Wednesday, 18 January 2017

No blog posts

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.
Low cloud today meant there was little purpose in walking to the transmitter towers on Turners Hill as there would have been no visibility.  Tomorrow’s weather forecast is for continued low cloud which will further delay the walk. 

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 route.

At the top of each pole there was an extractor fan enclosed in a cage.  I wonder what purpose these serve.  Gases from landfill?

Bumble Hole Wharf was a surprise.  I hadn’t expected to find moored boats!
 Extract from Waterway Routes map

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 EndI couldn’t find any information regarding the windmill.

From here the walk took me uphill to Netherton.  Wikipedia has some interesting information regarding Netherton during the industrial revolution.

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. 

From Wikipedia

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 listed building.

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