The Tuesday Night Club Official Web Site

The Tuesday Night Club on Tour

Index

Tours 2000, BCN, Severn Estuary, K&A and River Wey

7 - Thursday 6th July - Windmill End - Dudley No2 Canal to Hawne Basin and back. Boshboil and Bumblehole Branches. Dudley No1 Canal to Merry Hill.

Short day today after knackering day yesterday involving the de-ballasting. Excellent weather, but only until17.00, when rain started AGAIN! Eventually left Windmill End at 12.05 after Julian E mega breaky. Reversed back to junction and started off down Dudley No2 canal toward Hawne Basin. We stopped just before Gosty Hill Tunnel as Julian E wanted to visit "The Boat" pub. We were still in the middle of washing, so the engine could not be switched off. Neil stayed behind and did a lot of "tidying up" after the OBS de-ballasting. Eventually he was relieved by Colin and got to experience this unspoilt Banks pub. We shoved off again at 14.40 and with Julian E steering  for operational reasons. We took 20 mins to get through the tunnel. The low section at the south end seemed much lower and more likely to scrape the handrails than the Dudley Tunnel, when Earnest was ballasted and just cleared the Tipton gauge. Sssssh!, don't tell BW or they will put a ridiculously low gauge on this as well! We carried on past the "End of navigation" notices at the basin entrance / winding point and crept on until we hit the collapsed and half cut up steel bridge, beside the end of the basin yard (15.30). 
We were not challenged, but many interested faces appeared, to make sure we did not whack any of the line of moored boats along this last stretch. Neil spotted on the yard "Aunt Rose", the rust ridden Springer ex-Bridgewater hire boat that sank in Harefield Marina. It looked as though it had had a complete new bottom, chines and sides up to water line. We had to wait before the winding point as the trip boat came back. Eventually we winded, de-weeded and set of at 15.55. The last traces of the demolition of the once mighty steelworks could be seen. Neil did a slightly more spirited passage of the Gosty Hill Tunnel in 10 mins. At 17.20 We neared the end of the Dudley No2 and Neil decided to go into Warrens Hall Colliery Basin for the first time. This proved a bit stodgy and a bit  of oily black sh*t was kicked up. As fishermen were watching from the non connected pool beside this so we did not get to the far end. We did not want the EA to be called out again! 
At 17.28 we passed straight over Windmill End Junction and got into the rushes at the end of the Boshboil Arm. As Neil was reversing out he noticed a VERY fast approaching Anglo Welsh hire boat, so we let this go first. We got out of this short arm at 17.40, then went further down the Dudley No1 Canal to enter the Bumblehole Arm. This proved very stodgy and overgrown by bushes and trees. We used the two poles in time old fashion, as Neil declared this a no bow-thruster zone. There was an old BCN day boat by the entrance to the tiny basin / winding point, but at this point there was a yellow floating cable securely fastened across the entrance. 
As it was pi**ing with rain we retreated, all steering being via the poles. At 18.20 we eventually got back on the Dudley No1 and headed off towards Merry Hill at a much easier pace than when we came up from here after doing the Dudley Tunnel. We passed Parkhead Junction at 19.20. Neil was on lock duty in the rain and managed the lock while having conversation with John Rushbrook on the mobile. Someone was still in the Dudley Tunnel Trust offices / Blowers green Pump House an they showed more than a passing interest in the acres of green hull above the water line of Earnest. We eventually arrived at the Waterfront Visitor Moorings at Merry Hill (20.10) It was still very overcast, blowy and spitting with rain. Soon we were in the "Imperial" chinky. This proved a good meal, the service was very attentive and we got FOUR sets of hot towels during the meal, maybe they though we looked a bit dirty. Neil managed to shift the last vestiges of blue dye? that got on his hands today!!!!!


The gauging point at the top of the Dudley No2 Canal. Windmill End.

Warrens Hall Colliery Basin, that we would visit on the way back. The top of the Dudley No2 Canal. Windmill End.

Dudley No2 Canal. 

Approaching Gosty Hill Tunnel, Old Hill. Dudley No2 Canal. 

About to enter Gosty Hill Tunnel. Note the lay-by at the side where the old tunnel tug used to moor up. Dudley No2 Canal. 

Coombeswood. Where the mighty steelworks used to criss-cross the canal. Dudley No2 Canal. 

Coombeswood. Where the mighty steelworks used to criss-cross the canal. Dudley No2 Canal. 

Approaching the end. Coombes Footbridge. Dudley No2 Canal. 

Approaching the end. Dudley No2 Canal. 

The entrance to Hawne Basin and the winding point. Note "end of navigation" notice!!! Dudley No2 Canal. 

We carry on to the real end. Hawne Basin. Dudley No2 Canal. 

The real end. Hawne Basin. Dudley No2 Canal. 

The real end for present. Hawne Basin. Dudley No2 Canal. 

Coming back. Gosty Hill Tunnel. Dudley No2 Canal. 

We get most of the way into Warrens Hall Colliery Basin at the Windmill End end of the Dudley No2 Canal.

We have just started on the Boshboil Arm. Windmill End.

The end of the Boshboil Arm.

Looking back from the end of the Boshboil Arm.

Windmill End Junction BCN signpost. Dudley No1 Canal.

We are just turning into the Bumblehole Branch. Dudley No1 Canal.

The VERY low bridge at the start of the Bumblehole Arm. Dudley No1 Canal.

We have just been under the low bridge at the start of the Bumblehole Arm. Dudley No1 Canal.

The end of the Bumblehole Arm for us. Note the yellow plastic covered cable across the canal. Dudley No1 Canal.

Looking back from the end of the Bumblehole Arm. Still pouring with rain. Dudley No1 Canal.

Blowers Green Lock and Pump House at Parkhead Junction. Dudley No1 Canal.

Blowers Green Deep Lock. Dudley No1 Canal.

Blowers Green Lock,  looking back at the Parkhead Locks up to the Dudley Tunnel. Dudley No1 Canal.

Parkhead Junction BCN signpost. Dudley No1 Canal.

The entrance to the abandoned two lock line, that by-passed the corner at Blowers Green.  Dudley No1 Canal.

The Waterfront at Merry Hill looms in the distance. Dudley No1 Canal.

The Waterfront at Merry Hill. Dudley No1 Canal.

The Waterfront at Merry Hill. Dudley No1 Canal.

Brewers Wharf pub at The Waterfront at Merry Hill. Dudley No1 Canal.

The Waterfront at Merry Hill. Dudley No1 Canal.

The Tour continues....

Tuesday Night Club Members | The History of The Tuesday Night Club
Home Page | "Earnest" | "Beatty" | Canal Restoration