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A Crooked Ditch

Inland Waterways, DVD Production

A Crooked Ditch
Inland Waterways, DVD Production

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A Horseley Fields towpath bridgeBackground

The Birmingham Canal Navigation links the three main towns on the "Black Country Plateau": Wolverhampton, Walsall and Birmingham; with a fascinating and intricate network of canals.

James Brindley and Samuel Simcock completed the winding cut from Wednesbury to Birmingham in 1769.

A crooked length When Thomas Telford surveyed it in the 1820's, he described Brindley's route as "little better than a crooked ditch"!

Telford made many improvements to the main line and other companies built their own canals and branches, so that by 1870 the network served most of the Black Country plateau.

There were 257km of canals, 216 locks and 550 private basins and the system carried 8.5 million tonnes of goods every year.

Two boundary posts

This Production tells the history of the BCN using footage shot on and around the system in 1983, together with maps and archive material.

There have been many changes in the area since then, and this history has now become a historic record in its own right!

A Compilation (No.13) featuring the BCN is also available.

Chance's Glass Works


  • Written by Peter Eggleston & Kelvin Lake.
  • Running time: 27 mins.
  • DVD player subtitle option signposts 73 BCN locations
  • £13.45 - DVD
  • Price includes worldwide delivery.
  • ' PAL' and 'NTSC' versions available.


Please see the 'Sales' page for additional purchasing information.

The images on this page are taken from the video.

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Copyright © 2018 I.A.Recordings, Last modified: 12 November, 2019