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'Diagonal lock' campaigner calls for BCN museum

Engineer and waterways campaigner Terry Fogarty has proposed a plan to set up a museum in Birmingham dedicated to the canals of the city, and the role they have played in its development.

Surprisingly, the ‘Second City’ doesn’t have its own canal museum, despite being at the heart of Britain’s waterways.  

Terry, who has been promoting his own invention of the ‘diagonal lock’ for almost decade, believes a museum could be located alongside the Camp Hill Locks at Bordesley, where the Grand Union Canal meets the Birmingham Canal navigations.

“I haven’t got a specific building in mind for the museum, but there are plenty of disused buildings that could serve the purpose,” he said.  “The area around the Camp Hill flight is badly neglected and discourages boaters as well as tourists. A museum would act as a focus for development and improvements.

Another suggested location for a BCN museum has been at the old (and long-closed) ‘Fiddle & Bone’ pub, near Brindley Place. However, he criticises that as too central, losing the opportunity to regenerate the area around Camp Hill, at Acock’s Green and Bordesley.

Terry’s diagonal lock vision is not short of sceptics. Many have criticised it as ‘hare-brained’ or worse. However, Terry says it has been backed in principle by BW chief engineer, George Ballinger. Installing the first one at Camp Hill would be a perfect accompaniment to the museum, proving the concept and drawing in the tourists.

He has now raised his museum idea with South Birmingham Development Planning and Regeneration official Peter Wright, who has already publicly backed the diagonal lock proposal.

Tuesday 1 May  | Andrew Denny  | 12.31pm, Tuesday 1 May 2012

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