Saturday, 16 May 2015

BCNS Cruise Last Day–Friday 15th May

Tipton is famous for many things one of them being William Perry alias The Tipton Slasher who was Pugilist Champion of England from 1850-1857. They have erected a Statue to him in  the local park. IMG_6334

From Tipton Green Bridge is a magnificent view of Dudley Castle high up on its limestone rock.IMG_6337

At 10.00 am we all attended a talk by local historian Keith Hodgkins who told us about the Ten things for which Tipton is famous. It was really interesting to see the changes which have taken place over the years and how so many canals have been lost in Tipton. At one time there were around 16 miles of canals in the tiny parish of Tipton but this has reduced to about a third of that now. The talk was held in the Library in Owen House on Owen Street but unfortunately nobody knows where the name came from. Could it have been from my ancestors???1

The Ten Famous things are:  William Perry; The Newcomen Steam Engine; Palethorpes Sausages; Jack Holden of the Tipton Harriers, Common Wealth Games Champion marathon runner; Bean Cars who built the car which was first to travel across Australia; Bloomfields iron works which developed the Pig iron Boiling Process which dramatically increased the output; A lifting iron bridge which is now on display in the Black Country Museum; Horseley Iron Works which made many of the iron bridges on the canals; The first iron and steam powered ship, the Arron Manby, in 1822, which was transport in pieces by canal to London and then taken across the channel to France to work; The largest Anchor to be made.

After lunch we set off for the Titford Pump House travelling down the delightful Old Main Line passing over the Netherton Tunnel Branch and by the Gower Branch which joins it to the new Main Line.2

Spotted this old boat moored near Whimsey bridge with all the old Canal Company Signs on the fence behind .3

Soon we were travelling under the M5 and making the turn at Oldbury Junction to go up the 6 Oldbury Locks to the Pump House. The locks are unusual in that they are all in a straight line along the towpath side.4

Once moored up I took a walk up to the Titford Pools which spread out under underneath the M5 and provide a wildlife habitat as well as a source of canal water.5

Some of the wild life on this stretch of canal.6

In the evening we all went down to the Pump House for a great social evening with Real Ale food.

A big thank goes to Stuart and Marie who organised the Explorer Cruise and made sure that we all had a great time. They both put in a lot of hard work to make sure that the trip was enjoyable and interesting as well as educational for us all. I would recommend this cruise to anyone who has not yet explored the beautiful BCN. I must not forget Brian on Thursday’s Child who was always up early to ensure that we had a smooth passage through all the locks.


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