Sunday, 12 May 2013

Much easier than I thought … in fact quite a good day!

Today is the day!
 We’ve spent all morning clearing the roof of Rock n Roll - it’s been a long time since we’ve seen it like this - I like it!
 No pram cover - looks a bit naked!
The tunnel guides arrived with the first boat through from the East Portal at Marsden at 10am and we felt under a bit of pressure now to make sure everything was ok.  The ‘pile’ on the grass is all the equipment the guide will need to see us through Standedge Tunnel safely.

The ‘measuring men’ with their metal right-angle and clip board arrived to see if RnR measured up correctly - she did! So we’re good to go!

 12:45 and our guide Fred and George (yes, that is him) are appropriately attired and briefed for the journey.  I will stay inside with Molly and hope we don’t get stuck in there!
 The gates are open and we approach the south portal … this is the highest, longest and deepest tunnel in the UK
 … and in we go!  Some areas have been repaired using stone and brick
(Photo Huddersfield Canal Society) The tunnel was created using dynamite
 An hour and a half later and through the cratch window and the end is in sight - in this picture you can see the rough exposed rock on the left.
 5 minutes later and the end seems to be round a bend - in fact tunnel was built from both ends but the meeting point happened to be ‘out’ by about 38feet - not bad considering it was built between 1794 and 1804!
 Getting closer ...
 … and a waterfall!
 1 hour 55 minutes it took - and we’re at Marsden.  George thoroughly enjoyed the cruise; he and Fred got on great and I could hear lots of laughter coming through the tunnel!  We did ‘bump’ a couple of times and once I heard George say ‘I need to concentrate more on what I’m doing!'
 This part of Marsden is so beautiful - look at those cottages in the fold of the hills!
 Rock n Roll and Irene Grace moored up for the night - it’s been a long day indeed!
 Before we settled in for the night a walk into the town of Marsen.  This is a mock-up of a Pinfold which were used to contain stray animals.  The Pinder was responsible for charging farmers for keeping or selling unclaimed animals.
 The township of Marsden flows down the steep hillside
 St Bartholomews Church in a leafy setting
The Mechanics Institute 
Tortured trees in the woodland alongside the canal as we walk back 
 Walking above Standedge ...
 … to the reservoir which feeds the tunnel and locks at the summit ...
… via this channel
 The stone was commissioned by the daughter of David Whitehead reputed to have been the fastest legger through the tunnel in 1914.


  1. Looks quite an experience and a bit scary, I would have enjoyed that tunnel journey xx

  2. Hi George and Carol, we had been looking forward to your blog on the standedge tunnel, sounds like it went really well for you both, did you sustain much damage? just interested as we would like to try it ourselves but so many people seem to put us off? Great blog and the countryside looks fantastic up there, look forward to your great pictures in the coming days. Have a great trip. Doug and James

    1. Hi both of you, Not sure if you’ve been following the journey up to the Standedge Tunnel - it has certainly been extremely challenging. If you read the postings since April 26th you will see the problems we’ve had. Apart from a couple of scratches on the rubbing strip at the bow the tunnel journey was straightforward and as you’ve mentioned, the scenery up here is out of this world - spectacular! See ...

  3. Thanks for the reply, yes we have been following your blog, for years. so don't worry we don't miss much! and had been reading about your problems on the way! Glad the weather is improving up there for you....

  4. Hi Carol and George,

    I really enjoyed reading about your journey through Standedge - you are certainly having an adventure up there on The Huddersfield Narrow!

    Ali (nb Micky Jay)