Tag Archives: Anglesey Branch

Canal News – October 19 & 23, 2014

Canal News

October 19 & 23 2014

Anglesey Branch, Wyrley & Essington Canal

Anglesey Branch, Wyrley & Essington Canal

Family fun event at Fradley Junction

Fradley Junction
19 Oct 2014
11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Fradley Junction
DE13 7DN

Come and have a fun time with the family at Fradley Junction.
Free children’s activities in the scenic canalside setting of Fradley Junction.
Activities include:
• Hook a Duck
• Canal Art
• Bark Rubbing around the nature reserve

Additional info
Meet outside the Canal & River Trust offices in the café courtyard
The event/activities are run by CRT Education Volunteers and are part of a monthly events programme at Fradley Junction.
Pay and display parking
For more information about our lead visits please visit our website http://www.canalriverexplorers.org.uk or email us explorers@canalrivertrust.org.uk

Waterways Craft Group at the National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port

Waterways Craft Group
19 Oct 2014
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
This lively group meets the third Sunday of the month (with the odd exception) on the first floor of the Island Warehouse, to demonstrate the traditional crafts of the inland waterways.
Crafts demonstrated include boatman’s belt embroidery, bonnet making, cabin crochet, canal ware painting, rag rugging and patchwork.

Volunteers needed in Cannock

We’re inviting local people living in and around Gailey in Cannock to help give the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal a much-needed tidy.
The next clean-up is planned for Thursday 23 October from 10am – 3pm and people of all ages and abilities are invited to lend a hand to spruce up their local waterway. All equipment will be provided and volunteers should wear old clothes that they don’t mind getting a bit muddy.
The work is part of our Towpath Taskforce volunteering project, which encourages people to come out, get their hands dirty and help protect some of Staffordshire’s most important wildlife habitats and public open space. The Taskforce provides regular volunteering opportunities for local communities which, as well as benefitting our canals and rivers also create memorable and rewarding experiences for everyone who takes part.
Community ownership
The teams meet regularly and are aimed at encouraging more community ownership of and pride in local waterways. Projects include painting lock gates, improving access to the towpath, clearing overgrown vegetation, cleaning up litter and graffiti and helping wildlife by building nest and bat boxes and planting reed beds.
Peter Mathews CMG, chair of the West Midlands waterways partnership for the Canal & River Trust, said: “Staffordshire’s waterways are a real hive of activity with a whole variety plants and animals living along them. There are some areas though that need a little work, from cutting back natural vegetation to clearing away some of the rubbish that gets left behind. The more that people living near the canal can spare a few hours and help us tidy it up the better it will be for the whole community.”
Meeting point is at the Trust’s car park next to the roundhouse, Croft Lane, just off the A5, Gailey, Staffordshire, ST19 5PR.

Volunteer for the Canal & River Trust

Canal News £300,000 invested in restoration of Staffordshire’s waterways this winter

Canal News

£300,000 invested in restoration of Staffordshire’s waterways this winter

As part of our annual programme of restoration and repairs to historic waterways across the country, we are undertaking essential maintenance works on Staffordshire’s canal network this winter.91 Hazelhurst Junction, Caldon Canal

This winter we are spending around £45 million on essential repair and restoration works and routine maintenance to our canals and rivers”

Richard Parry, chief executuve

We will be investing £300,000 in projects to painstakingly repair historic canal walls, locks and bridges as well as installing new lock gates at certain locks.

The works will be taking place between January and March and will see engineers and skilled workmen draining sections of canal, craning out old lock gates, installing new ones and carefully restoring 200 year-old brickwork.

Works in Staffordshire will include:

  • Refitting lock gates and repairing 200 year-old brickwork at a number of locks in Stoke-on-Trent
  • Re-grouting brickwork to prevent leaks at locks in Trentham, Etruria and Bedford Street in Stoke on Trent.
  • Repairing locks in Meaford and refitting oak lock gates
  • Repairing lock gates and historic brickwork at Bagnall Lock in Alrewas
  • Refitting lock gates and repairing brickwork at Branston Lock near Burton

This winter we are spending a total of £45 million to look after 2,000 miles of canals and rivers across England and Wales.

Darren Green, Canal & River Trust waterways manager, said: “Staffordshire’s waterways are some of the most scenic and popular in the country but people may not realise that there’s quite a lot of work needed to look after them. Our teams are out in all weathers and over the next few months our engineers and heritage experts will be braving the cold to give the canals the care and attention they deserve.

“It’s painstaking, specialised work but the canals are an important part of the region’s heritage so it’s right that we devote some time and craftsmanship to help protect them for future generations.”

Richard Parry, chief executive of the Canal & River Trust, says: “Every day thousands of people visit or cruise on our waterways without ever seeing all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes, and below the waterline, to look after this historic and remarkable infrastructure. This winter we are spending around £45 million on essential repair and restoration works and routine maintenance to our canals and rivers. By showcasing this work to the public we can give them a glimpse of the craftsmanship of the waterways’ original 18th Century design and the scale of the work we do to care for it. We hope this will inspire more people to get involved to enjoy and help support their local canal or river navigation.

Kier is sponsoring this year’s programme. Eddie Quinn, operations director, Waterways, says: “We are incredibly proud to sponsor the Trust’s essential work to preserve the canals and rivers of England and Wales. Repairing and maintaining the waterways is a huge task requiring traditional materials and methods to be used to maintain this vital part of our heritage. As well as historical importance, the waterways are now widely recognised for being crucial for wildlife and are a well-loved leisure resource for millions of people every year.”

Every year we carry out a year round programme of works to conserve and repair the fragile infrastructure of the canals and rivers in its care. Teams of experts replace lock gates and complete essential maintenance across 2,000 miles of canals and rivers so they can be enjoyed by over 33,000 boats and 10 million towpath visitors each year. We are working on around 100 locks across the country, replacing 141 lock gates this winter.Anglesey Basin

Canal News – Waterway Watch 21-8-2012

Canal News – Waterway Watch


Canal & River Trust Announces navigation advisory group

Maintaining canal and river navigations for use by boats is at the core of what the Trust does. We want to ensure that our managers’ decisions are well informed by those who navigate the waterways regularly.

The Navigation advisory group will comprise boaters with a variety of backgrounds to bring as broad a range of perspectives as possible to decision making.

There will be two sub groups:

Navigation Operations

Advice relating to safety standards, waterway operation, maintenance & repairs, and customer service standards.

Sue Cawson – Historic narrowboat owner and champion of navigation issues for the Historic Narrowboat Club. Current chair of (SUFBRS) the society responsible for the care and restoration of fly boat Saturn.

John Baylis – Extensive experience of national boating issues amassed through 45 years of boating. Ex-chairman of the IWA Navigation Committee, a post held for 12 years. Ran restoration of Frankton Locks on Montgomery Canal for Waterway Recovery Group (WRG). Now largely uses his metal and design work skills through work with WRG.

David Fletcher — Engineering consultant in the oil industry, boat owner and chairman of the National Association of Boat Owners.

Ian Harrison – Chartered civil engineer specialising in ground engineering. Experienced in local government and has a focus on regeneration and external funding. A boat owner for 38 years.

Mike Carter – Committee member of the Commercial Boat Operators Association (CBOA), owner of a mooring basin and more latterly owner and proprietor of a repair yard / dry dock. Currently operates as a marine surveyor and consultant. Owns two historic craft.

Malcolm Blundell – Lifelong boating enthusiast, boat owner and builder. Recently retired information and analysis professional, and now cruises the system extensively, reporting on travels through his website (www.wicked-game.co.uk)

Kevin East – Professional background in the telecoms industry on the civil and mechanical engineering side. Waterway and environment manager at Canoe England and a member of the Canoe Camping Club National Council.

Licensing & Mooring

Advice relating to boat licensing and moorings policies and the way in which they are implemented.

Paul Le Blique – A professional engineer and narrowboater of many years. Current national chairman of the Association of Waterways Cruising Clubs (AWCC).

Tim Parker– Currently chairman of Association of Pleasure Craft Operators (APCO). Retired recently from Black Prince Holidays Ltd – a major hire fleet – where he was managing director.

Beryl McDowall – Has lived on boats since late 1960s and has worked on commercial craft for many years particularly on the Grand Union Canal south and River Soar. An officer of the Residential Boat Owners’ Association (RBOA) since 1999. Owns small-scale mooring site on River Soar

Mark Walton – A residential boater without a home mooring who has been active in progressing discussion on mooring strategy – particularly around the London and South East regions. Currently a member of Defra’s Civil Society Advisory Board..

Mike Annan – A narrowboat owner and honorary secretary of the Dutch Barge Association. Over 30 years’ experience working in the voluntary sector, more recently (before retirement) as CEO of various housing associations.

154 – Chasewater RailwayMuseum Bits & Pieces From Chasewater News Dec 1992 – Part 4 Cannock Chase Colliery Company Transport Development – The Formative Years.

154 – Chasewater RailwayMuseum Bits & Pieces

 From Chasewater News Dec 1992 – Part 4


Cannock Chase Colliery Company

Transport Development – The Formative Years

Mike Wood

Cannock Chase prior to 1840 was an expanse of barren, desolate heathland with no centres of population and without developed rail, road or water networks – on of the last great wildernesses of England.  The villages of Chasetown and Chase Terrace did not yet exist and were twenty years into the future.  Its few inhabitants made a living from the land selling agricultural produce at market in Cannock or extracting coal from shallow bell pits or drift mines.  There was not only coal on the Chase but also ironstone.  Local opencasters had been aware of its presence for many years but made no use of it as the smelting of iron required organisation and equipment well beyond their primitive means.  For the mineral resources of Cannock Chase to be exploited to the full, big business had to take a hand.  In the form of Henry William Paget, landowner and Marquis of Anglesey, and John Robinson McClean, civil engineer, big business was just around the corner.

The Marquis of Anglesey, whose estate encompassed almost entirely what was to become the Cannock Chase Coalfield, did not begin exploitation of the mineral wealth on his lands until the mid 1840s.  By this time, coal had superseded water as the new power base of the industrial revolution with the increasing use of steam driven machinery in factories and for producing iron.  The success of Stephenson’s ‘Rocket’ at Rainhill in 1829 had also led to the widespread adoption of steam traction on the new fast-growing railway network.  The comparative late development of the Chase as a coal producing area is almost certainly attributable to the absence of a satisfactory transportation network of roads, railways or canals.

The first canal to enter the region was not completed until 1797, when the Wyrley & Essington completed its north easterly course from Wolverhampton to Huddlesford Junction near Fradley where it joined the Trent & Mersey Canal.  In connection with this W&E scheme, a large feeder reservoir was created in 1798 by damming Crane Brook at a point one mile north of Watling Street between what are now the villages of Brownhills West and Chasetown.  Norton Pool, as it became known as, was constructed as a storage facility in connection with maintenance of water levels on the main W&E canal. Access from reservoir to canal was via a narrow drain-off channel of approximately 1¼ miles in length to Ogley along the exact course of what eventually became the Anglesey Branch of the W&E or ‘Curly Wyrley’ as it was known locally.

A similar view to the previous photo – the old Wharf Lane bridge can be seen through the new one carrying the M6 Toll.

By 1840 the national canal network comprised over 4,000 miles of navigable waterways providing a means of high capacity, low cost transportation,

It is certain that the presence of a new waterway crossing the southern boundaries of his estate plus imminent construction of the South Staffordshire Railway, due to be opened in 1849, and padding by in the same area as the canal, finally encouraged the Marquis to exploit his underground wealth.

In 1845 the Marquis directed that shafts be sunk at Uxbridge, Hammerwich and Four Mounts on the south eastern shores of Norton Pool, 1½ miles north of the W&E canal and the proposed South Staffs Railway.

The canal company built its Anglesey Branch in 1850 by enlarging its drain-off channel from a main line junction at Ogley.  This branch terminated at Anglesey Basin, a few yards south of Norton Pool where facilities included stables, offices, coal loading chutes and gantries, plus a railway interchange which opened in 1858.  Deep moorings accommodated the endless stream of high capacity canal boats which were to pour their black wealth south down the Birmingham Canal Navigation to fire the industries of Birmingham and the Black Country. These two photographs show the stables and other buildings at Wharf Lane.