There has been some discussion on Waiouru whether (or not) to turn right at Tame Valley Junction and complete the Walsall Canal. Whilst at Wolverhampton in 2013 a local CRT employee cautioned us to “Stay away… it needs dredging!” Two years have elapsed and we’ve been wondering if the situation has improved.
Just after lunch we noticed a boat in the junction heading up (north) the Walsall Canal so I decided to walk the towpath and see how the boat coped. By the time I’d donned my warm clothing and disposed of the rubbish at the CRT services the boat was well out of sight. I’ll refer to the map extract below when describing my observations.
You can see the green mooring icon by Leabrook Road Bridge. In this next photo the first of the mooring bollards is on the right but also notice the nice looking moorings on off-side. I wonder if there is sufficient depth to moor?
When I reached Monway Bridge I could see what looked to be a very attractive mooring area with bench seating and mooring bollards on both sides of the canal.
They are not shown on the Waterway Routes map and which made me wonder whether there was a security issue.
Moorcroft Junction is just beyond the bridge in the above photo.
This is where the former Bradley Branch linked the Walsall Canal with the Wednesbury Oak Loop and the existing CRT Bradley Workshops where they manufacture lock gates.
I caught up with the boat I’d seen at the Tame Valley Junction just beyond this point. The boat was well aground and no amount of reverse was getting it off the bottom.
Eventually the crew had to revert to the “boat pole” method in order to reverse off the bottom. The crew decided there was little point in attempting to continue on and decided instead to reverse back to Moorcroft Junction where they would winded (turn).
Trying to get off the bottom
I walked on the the next bridge (Holyhead Road Bridge) where I came upon a large amount of hard rubbish which had been dragged from the canal and dumped.
I’m pleased we learned something from another boaters experience and the Walsall Canal has been crossed off our list.