Selly Oak Park & Ride scheme

Cantoo was commissioned by Centro to develop designs for the new Selly Oak Park & Ride Scheme.

Historical research by artist Paula Woof showed that the site had been used for a number of purposes. Thus the overall design concept for the scheme is based on references to previous industries and processes that took place on the site.

Principally the site was used by the canals in the late 1800s as a coal storage depot. The cutting of the canal was authorised in 1791 and completed in 1815. This completely changed everything as a canal was also being cut from Dudley, Netherton thus opening up a vital route for the transport of coal. A coal factor set up on the wharf and there was a limekiln behind the library. There were several disagreements between the different canal companies which, although resolved in order to complete the link, eventually led to it being closed again after a number of years.

The link is now filled in; it may have been exhaustion of the coal supplies as well. The canal was at first used by navvies and people working the locks, toll bars and wharves and houses were built for them on the canal side.

Artists : Paula Woof / Eric Klein Velderman