In 2013 we passed through Standedge Tunnel as we were filming for our South Pennine Ring DVDs. I was steering the boat and didn’t have much chance to appreciate the inside of the tunnel.
Here we are queuing in the early morning before the trip boats start operating.
When I saw Tom & Jan, on Waiouru, were approaching Standedge Tunnel I asked if I could join them and I was delighted to be allowed to sit in the bows all the way through. You get a much better view that way. I did offer to steer part way so Tom could admire the tunnel but he preferred to steer all the way.
I caught the train to Greenfield Station and walked the final two and a half miles to join Tom & Jan at the Diggle (South West) Portal to Standedge Tunnel.
We were soon heading into the Diggle Portal of Standedge Tunnel, with Tom steering and Trevor, the volunteer chaperone, providing advice.
The tunnel is difficult to steer as there are many changes of profile inside and the view from the stern, over the roof of the boat is very restricted.
Many parts of Standedge Tunnel are just exposed rock with pointy bits sticking out in all directions, ready to mark the paintwork if the steerer isn’t concentrating all the time.
There are several wider sections inside Standedge Tunnel where steering doesn’t require extra concentration, although it can be difficult to identify which side to keep to at the far end when it narrows again.
Arched sections of roof provide interesting reflections, unseen by the steerer, while retaining the sticking our bits of rock to catch the cabin sides.
Trip boats operate a short distance into the tunnel from the Marsden (North East) portal and we had to wait at the last check point while one entered the tunnel, then we followed it out.
The trip boat moors just outside the Marsden Portal of Standedge Tunnel and the guests watch for us emerging from the tunnel after seeing our approaching headlight when they were inside.
Tom (who has just removed his hard hat) and Trevor, the volunteer chaperone, emerge from the Marsden Portal of Standedge Tunnel.
The Tunnel Keeper’s Office is on the right, where all boat movements are controlled from. The Pennines behind, that we’ve just passed through, make an impressive sight.
A big thank you to Tom & Jan for allowing me to join them for this passage. There are lots more photos on Waiouru’s blog, including much better photos by their son, Daniel.
We’ve just finished a busy day setting up our stand at the Crick Boat Show.
We’ve moved location, a little, to get a bigger stand this year to celebrate our anniversaries, but we are still on the back row of the Boating Marquee. We’re now in the centre of the back row, between the fire doors.
It’s 10 years since we started producing DVDs and we’ve produced more than 50 DVDs.
The May issue is the 50th monthly update for our maps and we’ve produced more than 60 different maps.
Everything is in stock and we’ll be very pleased to see you. Please come and say hello if your are visiting the show – but please try to avoid the very busy middle part of Saturday if you would like a long chat.
If you would like to update your maps to the latest version then we can do it at a discounted price if you bring proof of your earlier purchase. If you email me in advance (email@example.com) then I can check my records and calculate the discount ready for you.
The Grand Union Canal – Leicester Section DVDs are available in our usual three formats:-
Popular – like a television programme showing the highlights of the canal
Bowcam – a forward facing camera, speeded up for a little fun, showing the whole canal
Combined – both Popular and Bowcam in one box for the best of both worlds, saving money and postage.
The DVDs follow the Leicester Section of the Grand Union Canal from Norton Junction to Trent Junction, including the Welford, Market Harborough and Loughborough Arms. We complete our journey along the Erewash Canal from Trent Junction to Langley Mill.
The Popular and Combined DVDs each include an information booklet and a fold-out map.