DVD Price £16.95

The Black Country canal system was once a powerful transport network serving the industrial heartlands of the area, exporting the “Black Gold” to far off towns and keeping local industry alive, stocked and working.

The area was interlaced with through canals and many extensive and not so extensive branches. In the 1960’s many of these fell to the axe of abandonment and such marvelous routes like the Bentley canal were lost.

The films shown on this compilation were made in and around 2000 and 2002, they are shot from a 1936 working boat traversing the main routes which still exist. We break from the trip to look at what has been lost that once graced the canal or was part of the adjoining system. Sadly in the intervening years much of what we filmed as remains have been swept away by progressive rebuilding of former industrial premises.

The first journey is made from Dudley to Walsall, we look at the many branches and byways now lost forever, see the trade that was once so intense.

The second starts near Chasewater and runs along the Wyrley and Essington canal descending Wolverhampton locks and terminating at Wombourne steam pumping station. We see a coal run reinactment, look at the lost sections and the trade and yards. Extensive use of archive stills and film bring the past to life.

This film has never been released previously, it was made for British Waterways Birmingham and Black Country canals (now replaced as West Midlands unit) to show the hidden potential of the silent water highways which criss cross the area to local authorities. Presented in part by David Suchet it brings home what could be done if only the incentive was there.

Running time 2 hours

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© Laurence Hogg Productions.
Documentary film and media sales, specialist in Inland Waterways
Specialist production of "Metal Image" plaques and gifts