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.
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 Compare that with printed books that start to go out of date the day they go to the printers – which could be several months or even years out of date when you buy them – and where you have to pay full price again for the next issue which will already be a few months out of date by the time its printed again.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.