunteer work has transformed the experience. Holly Bank basin is full depth right to the end and offers a nice mooring, there are several good pubs too. Do stop and examine the old line at Sneyd, still much to see.

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Another feature in this area was Sneyd House, it was here that the BCN Committee moved during the 1940's to avoid the wartime bombing that targeted central Birmingham. Has anybody come across images of this building

 

Ray Shill

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