About Us

My photo
In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Standedge all done and dusted and going back up....backwards!

Today was the day. Standedge tunnel in reverse. We did it from Diggle Portal 2 years ago in around 1 hour 50 with some damage to our paintwork so today we were hoping for no damage.  I gave quite a long post about that passage so if you fancy a read click here

C&RT arrived around 7. 30am which prompted me to get up, having enjoyed a bit of a lie in. Awake very early though, like 5.30am because the trains run almost within spitting distance of the canal and with Marsden station a stones throw away, the squeal of those breaks were ear piercing. Anyway we were met by John, who was to be our guide, bringing all the paraphernalia that was necessary for the journey, in a plastic box. I'm hoping most wont be needed. Hard hats (for us all) yes. Life jacket for Ian (Steering the boat), yes. Lamp, yes. First aid kit, yes. Fire extinguisher and air quality tester....oh 'eck hope not!!! Then out came the measuring stick. Dead on 6' 2" at our highest point, the tiller pin!

 A phone call was needed from one of the C&RT guys waiting at the first Adit ( cross tunnel) before we could leave. We were the first boat and before leaving I was given a safety talk by John...Keep head, arms, legs, hands and what ever else might be sticking out (what ever did he mean??) inside the boat at all times, and then we were off.

See I did wear the hard hat.

Notorious S bend

Another adit with escape ladder (top) and the bottom photo. The only place to see trains from this tunnel

The adits where we had to stop so John could phone in. Gave me a chance to take a photo of Ian (or tried to)

Top photo. Looks like blood but is a form of red mineral. Bottom photo. It was bolts like these that did the damage to our paintwork last time.

The light at the end of the tunnel

Daylight at last.

Time was much quicker, 1 hour 37m

Caught the corner and hand rails this time. But that was nothing to the damage this boat had.

We wanted to moor on the visitor/tunnel mooring before lock 32W but three boats waiting for passage and two moored boats took up all the space. So we descended that lock and tried to moor in the next pound. Got into the side okay but couldn't hammer in the pins.  So another quick look above the lock and two of the boats had disappeared. For only the second time in my cruising life (first was on the Lancaster) I reversed FS back into the lock and went up backwards! Such a popular spot at Grandpa's Ice cream parlour that Gongoozlers were out in force. But I did a perfect reverse into the lock and a perfect reverse straight into the space behind Oakapple. Anne and Jeff had taken one of those spaces having come through the tunnel after us but room in plenty. After the excitement of today we decided on a BBQ later. Only worry is the amount of people still walking the towpath including children and dogs. So a sharp eye will have to be kept on those embers with them dogs and kids (especially those cocking their legs) dogs I MEAN not the kids!!!

Going down

Looks like FS will be having another wash again tomorrow

Moored back at the top.

Back down this lock in the morning.

And the wildlife today,


Quaysider said...

we took a walk Diggle side a few weeks ago - If you're walking around, you'll probably already have spotted all the carved sandstone plaques in the towpath with historical facts - in the form of a game... It's lovely scenery too and we spotted some houses further down which we liked the look of... a couple up for sale as it happens but WAY out of our price range... such is life.

Great photos as always.


Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Thanks Mark, Yes we did see the game. Rolled the dice and thought abut playing but too many people around who would laugh at us oldies. Fascinating reading and good for educating the children.

Oakapple said...

Irene and Ian.

You are masters of the silent get away. We never heard you leave on Saturday morning. Absolutely love your photos of the tunnel. I didn't se a thing, just kept my head down. Beautiful wildlife photos also.

We're moored at Uppermills for a couple of days before resuming our next leg of the journey towards Manchester.

Will follow your journey on your blog.

Hope all your experiences are pleasant ones!!

Anne and Jeff nb Oasapple

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hi Anne and Jeff. Oops I seem to have spelt your names wrong. Will amend my posts to show the correct spelling. So glad we didn't wake you. Thankfully FS's engine has a hospital silencer and is very well sound proofed. Frightens fisherman to death as we creep up to them. It was good to meet you both and hopefully it wont be the last. Xxx

Blog Archive