About the Trust

The Lapal Canal Trust (LCT) was formed in 1990 when a group of inland waterway enthusiasts realised the restoration potential for the Dudley No. 2 Lapal Canal. Their initiating and persistent vision was that the use of modern engineering methods and materials would make it entirely feasible to reclaim the missing link between Hawne Basin and Selly Oak, via the long-disused but hugely-intriguing Lapal Tunnel.
Restoration would bring with it a host of benefits for the local community living alongside the canal as well as being a new route for boaters.

In 1997, following the restoration by Dudley Council of a section of the canal running through Leasowes Park, the Lapal Canal Trust commissioned Engineering and Design Consultants, Atkins, to produce a feasibility study.

Atkins Study (2007) found that the cost of restoring the Lapal Tunnel were prohibitive and recommended an alternative route going ‘over the top’ through Woodgate Valley. Dreams of restoring the tunnel were put aside and the new plan was embraced.

And so, The Lapal Canal Trust is determined to restore the derelict half of the Dudley No. 2 Canal from Selly Oak to Hawne Basin, incorporating a new ‘over the top’ route, which would provide even greater amenity benefits for the local community.

RECENT SUCCESS

The Harborne Wharf area in Selly Oak Park has been restored with the removal on about 2000 cubic metres of soil etc with the generous help of Careys whilst they were restoring the Battery Park area.

Trust Objectives

  1. Persuade local authorities, government departments and other interested statutory or non-statutory bodies of the benefits and feasibility of restoration
  2. Persuade land-owners and the public of the benefits and feasibility of restoration
  3. Secure and protect the line of the Canal
  4. Create partnerships with public and private sectors that will facilitate restoration of the Canal
  5. Implement an agreed programme for the restoration of the Canal or any part of it

Please click HERE to see the committee members.

LATEST NEWS

August 6, 2017 WRG Week

Week’s review.

We completed the work started last year on repairing and reinstating a brick wall in Harborne Wharf, in total 20 metres of wall with bricks removed, cleaned and replaced; in addition, two large tree stumps were removed from the wall. A work camp is a significant operation, a lot of careful planning before starting, method sheets and risk assessment forms to be prepared and materials and equipment ordered. On the last day, all the tools cleaned and carefully stored for the next group. This also applies to all the canteen cooking utensils as the WRG provide everything. Thanks also to Peter Fisher LCT Technical Officer for his tireless help during the week and now busy planning further work.
In addition to thanking the IWA Inland Waterway Association and their volunteers, we would like to thank the many organisations who supported us. In particular Rod Green who arranged accommodation at the Stonehouse Gang Club, Chris Wallace who gave us access to the Scout Hut facilities (toilets and kitchen) and also our friendly neighbour Michael Winwood who gave us a water connection and free electricity. Alex Jones who provided archaeological supervision and report. Also, Cathy and Dave who arranged a boat trip to Birmingham for the volunteers. Places for People Leisure for the use of showers in Harborne Baths and Coombeswood Canal Trust who provided the fuel for the excavator. Thanks again to the Headley Trust whose grant last year funded all the cost of accommodation and materials. As of this morning, during the week our Facebook page reached a total of over 31,000, thanks to everyone who shared. We will shortly issue a press release

See below for more details and photos.

WRG Party 29 July-5 August, 2017

Delighted to have the Waterway Recovery Group coming to help us for a 2nd year with Ian Gaston as team leader. They arrived on Saturday afternoon ready to start work on Sunday morning. They quickly got started on removing the tree damaging the canal wall, preparing the bricks and repairing the brick wall. For the Lapal Trust it’s an opportunity to make progress with our restoration and to attract publicity for our work; we have a target of over 10,000 to be watching our daily progress reports by the end of the week, so please help by sharing with your friends.

Day 2. Today Selco managed to deliver the excavator in the morning, followed by the Skip and the tons of ballast, sand, cements, and lime ordered. These were carefully stored under the old bridge. Further progress made with clearing the roots from the brick wall and the roots of the 40 year old Ash tree, more roots and damage to the wall than expected. The bricks removed are being carefully cleaned for re use. So far yesterday’s post has been seen by over 7200.Image may contain: 5 people, people smiling, people standing and outdoorDAY 3 Good progress with the tree roots removed from both sites, started to pour the concrete for the wall. Had to contend with a wasp nest. In the evening Lapal Canal Trust was pleased to host a dinner in town and a trip by boat. Thanks to Cathy and Dave and nb Bosworth Lady. Last post seen by over 13,400

Day 4 Another good day with the third tree trunk roots being removed. Tougher than expected, but nothing stands in the way of a determined WRG volunteer! Busy also producing concrete and mortar to repair and reinstate the brick wall

Day 5. Penultimate day with lots of rain, but work continued apace till late in the evening. Busy mixing lime mortar and brick laying with safe working a priority. This year’s camp has 3 students working for Duke of Edinburgh Awards. As well as first timers interested in learning new skills we have very experienced volunteers working to the highest professional standards. Experts at using a wide range of equipment with building skills to match. One of our volunteers is helping from another canal society and has 15 years volunteering experience. He was trained as an aerospace engineer. Bev our cook is also an expert bricklayer.

Image may contain: 1 person, outdoor

Lapal Canal at Harborne Wharf, Selly Oak Park, serves as flood protection

 Severn Trent has been pumping water into the Harborne Lane Lapal Canal basin in order to dry out the flooded hole in Harborne lane and the valve chamber in Selly Oak Park.

The same land drain was put in after the canal overflowed and flooded properties in Reservoir Road in 1958 because British Rail had blocked the junction with the Worcwster and B'ham canal in 1953.  The canal channel is now working as a flood safety measure.

AGM Retirement of Dr Peter Best

  Thanks to all the members who attended our AGM, a good turnout. Dr Peter Best reviewed the good progress over the last 12 months. In Harborne Wharf this included, Carey’s generous contribution to remove 2000 cubic metres of soil to have it back in water and Water Recovery Groups canal wall restoration, also progress on the Battery Site and refocusing on restoring the canal to California. After 16 years as Chairman Peter had decided to step down and becomes President. Warm thanks for Peter's huge contribution and an inscribed tankard from all of us presented by Terry Stanton. Terry has agreed to become our new Chairman, Tony continues as Treasurer and Secretary, Hugh becomes Vice Chairman, Peter Fisher Technical Manager and Dennis as Volunteer Coordinator. We would like to strengthen our committee so if you are interested please come to our regular monthly meeting, 2nd Monday of the month in Sainsbury’s café in Selly Oak at 19.30.  

Dates for your Diary

DATES for your DIARY

 July 29 - August 5  2017

A further week of the WRG Volunteers has been organised for the above week.

COMMITTEE MEETINGS

 Your Committee (Directors plus Committee Members) hold monthly meetings, normally on the second Monday of each month at 7.30 pm at the Café in Sainsburys at Selly Oak.

We are always looking for more members to participate in all aspects of the Trust. Please come to a Committee meeting if you can help. (next meeting on Mon., Aug., 14, 2017 )

In particular, we need help with Website Management and Newsletter Editing.

We have also held infrequent meetings of the Directors, when necessary.

 

 

 

PROGRESS IN SELLY OAK PARK and in the BATTERY SITE

Posted on Aug., 6, 2017

The Harborne Wharf area in Selly Oak Park was restored in November, 2015 with the removal of about 2000 cubic metres of soil etc with the generous help of Careys whilst they were restoring the Battery Site area.

Since then, two WRG parties have rebuilt the wall along Harborne Wharf and started restoration on the other side of the Old Bridge.

In July, 2017, work commenced on the Battery Site by Interserve, who will be digging out the canal channel across the Battery Site to join the Harborne Wharf section of water to the Worcester and Birmingham canal.

It is great to see all this action !

Towpath repair

Dear Friends – Behind the Scout hut in Selly Oak Park … Following our 2 ‘scrub bashes’ in December and January, we’ve repaired the towpath between what we believe to be the newest and oldest bridges in Birmingham.  Unfortunately, our whacker did not whack properly on the day so we’re trying to obtain a small roller to compact the aggregate properly. From the attached photo, you can now imagine more easily how a restored canal will look, with a very wide basin behind the Scout hut, people fishing, kayaking, etc.  It will enhance the Park and provide further ecosystems for a greater variety of wildlife, especially with ‘clever’ planting.  The repaired towpath will help keep the weeds down and provides a better surface for pedestrians.  We’re really looking forward to connecting through to Battery Park where it will provide a safer route to the new shops, avoiding crossing busy roads. One of the reasons for our activity, is to help Harvest (the Sainsbury’s/Land Securities partnership) and the Council appreciate the importance of a canal through Battery Park and that LCT is serious about the ‘follow-on’ stage, even in this awful economic time. Below is an artist’s impression of the narrow bit of the canal as it would run between the shops in Battery Park.  (The canal will widen once it has passed the shops.) website http://www.sellyoak-regeneration.co.uk/ We thank everyone involved who helped make this happen, those who support LCT aims and especially those who contributed their labour. Ivor (Chambers) – if you have their email addresses, please would you pass this picture on to Geoff, and also those who helped at the Dec/Jan work parties. Kind regards, Helen (Jones) Editor, Lapal Link