Burslem Branch Canal – an immediate success!
The Burslem Branch Canal was authorised by an Act of Parliament in 1797 and completed in 1805 – 30 years after James Brindley completed the mainline of the Trent & Mersey Canal. The Branch Canal was linked to Burslem town centre by a tramway up the hill of Navigation Road.
The success of the canal was immediate, paving the way for Burslem to develop a reputation as the home of pottery manufacturing within Stoke-on-Trent.
The canal breached in 1961, draining much of the 5½ mile summit pound of the Trent & Mersey Canal from Etruria to Kidsgrove. The breach was the result of mining subsidence and lack of maintenance. Rather than repair the breach, the then British Waterways piled off the Arm at the junction of the Trent & Mersey Canal main line.
[The photo shows line clearance using employment trainees at former Canal Company warehouse – courtesy Burslem Port Trust]