The Titford Canal branches off the old Birmingham Canal at Oldbury (the junction is now underneath the M5), and rises immediately up the 6 locks known to the old boatmen as "The Crow" (as they bordered the chemical works of Jim Crow). It was built to service the coal mines of the Titford Valley. Immediately above the locks is the Tat Bank Branch which was originally a navigable feeder to the Smethwick summit, and now feeds the Edgbaston (or Rotton Park) reservoir. The Canal splits at Portway Junction into the Portway Branch and the Causeway Green Branch, in the 'V' of which is the Titford Pool.
The Titford pool is now effectively two ponds, the larger adjacent to the Causeway Green Branch and the smaller beside the Portway Branch. They are still navigable with care, as proven by our photos of a group at the 50th birthday Rally of the BCN Society . There is an alternative entrance to the large pool, just beside the M5 bridge, but it is not generally recommended.
The sculpture, just at the junction, shows a miner digging for coal. The inscription on the side of the ladder reads: "The devil made coal: Made it black like his heart and hid it in the deepest recesses of the earth so that he might drive man mad in the finding of it."