Press Release 28th of February 2018

Press Release 28th of February 2018

Restoring the Dudley the No 2 Canal across the former Battery Site

in Selly Oak Birmingham.

Since appointing Interserve as the main contractor in the summer of 2017 the Harvest Partnership of Sainsbury’s and Landsec is making very good progress in developing the Battery Site. They have just started work on canal enabling works to allow the canal to cross the site when it is reinstated and joins the Worcester & Birmingham Canal.

The original canal route was not economically viable, so a new 340m route running alongside the edge of the new Selly Oak Shopping Park was agreed between the Harvest Partnership and Birmingham City Council, with the Canal and River Trust advising as statutory consultee. Prior to accepting the plans there was a period of public consultation with illustrative reports, subject to detailed design development, from consultants Glenn Howells showing how the scheme may look and from Mace indicating a possible method of excavation when the development was completed. (The reports are included as condition 95 of the planning permission ref 2013/02178/PA). With a section 106 agreement in place the route and the winding hole is protected. Additionally, the developers are committed to spend £2,907,000 on “Canal Enabling Works”. The canal work includes amongst other things the bridge over the Worcester & Birmingham Canal, sheet metal piling both sides of the canal and the winding hole, and a concrete undercroft allowing the canal to pass underneath Sainsbury’s goods delivery yard. Included in the £2.9m is a sum of £500k as a contribution to a “canal procurement entity” to complete the “canal delivery works”, which include removing the soil from between the sheet metal piling and the winding hole (for boats to turn and enter the canal), lowering the services under the tow path, replacing a section of the tow path with a swing bridge at the junction with the Worcester & Birmingham Canal, and any other item to complete the canal.

The development includes a very large Sainsbury’s store, several smaller shop units, and an 18-storey student accommodation tower.

Thank you to Lapal Canal Trust committee member Arthur Moppett for regular photos recording the rapid progress being made on site. A temporary bridge over the Worcester & Birmingham canal has been built between the offices and the main site

Please follow progress on our web site and

For queries and  photos please contact

Hugh Humphreys,

Lapal Canal Trust, Tel 07970 766554

Walk the Line 2017

Walk the Line 2017 will be on Sept., 16 starting at 12 noon at the Scout Hut.

Following last year’s success you are invited to

Walk The Line 2017


Saturday 16th September at 12 noon

Non-members are most welcome

A most pleasing walk along the planned Over-the-Top route of the restored Lapal Canal, taking in the stunningly beautiful scenery along the Woodgate Valley.

  • We will meet at noon in Selly Oak Park by the Scout Hut off Gibbins Road, towards its junction with Harborne Lane. Please park in the Scouts’ car park.

  • We will walk to Halesowen along the Lapal Line (about 5 miles) pausing occasionally for brief explanations.

  • Please bring a picnic lunch. We plan to stop for lunch in California.

  • We will take the proposed "OTT" route through the picturesque Woodgate Valley and stop for an ice-cream at the Visitors’ Centre.

  • Our ramble rejoins the former Lapal Canal line and continues to Halesowen. Here the canal passes through the beautiful and historic Leasowes, once the most influential garden design in Britain where we will conclude .

  • Transport back to cars left at Selly Oak will be made available - whichever option you choose!

If you wish to join us, please would you let Tony Whateley know so we have some idea of the numbers 07751 100810 or

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.


 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.





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 !