SP0686 : Gas Street Basin - looking towards the tunnel (1968)

taken 54 years ago, near to Birmingham, Great Britain

Gas Street Basin - looking towards the tunnel (1968)
Gas Street Basin - looking towards the tunnel (1968)
From the very end of the Worcester & Birmingham Canal looking along the towpath to Broad Street tunnel. Above the tunnel is the truncated spire of the Unitarian Church of the Messiah sited on the far side of Broad Street and, unusually, built spanning the canal & adding to the length of the tunnel. The church opened in 1862 & closed in 1973 being replaced by a new church at Five Ways; demolition took place in 1978, thus removing a significant feature of the Basin skyline. In its time it had a significant part in the life of the city, amongst the congregation were Joseph & Neville Chamberlain.

For the equivalent 2008 view see SP0686 : Gas Street Basin, Birmingham - the changes are remarkable.

For a view from the tunnel mouth see SP0686 : Gas Street Basin - the view from Broad Street Tunnel (1968).
Gas Street Basin in 1968/1969

Stepping through the door of the high wall on Gas Street took one into a private & totally different world, completely cut off from the hustle & bustle of Broad Street.

In 1968 it was still the world (just) of working narrow boats & there was no indication what so ever of the transformation that was to come to Gas Street Basin. The Birmingham & Midland Carrying Company had been formed by enthusiasts in 1965 & a few of its boats could be found in the basin although in truth I think there was little trade for them by then.

Gas Street marked the point at which the Worcester & Birmingham Canal joined the Birmingham Canal Navigation & each company had its own basin separated by the Worcester Bar. Initially there was no connection between the 2 canals - the BCN refused it because of the fear of losing water to the W&B and any transhipment between boats had to be made manually. In 1815 an Act of Parliament allowed a connection to be made but with a stop lock to minimise water loss. This lock has long since been removed.

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SP0686, 2900 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
June 1968   (more nearby)
Thursday, 22 February, 2018
Geographical Context
City, Town centre  Canals 
Primary Subject of Photo
Canal Basin 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 0614 8663 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:28.6539N 1:54.6617W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 0623 8657
View Direction
Northwest (about 315 degrees)
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Image Type (about): geograph 
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