Map Updates – October 2015 – Issue 43

I’ve just published the October 2015 updates for our maps of canals and rivers.

Our England & Wales map is now at Issue 43 with the monthly updates.  These include the changes we have identified ourselves by cruising along the canal or cycling the towpaths.  They also include changes reported by other boaters, including several regular contributors, with a big thank you to them.

Caldon Canal Map Extract
Caldon Canal Map Extract

The Caldon Canal map is just one example which was updated after I cycled the full length of the canal, including the Leek Branch.

When you obtain a map from us you not only get the most up to date maps to start with but you the first year of updates by download are included so you can keep them up to date.  A small fee (20% per year) will enable you to keep them up to date for future years too. Compare that with printed books that start to go out of date the day they go to the printers – which could be several months or even years out of date when you buy them – and where you have to pay full price again for the next issue which will already be a few months out of date by the time its printed again.

This month we have significant updates to the following maps – and it’s unlikely these updates will be in any of the printed books, and probably won’t be for some time.

England & Wales

Aire & Calder and Calder & Hebble Navigations Maps
Ashton and Peak Forest Canals Maps
Birmingham & Fazeley Canal Maps
Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) Maps
Bridgewater Canal Maps
Caldon Canal Maps
Chesterfield Canal Maps
Coventry Canal Maps
Grand Union Canal Maps
Leeds & Liverpool Canal Maps
Oxford Canal Maps
River Avon (Stratford) Maps
River Weaver Maps
Sheffield & South Yorkshire Navigations Maps
Shropshire Union Canal Maps
Stratford upon Avon Canal Maps
Trent & Mersey Canal Maps
Worcester & Birmingham Canal Maps

Avon Ring Maps
Birmingham Mini Ring Maps
Black Country Ring Maps
Cheshire Ring Maps
East Midlands (Leicester) Ring Maps
Four Counties Ring Maps
Mid Worcestershire (Droitwich) Ring Maps
South Pennine Ring Maps
Stourport Ring Maps
Warwickshire Ring Maps

A few other maps have minor updates too.  My website has a full list of the current maps issued.


Map Updates – December 2015 – Issue 45

I’ve just released the December batch of map updates, bringing them up to issue 45.  Over forty maps have been updated, although many of the changes are very minor but I like to keep them up to date.  Even a very minor change could be important to somebody.

> Extract from Lapal Canal Map
Extract from Lapal Canal Map

You can see a full list of the issued maps and those with significant changes are: Birmingham Canal Navigations Caldon Canal Chesterfield Canal (Restoration Section Free) Lapal Canal (Free) River Trent Shropshire Union Canal Trent & Mersey Canal Four Counties Ring Black Country Ring Remember, you can update your map to the latest version – free during the first year and a small charge after that.  You can also upgrade to a larger map.  Just email with details of your existing maps for a no obligation quote. There’s still time to order for Christmas, as the last posting day is Monday 21st, but please order before noon to ensure I have time to get it into the post box.  The England & Wales Cruising Maps are proving very popular this year.

> Coverage of the England & Wales Canal and River Map
Coverage of the England & Wales Canal and River Maps


New Blog Started

After several attempt to integrate the blog with my website I’ve decided to revert to a standard WordPress blog.  That should make publishing a little easier and, perhaps, a little more frequent.

We’re our home mooring at Sherborne Wharf for a week or two, before setting off again to the north Oxford Canal – but more of that nearer the time.

Waterway Routes moored on our Home Mooring at Sherborne Wharf
Home Mooring at Sherborne Wharf

We’ve finished our main summer cruise and we’re busy updating the maps with the changes found during the past month and starting to edit the DVDs filmed during the summer.


Bradley Canal

The Bradley Canal is the name being given to the waterway created by the proposed restoration of closed canals within the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN).  The Bradley Canal will provide a new route between the BCN Walsall Canal and the BCN Main Line.

Route of the Bradley Canal
Route of the Bradley Canal

This will include three distinct former waterways:

  • Bradley Branch, with nine locks between the Walsall Canal at Moorcroft Junction and Bradley Locks Junction
  • Rotton Brunt Line, a straight cut off section which once avoided a winding section of the Old Main LIne, from Bradley Locks Junction to Batmans Hill Junction
  • Old Main LIne, from Batmans Hill Junction to Bradley Workshops

From  Bradley Workshops the canal is still open and forms:

  • The Old Main Line section usually known as the Wednesbury Oak Loop, and sometimes as the Bradley Arm, from Bradley Workshops to Deepfields Junction with the Main Line.
Extract from free Bradley Canal Map
Extract from free Bradley Canal Map

Detailed maps of the restoration route can be downloaded in both Acrobat (pdf) and Memory-Map (qct) formats and, like all the maps for restoration projects, the Bradley Canal maps are free to download.

Start of the Bradley Canal where it meets the Walsall Canal at Moorcroft Junction
Moorcroft Junction where the Bradley Canal meets the Walsall Canal

I walked the route recently and the paths are in good condition throughout.  I was surprised by the long range views available from the top of Bradley Locks.  Please take a look at the photos which form a virtual cruise along the Bradley Canal, starting at Moorcroft Junction where it meets the Walsall Canal, or at Bradley Workshops.

Hawne Basin

JUMP TO Dudley No 2 Canal Next >
< Selly Oak Selly Oak >
Hawne Basin
Hawne Basin

The entrance to Hawne Basin, under the bridge, marks the normal limit of navigation on the Dudley No 2 Canal.  Straight ahead the canal once continued to reach the Worcester & Birmingham Canal at Selly Oak but is now a short length of moorings.

Restoration is planned, as the Lapal Canal, following a similar route to the Dudley No 2 Canal and taking the route over the top of the hill with additional locks instead of through the collapsed Lapal Tunnel.

Waterway and Kilometerage BCN+DUD3 19.625
OS Grid Reference SO 97447 84418
Date and Time 110430 101914
Copyright © Paul Balmer

Dudley Canal & Tunnel Trust

We’ve just returned from our first cruise of the season over the past two days, from our home mooring at Sherborne Wharf to Wolverhampton and back.  It’s always nice to be cruising again, and we identified a few items that need fixing after the winter before we start cruising again.

New Swing Bridge across the Dudley No 1 Canal
New Swing Bridge across the Dudley No 1 Canal

On the way we stopped to see the Dudley Canal & Tunnel Trust’s new visitor centre which was opened on 14th March 2016 by HRH The Princess Royal.

Dudley Canal & Tunnel Trust Visitor Centre
Dudley Canal & Tunnel Trust Visitor Centre

There’s a new swing bridge across the canal which provides a level link to the Black Country Living Museum and the boarding point for the trip boats into Dudley Tunnel.  The tunnel portal is just visible in the background.

Dudley Tunnel Trip Boats
Dudley Tunnel Trip Boats

The trip boats are electric and have a low height so they fit into Dudley Tunnel which has such a low profile that most narrowboats will not fit inside.