A little late...

Published: Monday, 27 September 2010

The work of the  volunteers who cleared out a Black Country canal in 1970 was celebrated over the weekend—40 years later!

Their efforts marked the beginning of a new lease of life for the  Dudley No. 1 Canal, which was consequently reopened after years of neglect, Alan Tilbury tells us.

300 volunteers

It was during a weekend in 1970, when more than 300 volunteers took part in the Dudley Dig to move all the  junk from the unused waterway at  Parkhead Locks, (pictured) that even included a van and masses of other rubbish.

They cleared rubbish from two pounds and a lock chamber at the site using shovels and wheelbarrows, with the the work marking the beginning of the restoration of the canal which was then reopened three years later.

A display of the photographs of the work was hosted by the Dudley Canal Trust at Blowers Green Pump House  on the 1935 working narrowboat Sagitta that is owned by the trust.


The event is a scaled-down version of the Parkhead Boat Festival which had to be cancelled due to potential supply problems with Chasewater Reservoir.

Dudley Canal Trust Vice-chairman, Steve Bingham, related:

"It would have been a very messy, smelly job. They were shovelling rubbish from the bottom of the canal into wheelbarrows at the weekend and going into work on the Monday.

"They did it because they were enthusiastic. It's something that will never be repeated as health and safety would not allow it now."