About the Walsall Canal
The Walsall Canal runs south for 8 miles from Birchills Junction on the Wyrley & Essington Canal to Ryders Green Junction on the Wednesbury Old Canal, which in turn joins the New Main Line of the Birmingham Canal at Pudding Green Junction.
Built in stages, the canal started as an extension of the Wednesbury Canal which opened in 1785 and served collieries in Moxley. An Act was passed for the building of the canal to Walsall Town in 1794 with this being mostly complete 6 years later. Businesses to the north of Walsall were keen to access the quicker route south offered by the Walsall Canal and the short Walsall Junction Canal with 8 locks was completed in 1841 to link to the Wyrley and Essington Canal. The Walsall Canal was successful with many branches and wharves but 1966 saw the end of the last regular commercial traffic to Walsall Gas Works.
The fact that Jerome K Jerome, the famous author of the comic travelogue Three men in a boat (published 1889) was born in Walsall may make this a fitting location for Thames enthusiasts. The Basin and the short Walsall Town Arm has been redeveloped in recent years with moorings by the New Art Gallery.
[Photo: Boats moored in Walsall Town Basin – by Angela Acott]