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Canal at Wollaton

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I seem to remember fishing in a disused canal near Radford Bridge/bottom of Ilkeston Rd. The only thing that looks like the remains of a canal are on the north boundary of the Uni campus. Does anyone remember this or have any maps of 50' Radford area?

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Try and get hold of Nottingham Canal A History and Guide by Bernard Chell. ISBN 0-7524-3759-3. There is at least one copy in Nottinghamshire libraries. I vaguely remember the bit on Radford Bridge Road. It was filled in up to Woodyard Lane in the 1950s. The pedestrian subway under the boulevard is the old canal bridge. You can still see where Lock number 6 started.

My bit of the Nottingham Canal was from Woodyard Lane through to Trowell Road. There were six locks on this stretch. When I was very young it was still complete although abandoned. There was a lovely little hump-backed bridge where Old Coach Road crossed. Anglers used to fish all the way along with regular competitions east of Old Coach Road, Sadly the knuckle headed vandals moved in - starting with demolishing old coach Road bridge. By the mid to late 60s it was all a complete smelly wreck. What an insult to the navies of 200 years ago.

We used to cycle from Wollaton along the Nottingham Canal to the 3-way junction with the Erewash Canal and Cromford Canal at Langley Mill. We would then continue along the Cromford Canal to Ironville then along the Pinxton branch to Pinxton Wharf. We would then return along the derelict ex=GNR railway to Giltbrook and then use the back roads back home. Happy Days.

The only part of the Nottingham Canal still in use is from Meadow Lane to Lenton where it meets end-on with the Beeston Canal. All is filled in from Lenton to Coventry Lane from where it is nature reserve to Trowell. From there it is either filled in or nature reserve. Torville Drive now occupies the section through Wollaton.

There are still bits left if you look for them. Like the bridges at Abbey Street and Derby Road where the River Leen now follows the course of the canal.

Then there was the Bilborough Cut which left the Nottingham Canal above lock 19 at Wollaton and followed the 200 ft. contour to a coal mine at a point near where Harvey Haddon Stadium is now situated. Absolutely nothing left now - all built upon.

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Thanks guys - brilliant response. I feel vindicated; as I was beginning to think that it was all a dream from the misty past. I now remember that the best fishing spot was just between a humpback bridge and lock 16 where the canal widened out - presumably a passing place. There was also a small overflow channel about 6' wide that we could jump over as us small boys got a bit older. I made a fishing rod from a tank arial and it bent when trying to land a pike from lock 16 pool. I used to fish the Trowel section for Pike when a bit older and sold my catch to a Jewish family who lived opposite. Arf a dolla each!!

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Don't know if it's a coincidence, but on the Nottingham page of Facebook, pics of the canal have appeared, then and now pics.

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I was forbidden from going near the canal until I was about 10 years old. Did it stop me? Nooooo!! When I got home my mum would say 'You've been down the canal haven't you?' 'No mum honest'. My smelly clothes gave it away. I got two clouts. One for going down the canal and the other for lying. And to top it all, I have to take all my smelly clothes off in the yard before I was allowed in.

I remember the overflows. Good for us younger ones to chase taddys and sticklebacks. My grandma lived at Wollaton and every Sunday morning Dad took us to see her, walking along the canal and cutting through the Allotments to get there.

Looking back, the old Nottingham Canal (along with other canals) was an amazing feat of civil engineering, done with the primitive instruments of 200 years ago. I urge anyone interested to read the book I mentioned earlier.

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Looking back, the old Nottingham Canal (along with other canals) was an amazing feat of civil engineering, done with the primitive instruments of 200 years ago. I urge anyone interested to read the book I mentioned earlier.

It's pretty cheap on Amazon. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Nottingham-Canal-History-Guide/dp/0752437593/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1410891202&sr=1-1&keywords=nottingham+canal

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Greetings from our holiday cottage at Winterton in Norfolk, I'm sitting in the garden in my dressing gown peering through the early morning sea mist at the dunes over the fence, all I can hear are the waves breaking on the beach a couple of hundred yards away and the calls of oystercatchers, it's idyllic.

Enough of that, does anyone remember the two barges abandoned on the canal halfway between Moor Farm Lane bridge and the steel railway bridge near Coventry Lane? They were moored on the bank opposite the tow path adjacent to a small wood, I could never figure out why they were left in such a remote place. They were clearly either towed or horse drawn coal barges with a small rear cabin which must have been for accommodation as they had stovepipe chimneys. Built entirely of oak, they were in good condition despite being half sunk. To recall the cabins were painted blue and had a cast iron numberplate bolted to the front which we were never able to remove.

When the canal was filled in here the parapet to Moor Lane bridge was knocked off and spoil piled underneath then sloped down towards the railway bridge as you can still see today. Somewhere under this infill lie the two barges, they were left where they were, I bet they're still in good condition as well.

I always thought that they were originally something to do with either Wollaton brickworks or the Jacksons coal wharf , which were both nearby. A pity that at the time I never thought to take a photo of them, perhaps someone did and it's published somewhere.

I must go, the dogs are getting desperate for a run on the beach.

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I remember those boats Pete. And also the hours we spent cycling along the canal towpaths.

There are probably more leisure narrow boats on Britain's canals than ever there were commercial in the great days of working boats. The difference is, most narrow boats that you see are modern built from modern materials, not the old wooden leaky boats of yesteryear. It is amazing to see that many canals are being brought back to life. The Chesterfield canal, well over 200 years old, has been rebuilt from Chesterfield to Staveley, maybe even further. It is two years since my grand-daughter and I walked that section. I know that it is planned to re-open the whole canal, even Norwood tunnel.

Cromford canal maybe next. Bring it on.

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The canal met the Erewash & Cromford canals at Langley Mill. Part of it disappeared in an opencast coal mine at Shilo near Bennerley at the same time as the forty bridges also disappeared.

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When BTC took over the running of the canals in 1948 they carried out a massive cull of redundant barges ie: they were dumped and scuppered out the way. I recall a whole line of half sunk boats opposite the towpath on the Erewash canal stretching from Sheet Stores basin to Trent Lock, can anyone remember those.

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There were some on the Nottingham Canal near to where Trowell Garden Centre now is. I was once knocked off my bike when I took my eye off the towpath to look at the barges, hit my head on the bridge, and fell in.

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I bet you didn't half pong afterwards.

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I have mentioned this before but my Grandfather was Master Carpenter on the Nottingham Canal. He lived at No2 Radford Bridge Road which was I now believe to have been directly to the rear of the Crown Inn. I am always on the look out for more info on the subject.

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I seem to remember fishing in a disused canal near Radford Bridge/bottom of Ilkeston Rd. The only thing that looks like the remains of a canal are on the north boundary of the Uni campus. Does anyone remember this or have any maps of 50' Radford area?

Yes me too, I would go down Old Coach Road to play down the canal, we used to have a rope swing from a tree overhanging pit basin at the side of Wollaton Colliery the canal used to go from the Beeston Canal up past Hillside (Derby Road) under the bridge at Raliegh Island then past Wollaton Colliery on its way up to Northern Basin on the Erewash Canal. You can still walk the towpath from where it used to go under Coventry Lane and up through Cossal and beyond, there is the option to stop at Trowell Garden Centre where there is a nice cafe to break the journey.

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Raybo! I remember that swing. I used to watch the big lads get across safely then when I tried, I fell in. God did I stink.

From the early fifties when Dad used to take me along there to my grandmother's house at Wollaton (via the Martin's Pond allotments), I watched a complete but abandoned canal degenerate to a vandalised wreck in a short period of fifteen years. It was very beautiful to walk near when we were young. Dad used to point out the basking Pike probably lying in wait for its prey. When I talk to locals about the canal they can't believe there was a canal anywhere near.

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All very sad. Just think of the freight to be carried, the water able to be moved around in case of drought and the leisure facilities made available if canals were to be re-instated. Our planners should have gone to Specsavers.

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Raybo! I remember that swing. I used to watch the big lads get across safely then when I tried, I fell in. God did I stink.

From the early fifties when Dad used to take me along there to my grandmother's house at Wollaton (via the Martin's Pond allotments), I watched a complete but abandoned canal degenerate to a vandalised wreck in a short period of fifteen years. It was very beautiful to walk near when we were young. Dad used to point out the basking Pike probably lying in wait for its prey. When I talk to locals about the canal they can't believe there was a canal anywhere near.

Bilbraborn there was a huge Pike in the pound leading up to the pit basin and it sounds like the same one you saw as you mention the allotments which were just over the hedge, it was a beast of a thing and we all tried to catch it but all we got was snapped lines.

Do you remember the slag heaps from the pit? we use to get sheets of tin and slide down them, a dangerous pastime but a very enjoyable one, I remember coming down on an icy day and couldn't stop at the bottom. I slid across the bank and over the frozen canal to the other side with the ice cracking behind me, it still brings a chill to my spine just thinking about it."Kids who'd avem?" as mi mam used ta say.

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I remember well Raybo. But dangerous pastimes were the norm for us kids growing up around those parts. I consider myself so lucky to have had such a comprehensive adventure playground so close to home. Happy days.

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When I want to swear with out swearing I use the euphemism "Distant waterways" Farcanal. ;)

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Here are my memories of the Wollaton section of the Nottingham Canal set to verse.

WOLLATON CANAL

From Woodyard Lane it was seen both ways

To the east was Radford, where Lime trees sway.

And to the west, up the locks to Wollaton Pit,

Then onward to Trowell through the clay and the grit.

'Tween Radford Bridge and Woodyard Lane

It was filled in - there were submerged drains.

But westward, reflecting with silvery line

Up the last six locks to Wollaton Mine.

We cycled and played on the muddy towpath,

Casually skittish at the angler's wrath.

Saw sun-basking Pike awaiting its prey;

A Carp, a Tench or another to slay.

Although abandoned for twenty years,

It was full of water, arousing the fears

Of our parents, when we went there to play

With our Tadpole nets, on a sunny day.

The locks were all in good working order

On the Wollaton Canal near the Bilborough border.

Numbers fourteen and fifteen in isolation.

We played on their gates - no hesitation.

The crumbling brick bridge bearing Old Coach Road

Was never designed for heavy load.

A hump-backed design, made for horse and cart,

Making its way down to Wollaton Park.

The children swam in Lock number sixteen.

Diving from Coach Road bridge, they were seen.

Screaming and laughter from all around

As the children all played their happy sound.

Fishing contests in number fifteen pound

Where water Bailiffs once hung around

For the licence fee, and to watch the men,

To make sure they threw the fish back in again.

Then Lock seventeen, that's where we crossed,

On the way to my Gran's, then we wouldn't get lost.

A very peaceful part of the canal scene.

The water was still, the surroundings green.

On one side the embankment was dropping away

To the Wollaton Allotments, where we'd often stray.

Across the canal was the local pit tip

Near Tottle Brook from where water would drip.

In late Summer, we'd go down on the bank

To collect wild berries and fruit, and we sank

Up to our ankles in water and mud,

Ripped by the brambles, hands covered in blood.

Lock eighteen was near Wollaton Pit

Where barges once rested until the next trip.

Beyond Lock nineteen, it was all steaming and hot.

In winter local kids swam there a lot.

There was always the sound of the spinning pit wheel,

And the banging of railway trucks made of steel.

The warning whistle and hiss of steam.

It was truly a coal mine canal-side scene.

But this was the place where the late Bilborough Cut

Joined the canal near the lock-keeper's hut.

But most of it closed many decades ago

Leaving no sign of where it used to flow.

Then onward to Trowell and beyond to the north,

The majestic canal used to continue forth.

But my playground was there by the Wollaton flight

Going up to the pit where it turned to the right.

The canal was allowed to rot and decay

It was normal to treat old canals in this way.

The water dried up, the locks fell apart

Helped by young vandals who destroyed every part.

It has all been filled in, water piped underground.

New housing is all that is there to be found.

A small part of fifteen pound has been retained

Fitted with seats where the water was drained.

Down Torville Drive and bear to the right

From Trowell Road, try to remember the sight

Of the silvery water reflecting the sky.

Wollaton Canal, why did you die?

All that is left are memories from days

When the Wollaton Canal wended its way

Up the flight of locks near the Wollaton Mine.

Just down the road from the railway line.

,

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I am rather surprised about the distinct lack of photographs of the Nottingham Canal around the site of the Wollaton Flight.

There are a few relating to the 1960s, when the canal way in great disrepair but I have come across no photos from the 30s , 40s or 50s.

Does anyone possess any photos from this era ? Could they be posted on this site?

Also few (if any) photos exist of Brown's Woodyard, which gave rise to "The Woodyard Lane". Again has anyone photos of this?

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