Monday, 19 December 2016

Tipton Walk

We had two emails from readers (Paul & Mike) suggesting a local walk might reveal some interesting information.  Today’s walk took me to both suggested locations. 

I’ll explain the route using the following extract from Paul Balmer’s excellent Waterway Routes canal maps.

Canal

The route took me back down the towpath to Tipton Junction and then on to Tipton Green Bridge.  The canal widens on the  other side of the bridge which gives a hint about what was once here.

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If you examine the map above you will notice the white dotted line to the right showing the route of an abandoned canal.  I’ve added two thin red arrows to the map!  The wide section of canal in the photo above is obviously a junction where boats could turn.  On reaching the widest point on the right I noticed a linear park which would have once been the canal.

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Part the way down the path I came upon the remains of the second lock.

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The continuation of the canal alignment can be seen on the far side of Union Street.  It connected to the New Main Line.  Well actually it did more than that.  Paul’s map shows it continuing.on to join the Walsall Canal

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The more I examine the Waterway Routes maps the more I realize just how extensive the canal network was in the greater Birmingham area. 

IMG_1223Caggys Boatyard occupies what would have been the other end of the canal on the opposite side of the New Main Line.  The boatyard has a dry dock and one of the resident boaters confirmed the yard sells diesel, but he didn’t know the current price.  You can see the white diesel bowser at the right end of the bridge in the above photo. 

IMG_1225The dry dock

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There is a sign on the centre pier of the next bridge.  Looks like pump out and elsan are also available!

I turned left at Factory Junction, but not before having a good look at the canal side pub.  It’s The Barge & Barrel which has a local reputation for specializing in rock music.

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However above one of the unused doorways was the old name

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The building actually isn’t all that old, dating back to the 1920-30’s and replaced a pub that was even closer to the canal.

Just after the junction there appears on first sight to be some CRT facilities.  However a sign states there is no mooring or services .

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On the road side of the building is a plaque

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Well that explains the buildings original purpose.

A little further up Hurst Lane is Mad O’Rourke’s Pie Factory.

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I’m partial to a good pie but mine must have shortcrust pastry top and bottom.  Mad O’Rourke’s Menu suggests all their pies have a puff pastry topping.  To me that’s like having a stew with a puff pastry lid. 

Our time in Tipton is up and we want to move on.

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