Thursday, 3 July 2014

Bumblehole to Blowers Green via Hawne Basin

We do love some of these quaint English placenames!   This morning we reversed back the short distance to the junction and headed southeast down the Dudley No2 Canal to Hawne Basin. We may not get the opportunity to come back this way and for the want of a few hours it seemed silly to not go down to Hawne Basin. 

From A to B and then back to C.  Screen dump courtesy of WaterWay Routes canal maps.

After the first mile and two trips down the weed hatch we were considering whether the idea had been so sensible.

Along this length of canal were painted cut out steel silhouettes describing locations of interest.  The first of these was the old toll house.

We laughed at the way the silhouette included the words “Tollman Was Ere” replicating the graffiti. SmileOn his back was written.

  Gosty Hill Tunnel proved to be a bit of a challenge going down.  It was very shallow at the western end and Waiouru was forced to slowly struggle through.

At 509 metres it’s about a quarter the length of the Netherton Tunnel but it’s much narrower and very low in places.  The far end also has a few kinks in it just to make things more interesting.

The water was deeper at the far end of the tunnel and progress to Hawne Basin was considerably easier.  Initially we had discussed the idea of buying some cheap diesel at Hawne Basin but after collecting so many unwanted gifts around the propeller on the way there we decided against the idea.

We were both surprised by the number of boats moored in the basin and everyone we spoke to was quite friendly.

The trip back to Bumblehole was quicker and we stopped to top up the water tank and have lunch.

Looking back to the junction with the water point and cafe on the right.  The cafe appears to be a local community project.

Following Dudley Canal No2 we wound our way around the side of a valley with glimpses of residential properties and light industry.  However much of the route was a linear park. 

The BCN has been quite a revelation.  We had anticipated a grim and run down industrial vista and have been very pleasantly surprised to discover the reverse.

On reaching the Parkhead Junction we dumped the rubbish (in the skip) and did a hard left turn into what turned out to be a very deep lock with one very stiff gate.

Looking back up Parkhead Locks towards Dudley Tunnel

Jan was really…really struggling with the lower right gate.  It appeared I might have to assist but in the end she put her back  bum to the lock beam.  The plan was to reach the CRT Facilities and moorings at Merry Hill.  Another revelation!  A great mooring location in what appears to be a major canalside redevelopment.  At least three pubs and a short walk to a major retail park.  We’ll be off to Sainsburys tomorrow morning.

Dinner will either be at the Brewers Wharf or the local “spoons”.

Jan should have corrected all the Freudian slips in this post.  The location is Bumblehole and NOT Bumhole as I first wrote it!  Just three missing letters that make the world of difference… Smile

1 comment :

Andrew Tidy said...

Hi - my e-mail is andrew.tidy@sky.com Glad you are enjoying the BCN.