BCN Cruise -Back On The ‘Curley-Wurley’ In 2022

Councillor Phil Bateman MBE said today “Well as we come out of Christmas and we see the New Year 2022 beckoning on the Horizon.
I can inform you that arrangements are now in hand to welcome back The Birmingham Canal Navigation Narrow Boat cruises, on to our wonderful canal here at Wednesfield. I am not sure exactly how many boats there will be in the cruise yet. But to have them in our Village again will be most welcome.
The ‘curley wurley’ as it is nicknamed, is an elegant canal and has a glorious history in serving the South Staffordshire Coal Fields. The canal was built to allow transport of coal from coal mines near Wyrley, Essington and New Invention to Wolverhampton and Walsall, but it also carried limestone and other goods.
An Act of Parliament received the Royal Assent on 30 April 1792, entitled “An Act for making and maintaining a navigable Canal from, or from near, Wyrley Bank, in the county of Stafford, to communicate with the Birmingham and Birmingham and Fazeley Canal, at or near the town of Wolverhampton, in the said county; and also certain collateral Cuts therein described from the said intended Canal”.[3] The act authorised the construction of a canal from the Birmingham Canal near Wolverhampton to Wyrley Bank, and the raising of up to £45,000 to pay for construction, £25,000 from the issuing of shares and another £20,000 in loans.[4]
It was built just for that job of moving the ’Black Gold’ of Coal to the growing and prosperous towns of Walsall and Wolverhampton here in the Black Country.”
Councillor Bateman added “This is a fantastic canal with, a brilliant history, and has been a real part of the growth and development of the sub-region. This canal has more than played its part in the first industrial revolution, which is still the base of the manufacturing and engineering companies which the area is famous for. Back in 2008 our canal after much pressure on the City of Wolverhampton declared the Wyrley and Essington canal, as a Local Nature Reserve.
It has a huge head of Coots and Moor Hens, Canada Geese, Ducks and Mute Swans, Otters are travelling along its length, Badgers have moved in, and the Bird Life is rich and attractive. All of which has been raising numbers of visitors to the canal taking walks excising their dogs, fishing, and cycling.
Now we have some more good news in that on Friday 6th May 2022, here at Bentley Bridge Wednesfield, the BCN Narrow-Boat Cruise will be once again visiting and moored.
This will be the first cruise of the New Year, and will (Covid-19 allowing) be very much welcomed by Wednesfield. Having boating tourists in our Village helps to develop our local economy, as well as giving us the pleasure of seeing colourful Narrow-Boats once again on the water of this fantastic piece of infrastructure, with a history that stretches 229 years – and is still active and in use today.”

Phil Bateman

Phil Bateman is Married to Mary and lives in Wednesfield North. He was a long serving local politician having served previously on the now defunct West Midlands County Council... read more