Yes there have been no posts for the last two days. Well nothing happened! We sat inside the warm boat staying out of the rain.
The only interesting thing was the connection between the phone and Zoom
router continued to work giving us internet coverage and we’re not using any of
our ‘Hotspot’ data allowance.
This afternoon I went for another local walk around Bumble Hole and then to
Netherton. The original plan was to visit the listed crane at Bumble Hole
Wharf. The anticlockwise walk took me along the alignment of the now abandoned
canal to reach the wharf. I noticed there were high round steel poles along the
At the top of each pole there was an extractor fan enclosed in a cage. I wonder
what purpose these serve. Gases from landfill?
There was no sign of the unusual crane and I’ve since read it was removed in
2002 as it was urgently in need of refurbishment. However I did notice the
formed windmill at the wharf.
If you look at the map above, the now partially abandoned loop is actually
the original route of the Dudley N02 Canal, which was subsequently shortened by
a new cut. The junction is known as Windmill
End. I couldn’t find any information regarding
From here the walk took me uphill to Netherton. Wikipedia has
some interesting information regarding Netherton during the industrial
In 1852 an inquiry into the sewerage, drainage and supply of water was
carried out, reporting to the General Board of Health. Its conclusions were very
damning for Netherton. A typical comment was: 'Old Netherton Town, Mr. Thomas
Woodall's buildings.- Drainage very horrible, with privies and piggeries as
usual, and no pavement. Procure water from a horse-pit nearly half a mile, and
it has to be carried up hill, mostly by girls, in little pails of about three
gallons, on their heads. This was a bad place for cholera'.
Amongst other things Netherton was known for it’s chain and anchor
manufacturing. This was done at the Hingley & Sons foundry. The anchors
for the Titanic were cast here and a replica anchor can be found in the centre
of the old market place.
Apparently the anchors weighed 15½ tons each and it took 20 shire horses to
move each anchor to the railhead at Dudley Port. The primary reason for walking
to Netherton was to check the Old Swan pub as a potential Sunday lunch
location. The pub is quite famous locally.
The current building dates from the 1860s but there has been a pub on the
site since at least 1835. It has been known as Ma Pardoe's since the interwar
years, as its long-term landlady was Doris Clare Pardoe (born 1899) who owned it
until her death in 1984, when she was 85 years old. Such was its fame among the
lovers of real ale, that when the pub came up for sale in 1985, a company was
set up by CAMRA
to purchase and run the pub. Although this company was short-lived,
the pub and brewery survived and it is now one of only a handful of pubs in the
West Midlands that still brews beer on its own premises. As well as for its
beer, the pub is also known for its decor including a ceiling decorated with
vitreous enamelled iron plates. The pub has been designated a Grade II