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Dudley Canal No 1

The Dudley Canal No 1 runs from Tipton Junction where it meets the Birmingham Canal Old Main Line to Delph Bottom Lock where it joins the Stourbridge Canal.

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Facts & Stats

4.6 miles

(7.4 km)

The length of the Dudley Canal No 1 which is navigable.

12 locks

1960

Protest

The year activists from our IWA Midland Group arranged a protest cruise through the Canal’s tunnel to protest against its proposed closure.

The Dudley Tunnel

The Dudley Canal Line No 1 runs from Tipton Junction with Birmingham Canal Old Main Line to Delph Bottom Lock where it joins the Stourbridge Canal.

The Dudley Tunnel is 1.8 miles (2.9 km) long.

Campaign history: Dudley tunnel protest 1960

In 1960 the news was leaked that British Rail planned a Dudley Container depot and were proposing to remove the iron bridge crossing the Tipton end of the Dudley Tunnel and infill the canal with an earth embankment to carry heavier loads. British Waterways didn’t seem to resist this move which would have destroyed the canal through the tunnel.

In the autumn volunteers from our IWA Midland Group arranged a protest cruise through the tunnel. On a cold very foggy day they gathered in the Park Head Basin encouraged by IWA founder Robert Aickman and crept through the gloomy waterway.  When boats got stuck they took on water ballast and eventually managed to get through.  The local papers gave the campaign lots of good publicity and local support was gained.

The Dudley Tunnel Trust was formed and began running tunnel trips with an electric boat.

Navigation Notes

Maximum boat sizes

  • Length: 70′ 11″ (21.62 metres)
  • Beam: 7′ 4″ (2.24 metres)
  • Height: 7′ 5″ (2.26 metres)
  • Draught: 4′ 4″ (1.32 metres)

Navigation authority

Local activities