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Enthusiasts celebrate Titford Canal restoration anniversary

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: April 20, 2014

By Brenda Ward BCNS Chairman

  • The Mayor of Sandwell, Councillor Linda Horton, cuts the celebration cake. Picture:Robert Whitehouse

  • Aaron Manby, now leased to Ikon Youth Project, was the trip boat for the guests. Picture: Waterway Images

  • BCNS chairwoman Brenda Ward, Richard Parry Canal & River Trust Chief Executive and the Mayor of Sandwell. Picture: Waterway Images

  • Flashback to the Restoration Rally on March 30 and 31, 1974. Picture: Dick Mansel

  • Working hard to restore Oldbury Locks. Picture Darryl Foxwell

  • Unveiling of the plaque at the official opening. Picture Waterway Images

  • Labouring by the barrow load. Picture Darryl Foxwell

  • Adding a much needed lick of paint. Picture Darryl Foxwell

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FIFTY invited guests enjoyed a rally recently to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the restoration of the Titford Canal.

They included the Mayor of Sandwell, Councillor Linda Horton and her Consort Councillor Roger Horton and Richard Parry, the Chief Executive of Canal & River Trust.

Guests started arriving at 10.30am at the Birmingham Canal Navigations Society's HQ Titford Pump House. Some guests had travelled as far as Torbay in Devon in the south, Lincoln in the east and Darlington in the north.

The day continued with a display of photographs taken by various people showing views of Oldbury Locks and the Titford Canal up to and including Titford Pools.

There were some pictures of organised campaign cruises in 1963, 1971 and 1972 showing how difficult it was to navigate the canal, and by 1972 it was becoming almost impassable. In 1973 the BCN Society, along with financial and practical help from Warley Council, began working on the locks and canal. Finally on the weekend of March 30 and 31, 1974, the Restoration Rally took place, and some fine photographs of the event were shown.

The day after the rally Warley Council became Sandwell Council.

Many of our guests remarked on people who were there and during the show reminisced and explained what was happening in the photos.

Not only did our guests from the 1974 event recognise people in the pictures but our Mayor of Sandwell could name a few including the Lady Mayor of Warley and others including the Headmaster of her children's school who had been the secretary of the event.

This was followed by a buffet lunch for half our guests while the other half travelled on Slow Boat, also known as the trip boat Aaron Manby, which is leased by the Ikon Youth Project for the next three years.

Then the second boat trip to the Pools took place while the first trippers had lunch. This was followed by the official cutting of a celebratory cake.

As guests left late afternoon they said what a lovely day they had had and were looking forward to the 50th anniversary!

Were you at the 1974 rally and were you involved in helping restore the Tit- ford Canal? Write to us with your memories at 41 High Street, Cradley Heath, B64 5HL, or email editor@black countrybugle.co.uk or log on to wwww.blackcountrybugle.co.uk

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