Titford reopening 40th anniversary

BCNS chairwoman Brenda Ward, Richard Parry and the Mayor of Sandwell at the Titford Canal celebration – photo: Waterway Images BCNS chairwoman Brenda Ward, Richard Parry and the Mayor of Sandwell at the Titford Canal celebration – photo: Waterway Images

INLAND WATERWAYS: The first of this year’s canal restoration anniversary events was held by the BCN Society (BCNS) on Saturday 22 March to celebrate 40 years since the reopening of the Titford Canal, writes Harry Arnold.

It was based at the historic Titford Pump House – now the headquarters of the BCNS – which originally back pumped water up the six Oldbury Locks to keep the level up in Titford Pools at the head of this short but important branch of the BCN, now spanned on a viaduct by the M5 motorway.

The day commemorated not only the original 1974 reopening rally but attempts to navigate the Titford Canal in 1971 and 1972, work parties on the locks in 1973/4. Many invited guests, including myself, were at the original rally and involved in the reopening work.

Restoration was made possible by Warley Council (now Sandwell Council) working with the BCNS and British Waterways. The current Mayor of Sandwell was the principal guest along with Canal & River Trust (CRT) chief executive Richard Parry.

Both congratulated the BCNS on its original efforts to restore the canal and its continuing volunteer work, now alongside CRT, on this canal and the rest of the Birmingham Canal Navigations.

One of the most interesting features of the day was a presentation of now historic photographs with reminiscences by those who were there in 1974. Guests were then taken on a boat trip up to Titford Pools.

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