Canal Lifeblood

BCN Main Line








The Birmingham Main Line looking towards Wolverhampton. The image was taken less than 200 yds. from the new developments at Oozell Street Loop, the cut off being St. Vincent Street Bridge, which is situated just behind the photographer.

The bridge over the towpath, since blocked off, would have led to a basin serving the factories, there are many such bridges throughout the Birmingham canal system some are still open.


Hawkesbury Junction












The ornamental stone springing point of the semi-elliptical ( three centred ) arch under which boats pass from the Oxford Canal onto the Coventry Canal at Hawkesbury Junction just north of the city.

Hawksbury 01

The junction was formed at its present location in 1803 following a long and protracted argument between the two canal companies as to where it should be connected. The bridge was constructed by the Britannia Foundry of Derby prior to its takeover by Andrew Handyside and Company in 1848. The site of the foundry has long since gone remembered today only by the street name in a new housing estate , Handyside Street.

The photograph is looking towards the Coventry Canal.


Works in Birmingham.


There are many redundant small factories and workshops in Birmingham. The one pictured here fronts onto Sheepcote Street, and appears to have been, to look at the roof lines, two separate buildings with two separate uses at one time. To the rear of the building there is a wharf giving access to the Birmingham Main Line canal.

Adjacent to the works, on the corner of St. Vincent Street and Sheepcote Street there is the “Roundhouse”, part of which can just be seen to the extreme left of the image,  a horseshoe shaped building constructed around 1840 for the LNWR as a coal and mineral wharf, it is now a children’s nursery.

Henwood Mill.

Henwood Mill

Henwood Mill, Barston, Solihull was constructed in the 18th century and altered in the 19th. It is a Grade II listed building and has since been converted into a private house. The feeder leat  was cut from the River Blythe which crosses Henwood Lane by way of a ford just below the mill.

Hartshill Yard


Hartshill maintenance yard on the Coventry Canal with good examples of eighteenth and nineteenth century industrial architecture. The yard lies on the Atherstone road midway between Atherstone and Nuneaton and still operates as a maintenance yard.

The Coventry Canal was one of the first generation of canals to be constructed in the mid eighteenth century, the engineer being James Brindley.