Tuesday, 25 August 2015

First in the queue for Standedge Tunnel

We both woke up at 0640 so we decided to make an early getaway from Slaithwaite. We were in the first of today's 21 locks at 0730 and saw no other moving boats until almost at Marsden. I'd cycled ahead to get the next lock ready and was surprised to see a boat coming down. Jan was even more surprised when a boat popped out of the lock she was expecting to go straight into.

We had excellent weather for the final ascent to the summit pound with plenty of sunshine and no rain. At last we seemed to be getting nearer the Pennine hills.

This is looking back to Slaithwaite from Lock 23E.

And here are the hills!

Many of the locks have marvellous stone tail bridges such as here by Sparth Reservoir.

Looking back at photos it's easy to see where you were as every balance beam has the lock number in huge stencilled characters.

We tied up immediately beyond the top lock, 42E, having arrived at about 1230. We had had no delays, there was enough water in all the pounds - the slow going was on account of the slowish filling locks. Every lock was a deep lock. Nicholson doesn't give the fall, but each one must have been 10' plus.

1600 was the earliest we were allowed to move to the tunnel portal, so I got ready to go five minutes beforehand. As I set off for the five minute cruise a Shire Cruisers hire boat followed. We are now in position to be the first boat through in the morning - yet another early up for us! I have a feeling we might allow ourselves a lie-in the day after.

After watering up we walked round Marsden church and village; back at the boat we had tea and walked up the hill over the tunnel. I should say "tunnels" as there are at least two rail tunnels as well as the canal tunnel. I seem to remember there are actually four bores - no doubt I'll find out tomorrow from the CRT "pilot" who will accompany us at the helm.

Thinking about this, I wonder where he or she will actually stand. Jubilee has a traditional-style stern with room for one steerer in the "safe" position forward of the tiller arc. Another thing I'll discover tomorrow.

Our boat "inspection" is at 0800. I'm hoping I won't have to remove the solar panels or the pigeon boxes.

One thing about our location here at the tunnel mouth: the trains. We are right next to the railway line with passenger trains thundering past every few minutes. I expect they'll stop overnight and be our alarm call in the morning.


Anonymous said...


Richard, NB ID

Pip and Mick said...

Hope you got through the tunnel okay before it shut.
Pip and Mick