Sunday, 13 March 2011

Legging through Dudley Tunnel?

I always like doing waterways which are new to me, so, for our forthcoming two weeks on Shadow, I'm thinking of heading for the Stourbridge canal. There's plenty of scope for a circular cruise: Plan A is to head up the Oxford and Coventry canals; then the Birmingham and Fazeley; then to Wolverhampton via possibly the Tame Valley, Walsall, and Wyrely Wyrley and Essington; then down the Staffs and Worcs to Stourton Junction; then up the Stourbridge.

I would love to leg through the Dudley Tunnel if Shadow is deemed to have a low enough air draught. Nicholson suggests that all one has to do is give 24 hours' notice, "if possible", and there could even be an electric tug for escort. We would need extra crew for this, and, presumably, legging boards. My brother and I legged for fun through the short Woodley Tunnel on the Peak Forest Canal in 2005 (photo above) but did it by lying on the cabin top and "walking" along the roof of the tunnel. I can think of two reasons for legging to be done sideways, as it were: you're not constantly dislodging bits of soot and masonry into your eyes; and the width of a tunnel is probably more constant than its height.

Has anyone reading this legged through Dudley Tunnel? I'd like to hear from you if you have.

David, are you available in April? I'll let you know when I've worked out which day it's likely to be.

edited to correct spelling of Wyrley


Andy Tidy said...

Before you seriously consider the Dudley Tunnel take a look at the Tuesday Night Club's transit from a few years back. Flooded fore deck, 50 gallon barrels of water inside and 18" of water in the engine compartment! More recently Trent 2, a local working boat has made a passage but it has its hold half full of water. Personally, I would give up on that particular tunnel!

Halfie said...

Gulp! As Shadow is a shared ownership boat I think I'll use the Netherton Tunnel instead! (But I do want to leg through Dudley one day...) Thanks Andy.

Andy Tidy said...

A proposition for you. I have always wanted to go through the Netherton Tunnel but it will have to be on a trip boat. Once a month the Trust do a through trip from end to end. How about setting on a date and making it happen together before the end of the season?

Halfie said...

I think you mean Dudley Tunnel. Yes, that sounds like a great idea. I think we'd better do this by e-mail.

KevinTOO said...

Hi Halfie,
You should have a look at the Pennine Waterways blog... there is a forthcoming leggin' through the Standege Tunnel coming up in April and they are looking for volunteers too... here's the link scroll down to the penultimate paragraph for more info.
Best wishes, Kevin