News and information for our Members, Moorers and Friends




History of the Coombeswood Canal Trust

Hawne Basin is owned by the members of Coombeswood Canal Trust and is surrounded by typical Black Country trading estates on all sides. Hidden away from the outside world, the basin is only visible from certain vantage points and offers a stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of modern life.

30th anniversary presentation of the story of Coombeswood Canal Trust
given by Dave Necklen after the 2007 AGM

(please adjust the quality of the video in settings to 1080p)


(extracted from the above Presentation)

1798 The Dudley No.2 canal is opened from Park Head to Selly Oak.

Early 1800s The original Basin is built, probably to serve Hawne Colliery, thought to be the oldest colliery in Halesowen. A horse-drawn tramroad led to the basin from the colliery across the river Stour, over a stone bridge which still exists.

1883 The colliery ceased production

1898 A Great Western Railways Act authorises construction of the Halesowen Basin Branch.

1898 The Basin is enlarged and railway access and sidings built.

1902 The rail branch from Halesowen station to Hawne Basin is opened on 2nd April.

June 5th 1967 Boat traffic ceases, Basin closed. The railway remains open to supply Walter Sommers .

Oct 1st 1969 Basin Branch railway closed.

1970 Transshipment shed demolished, rail lines lifted.

1975 Letters are written by the IWA to Dudley Council and others promoting the value of Hawne Basin for moorings etc.

14th October 1976 First meeting IWA steering committee decides to become the Coombeswood Canal Company to seek the retention of Hawne Basin and its development for boating and related activities.

November 29th 1977 First meeting of members of CCC at Seven Stars Hotel, Seisden.

January 1978 The first Newsletter

January 24th 1978 Second Members Meeting of CCC at “The Old Bush Revived” Powke Lane, Blackheath.

Summer 1978 - Netherton Tunnel closed for repairs.

1979 Announced in January that Hawne Basin is now in ownership of Dudley MBC. Basin and canal arm dredged by dragline, dredgings spread on land formerly occupied by rail lines. Work funded by WMCC.

24th May 1979 Meeting held at the Caslon Hall, Halesowen Library to discuss the formation of a Trust to operate Hawne Basin. Representatives from Dudley MBC and West Midlands County Council, waterways societies including CCC, and BW.

14th June 1979 CCT recommended as the body to operate the Basin on behalf of the Council and in the general interests of the public. CCT to become a charity.

10th July 1979 SGM held approves name change from CCC to CCT. Oour membership numbers around 50.

September 1979 Draft lease agreed with Dudley in September.

January 1980 Permission to occupy Hawne Basin.

Feb/Mar 1980 Dredgings have dried, so the land was levelled and covered with shale.

5th - 6th April 1980 Easter Rally hekl at the Basin

August 1980 First mooring boat arrives - Tony Jennings "Interlude"

Sept 1980 Two residential boats arrive; John Rudge “Betty” and Richard Hurley “Joseph”. Registration of CCT as a Charity on-going. Security fencing erected, no gates! Work parties underway

December 1980 Gates fitted, Basin secure.

January/February 1981 Water supply & sewage disposal working. 10 moorers in Basin. Chris Burton rebuilding bridge.

18th - 20th April 1981 Easter Rally at Basin,

May 1981 Basin wall repairs being carried out by Youth Opportunities Persons. Toilet block construction to start

22nd February 1982 Hawne Primary School children plant 20 trees

10th to 12th April 1982 Easter Rally

29th June 1982 Coombeswood Canal Trust formed

28th August 1982 Naming and opening Burton Bridge by David Hutchings and the Mayor of Dudley

March 1983 CCT logo adopted designed by Gunter Toennig

September 1983 "Matty Butty" launched by David Caunt

January 1984 Over 40 boats moored.

17th April 1984 Netherton Tunnel re-opened

21st - 22nd April Netherton Tunnel re-opening Rally

January 1985 Approaching 70 boats moored

September 1985 Electric points completed around the Basin

March 1986 First "Interchange" published (Newsletter 33)

27th - 28th September 1986 First Black Country Boating Festival

20th February 2001 Coombeswood Canal Trust - re-formed as a Company Limited by Guarantee and not having a share capital


Coombeswood Canal Trust, a Company limited by Guarantee
Hawne Basin, Hereward Rise, Halesowen, West Midlands, B62 8AW.
Telephone: 0121 550 1355   
SkyName: coombeswood
Registered Charity No. 1088978