BRIERLEY Hill resident and campaigner Adam Davies has teamed up with the Canal & River Trust to propose a restoration project to retell the history of the Delph's well-known Nine Locks.

The landmark, off Delph Road, Brierley Hill, comprises a flight of eight locks (previously nine!) with distinctive waterfall weirs which connect the Dudley and Stourbridge Canals.

Stourbridge News:

First opened in 1779 as a vital connection for transporting coal from Dudley to Stourbridge, the Nine Locks - which were later repositioned and rebuilt as eight locks in 1858 following subsidence problems - played an important role in the economic development of the area during and after the industrial revolution.

At the heart of proposals being mooted for the landmark are plans to clean up and repurpose the site’s old canal stable block building - thought to be the last remaining intact canal stable block in the Black Country.

Stourbridge News:

The repurposed building would be used as a ‘welcome station’ where passers-by could pick up leaflets and guides and chat with waterways volunteers about the history of the area.

Adam Davies, who approached the Canal & River Trust earlier this year about the idea, said: “Like so many local people, I have enjoyed countless walks along this stretch of canal and have had conversations with visitors from far and wide about its history. But too often those visitors understandably comment that the site’s past isn’t illustrated as obviously as it could be.

“Perhaps partly for that reason, although there can never be an excuse for vandalism, over the years the site has become a target for senseless graffiti which spoils what should be a valued place for everyone to enjoy and reflect on our engineering history with pride.

Stourbridge News:

Stourbridge News:

“That’s why I approached the Canal & River Trust to exchange ideas on making better use of the site, and to see if I might be able to help make those ideas a reality."

He said the response to his suggestions had been "phenomenal" and he added: "People really want to see this happen."

Keith Stevens, area operations manager for the Canal & River Trust which cares for the canals across the West Midlands, has stressed the importance of preserving the original character of the building as a key part of any plans.

Keith said: “Not only are the stables grade II listed, but they are also in a conservation area and the locks are also listed, so it is a very sensitive heritage area. Nevertheless, we want to give this original waterway gem a new lease of life so it’s here for generations to enjoy."

As well as locating historical information at the repurposed stable block, the team hope to raise funds to replace and update information boards which were installed beside the locks in the 1980s but have since been ruined by graffiti.

Stourbridge News:

The viability of basing a cycle hire scheme at the location is also being discussed along with the possibility of using the most original section of the building for educational visits from schools and community groups.

Although at a very early-stage, the proposals were warmly received when presented to the Brierley Hill Community Forum, Adam said, and he is calling on anyone interested in contributing to the project, or who has old photographs of the site, to get in touch by emailing him at