Canal walks and tours:

The walking tours of the picturesque canals of Smethwick can be revisited (download our printable map) so that you can follow our journey at your own pace. Combine this with a visit to the Galton Valley Canal Museum in Smethwick and you will have a wonderful afternoon out. Go to the http://www.sandwell.gov.uk/museumevents page for opening times, the Canal Museum can also be opened by appointment by the Friends of Galton Valley Canal Museum group.

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(above) Photographs by Ian Stenson

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(above) Photographs by Pooja Raj

Tours of the Factory Site:

There are several buildings on the Chance Glassworks site; the ‘Seven Storey’ being the most accessible. The other buildings are currently unavailable for tours. The Chance Glass Works Heritage Trust has kindly helped us to organise some mini tours of the site, and their popularity outstripped our ability to accommodate them! Mostly this was due to health and safety reasons, lack of exit points and uneven flooring and stairways. We are looking forward to a time when this will be fully restored and repurposed, so until then the buildings remain a mystery for some Chance enthusiasts. Until this time there will be some restricted tours of the factory building. Sign up to the newsletter at www.cgwht.org and the Chance Glass Works Heritage Trust on Facebook for updates.

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(above) Photographs by Ian Stenson

Jane’s Walk and Chance Glassworks Tours:

Who would have thought lighthouse engineering in Smethwick had a double link through Chance Glassworks but also through the canal network? Chance Glassworks not only links to the famous ‘frenel’ lighthouse lens but also through the canals that serve it. Despite the drizzle, tour goers and walkers enjoyed the sights on the way.

On Saturday 6th May, thirty lucky people (two groups) were treated to an exclusive tour of the glassworks with Mark Davies, chair of the Chance Glassworks Heritage Trust. On the same day we were also treated to an expert tour of the canals with another group of walkers guided by Wayne Sieverns, a friend of Galton Valley Canal Museum.

The Brindley canal is incidentally linked to lighthouse engineering through John Smeaton (1724-1728), a civil engineer. Smeaton not only made alterations to Brindley’s canal network in Smethwick he also designed the template for lighthouses through his innovative lighthouse design at Eddystone rocks near Plymouth. In 1759 Smeaton erected the 4th version of this, the very first offshore lighthouse in these perilous waters.

Smeaton’s lighthouse proved stronger than the rock it was built on. The lighthouse was re constructed at Plymouth Ho! as a tribute to Smeaton’s achievements.

MADE would like to say thank you to the Friends of Galton Valley canal museum (yet again) for opening the Pump House, serving refreshments and helping out with the canal walk.

Nita Newman, Community Heritage was presented with a Chance Glass Spider Web design bowl as a thank you for bringing a new audience to their venue.

Take a look at our photo galleries below for the memories of the day:

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(above) Photographs by Ian Stenson

Jane’s walk is a worldwide walking festival that happens every year in May. Find out more about walks in your area at http://janeswalk.org/