We assembled outside the gates to the Canal and river trust’s workshop in Bradley lane.
By the time we were ready to move off we were up to 40. Gavin Hawkins our guide for the night had already told us about the open day at the workshop on Saturday 17th June and is a popular event which many present intend to go to.
We crossed over the road and looked back at where the proposed line of the canal will start.
Gavin showed us the 3 options of bridges for the canal to go under the road, we also saw where the line of the canal was alongside some present day factories.
So began the walk proper through an open green space. The original canal went in a loop to reach the Wednesbury Oak colliery. Traffic problems on this stretch with boats loading coal necessitated a short cut across the neck of the loop. This will be the route of the restoration.
A sharp bend and a decent of sixty four feet through nine locks to join up with the Walsall Canal is part of the restoration. Work has already been carried out on the locks beyond the main road. There was a little bit of a kick start from the council so that it looks like a canal but now the stretch is maintained by volunteers on their work party Saturdays.
This part of the canal will be covered by Keith Hodgkins on his Willingsworth Walk on Thursday 15th June.