The Phoenix Arises: The Lapal Canal

Walk – Saturday 11 June 2022. Start at 10.30am, finish by 4.00pm
Covering parts of the Dudley No2 canal – but certainly not its Lapal tunnel!

OS 139 Birmingham & Wolverhampton
(Old) Pathfinders 933/SO 88/98 Stourbridge & Kinver and 934/SP 08/18 Birmingham

Parking & start: Selly Oak Shopping Park (4 hrs free parking) – Sainsbury’s etc., in front of
Unite Students Battery Park on its canal side (the Worcester & Birmingham Canal, W&BC).
Grid reference: SP043828. What three words: drums.glue.field. Within view of Selly Oak rail station.

The Dudley No2, from Windmill End Junction at Netherton to the W&BC in Selly Oak, is only 8 miles long, just over 2 miles of which was the Lapal tunnel. We shall be walking a total of about five miles, in two sections:

• the full eastern part from the W&BC junction to the site of the eastern tunnel portal;
• part of the western section from near to the western tunnel portal to Gosty Hill tunnel,
incorporating the current end of navigation at Hawne Basin/Coombeswood.

As this is a linear route, some car shuffles will be necessary.

Though a relatively short walk, there is much to see such as the work done, and being done, at the W&BC end to facilitate a new junction. There is some canal still in water in Selly Oak park, Weoley Castle along the route, the Leasowes/Heywood embankment, Hawne Basin, the remains of the vast Stewarts & Lloyds tube works, Gosty Hill tunnel etc etc. Though lacking in the ever-illusory snuff mines, it’s still an area full of interest.

There are several societies involved with waterways in this area of the West Midlands and we are delighted to have a member of the Lapal Trust to accompany us. Lunch will be available at the Lighthouse pub at Old Hill (0121 537 70133). It has a spacious external picnic area. The landlady is willing to arrange a buffet comprising sandwiches, pie, quiche, chips etc, plus tea/coffee, at £7.50 per head. Please advise Paul by Tuesday 7th June if you wish to partake of this offer. Paul would also appreciate knowing the overall numbers attending so please let him know by Friday 10th if you plan to come (01782 641967).

The route is generally good, on well-established paths and pavements but, as always, stout
shoes etc.