Saturday, 13 August 2016

Dudley Tunnel: the moment of truth nears

I'm hoping this might be me on Monday.

"The Legger" is a sculpture in the Merry Hill shopping centre. There are other good pieces of artwork here. We were surprised while having breakfast to be passed by a boat going up the Delph locks. This meant that all the locks had to be turned. Oh well - yesterday's 16 all with us was unlikely to be repeated.

After using the facilities at Blowers Green, the junction between Dudley Nos. 1 and 2 Canals, we ventured onto new waters going up the three Park Head Locks. Here we are under Park Head Viaduct.

And then ... would we fit under the tunnel gauge?

We approached the Dudley Tunnel entrance gingerly and stopped immediately in front of the gauge. As things stand we are not going to fit. And it's not a plastic drapy kind of gauge; this is a sturdy piece of steel bolted in place.

The mushroom vents I think would fit, but the pigeon boxes and solar panels would have to be removed. This shouldn't be too difficult as the pigeon boxes are secured with a couple of Allen bolts and the panels are not stuck down. More of a problem are the chimney collar and the roof furniture cradles.

I tried moving heavy stuff from the back of the boat to the front, but this didn't make enough difference. We should have three extra bodies on board for the passage - if it goes ahead - which will help, but I'm beginning to think this might not happen.

Tomorrow I'll spin the boat round and offer the back end up to the gauge. If that doesn't fit then I think I'll have to cancel. The back has less air draught than the front.


stevecarter said...

Hi John,

The folk from the tunnel have a portable gauge that I hoped they would use on Chyandour last year, but the guy took a preliminary look and said, "Square peg, round hole - sorry!" and that was that.
From your picture I think the same applies - it is the corners of the tumblehome that will prevent passage.

Peace and all good.

Halfie said...

Steve, yes indeed. If only the tumblehome was more pronounced - even then we wouldn't fit!

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