The Tame Valley Canal was a relatively late (1844) addition to the Birmingham Canal Navigations.
The canal runs from Tame Valley Junction where it joins the Walsall Canal (near Ocker Hill and Toll End), and terminates at Salford Junction where it meets the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal and the Grand Union Canal. It is 8.5 miles (13.7 km) long and has twin towpaths throughout.
The thirteen Perry Barr Locks, where the level drops 106 feet, starts just beyond the A34. Many of the original lock keepers cottages remain.
The day boat was heading for GEC, or General Electric Company Ltd Witton Works.
GEC was incorporated as a private company in the late 19th C. The company expanded rapidly, opening new branches and factories and trading in ‘Everything Electrical’, a phrase that was to become synonymous with GEC. In 1893 GEC decided to invest in lamp manufacture. The resulting company, to become Osram in 1909, was to lead the way in lamp design and the burgeoning demand for electric lighting was to make GEC’s fortune.
In 1900 GEC was incorporated as a public limited company, The General Electric Company (1900) Ltd, (the ‘1900’ was dropped three years later). In 1902, GEC’s first purpose-built factory, the Witton Engineering Works was opened near Birmingham.
It would, by the 1960’s, employ 19,000 employees.