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Black Country Living Museum - canal arm - Castle Fields Boat Dock - narrowboat and the Lifting Bridge

This is the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley, West Midlands.

 

The museum was established in 1975, and the first buildings moved here in 1976. Since then a 26 acre site has been developed, with the unique conditions of living and working in the Black Country from the mid 19th century to early 20th century.

 

It is off Tipton Road in Dudley.

 

Canal Arm off the Dudley Canal at the Black Country Living Museum.

 

This is The Lifting Bridge.

 

It was built between the Ironworks and the Boatdock was built across the railway transhipment basin at Lloyds Proving House near Factory Junction in Tipton. Huge weights near hanging on chains over the four pulleys balance the weight of the roadway, and the deck can be raised and lowered by operating a small hand-winch,

 

The Lifting Bridge guards the entrance to the museum arm and prevents boats being removed. The flat deck of the bridge makes it easier for vehicles to cross the canal than if a fixed humpback bridge was used.

 

This is the Castle Fields Boat Docks.

 

Canal Boat Dock

 

The thousands of boats that used to work the Black Country canals all needed constant maintenance.

 

In this area there were many working boat yards, or docks, like this one, where boats were built and repaired. They were busy, cluttered places not unlike a modern scrap yard as it was common practise to break wooden boats, salvaging the ironwork.

 

Castlefields boat dock is typical of the many on the Black Country canal system of the period and is equipped to build new working craft and to repair those of iron or composite construction. The dock can accommodate three boats, drawn sideways out of the water by winches onto the slip.

 

Nothing on the boat dock was wasted and most of these buildings are made from reclaimed boat timbers.

 

The main buildings are the 1880s brick blacksmith’s forge containing a large general-purpose hearth with hand-operated bellows, the nail and rivet store, a woodshed, paint store and stable.

 

The two wheeled ‘rolling sheds’ were moved up and down the length of the boatyard on rails to provide shelter and allow work to continue in all weather.

 

The lifting bridge between the Ironworks and the Boat dock was built across the railway transhipment basin at Lloyds Proving House near Factory Junction at Tipton. Huge weights hanging on chains over the four pulleys balance the weight of the roadway and the deck can be raised and lowered by operating a small hand winch.

 

Narrowboat in the boat dock. In need of repair.

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Taken on August 14, 2011