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Captain Pegg

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Everything posted by Captain Pegg

  1. It passes close to, but not directly underneath. There’s an air shaft by the side of the road a few hundred metres from the training ground.
  2. Harriett Gibbons' nephew's wife is my great grand-aunt. Keep researching and eventually you'll find you can connect pretty much every canal boatperson there ever was to one another. Ultimately I decided to distinguish between those I was genuinely related to (by blood or legal adoption) from those I am linked to by a series of births and marriages, simply because the latter is an ever growing list. It's still interesting to add well known names to it though. Coincidentally, as a toddler in the early 70s I used to spend Thursday mornings at Sutton Stop with my granddad dipping a fishing net in the canal in the vicinity of Friendship. Never swam in the canal though.
  3. Wast Hills is a superb tunnel, I think because it is a bit eerie and it's a literal portal between city and country. There is a sense of leaving and entering different worlds. I once boated through it with no headlight, albeit not intentionally. (I've just twigged that when Rob says he's boated through it with just a head torch it probably was steering my boat rather than his own). A couple of years ago as I slowed to make sure the prop was clear on entering the northern portal I was asked by a couple of anglers whether the canal went anywhere. They were locals and seemingly had no concept that the canal continued beyond the tunnel. I managed to describe to them that the other end was near the Hopwood House pub just up from junction 2 of the M42. They knew where that was. I'm not bothered by the spookiness, I quite like being the only boat in a tunnel. The photo below was taken at about 1900 on 31st October last. Not a night to be travelling through for anyone that believes in ghosts.
  4. I also believe I've seen it written like that but I think it's just a pun (or a very fortuitous spelling mistake).
  5. Genius! That's how to 'navigate' the prohibited but legally open stub of the Wednesbury Canal from Ryders Green Junction. That's the only bit of the extant connected BCN I have never navigated. I don't think any boat will ever make it down there again.
  6. Well I've learnt something too as I didn't know the Midland Railway ever owned any of Brunel's broad gauge infrastructure. The operation of the parallel and often inter-mingled Midland and Great Western lines between Cheltenham and Standish Junction (the place 1/2 mile north of Ocean that you refer to) was complicated until they were rationalised in 1960s/70s. As for Beard's Mill viaduct the original Brunel timber viaduct must be long gone?
  7. Costy Hill is another historic alternative name for the tunnel.
  8. Presumably that's on the line that goes through Stroud which the canal parallels up to Sapperton tunnel. That line was part of the GWR's original South Wales Main Line. Although the Bristol & Gloucester Railway was originally broad gauge. Brunel may have been that company's Engineer.
  9. It was never a GWR line, only part of BR's Western Region. It was built by the Bristol & Gloucester Railway company that was bought by the Midland Railway to become part of their Birmingham to Bristol route.
  10. I'm not familiar with HNC paddle gear but since the thread had been resurrected after being dormant for 8 years none of the posts before mine had been explicitly about the HNC, it was a generic discussion.
  11. Yes, that, and the fact that nearly every boat has an engine these days. It's a lot more difficult and dangerous than engaging reverse. Nor are strapping posts universal.
  12. If there are other boats that have made it through unscathed then I'd think it almost certain that I could. Just checked the height vs width dimensions and I barely register on the scale. Still have to avoid those sticky out bits though. I'll let the Chief Officer steer. My concentration span is very short.
  13. Been a lot of years since I went through there but I don't recall it being massively awkward. Isn't it about 9' wide? Sounds to me like you're willing to wager that pint I mentioned.
  14. Don't think I'll be needing my leggers 😂
  15. Well I've never seen the inside of the tunnel other than in photos or videos so while I couldn't be totally confident I'd happily wager a pint they wouldn't get marked. Certainly if I actively tried to avoid it. Although will I be allowed to steer?
  16. I'm tempted to try the Pennine canals next year. I'll try my hardest to scuff the cabin handrails on the sides of Standedge Tunnel.
  17. My pet hate is folks dropping the offside paddle before the top gate is open in a narrow lock. Particularly folk who do it while there is still 6" to go. I often volunteer to work the offside paddles myself when single handing to stop volockies engaging in such practice as they seem wont to do. It's just a polite way of saying "don't do that you numpty because it'd be quicker without your help". It rarely seems to occur to folk - mostly blokes that seem to think some great disaster will befall their boat should they ever leave the helm - that it's really easy for the steerer to close top offside paddles either coming into or leaving the lock. And if the steerer isn't dropping the offside paddle on entry then how about they close the top gate? And then maybe draw a bottom paddle or two before getting back on.
  18. The discussion on that link is 'interesting'. Folks adamant that there is a bend in the tunnel because they couldn't see straight through it. While it has a few wobbles it is constructed straight but suffers from mists as all long tunnels do to a degree because the atmospheric conditions are different at either end, and indeed around the air shafts. Wast Hills seems to suffer more than most which may be because one end is very rural and the other very urban. It makes for some interesting transits.
  19. Good advice. Six years ago I signed a contract that the broker's staff told me was binding and transferred a deposit that arrived in the broker's account. The broker himself then phoned me to tell me - quite aggressively - that I wasn't getting the boat. What I suspect happened is that while his staff were selling the boat to me he had directly sold it to someone else. I'd like to think that the value he sold it for was less than the value I had offered and the broker ended up footing the difference to the seller. I ended up buying a more suitable and nicer boat for over £5k less a month later (albeit a more risky proposition) .
  20. CRT's label on their own map has it as 'Wast Hills Tunnel' but the legend on the base map they use is 'Wast Hill Tunnel'. The OP correctly identifies that Wast Hills is a name used to describe the area. There is some conjecture that the tunnel was originally called West Hill and there is evidence of the locality being called Westhill historically. What there doesn't appear to be is a geographical feature called Wast Hill. Hence I don't think Wast Hills is wrong. Quite why you'd want to do anything about it I don't know, place names do evolve.
  21. I go through Gosty Hill with very few revs as there's no point trying to fight with the 'rubbish soup' that passes for water in there. It's very slow.
  22. To bring it back to the original point we should contrast the problems of the northern canals - which I think are largely about CRT having to maintain a lot of assets for which there is arguably insufficient demand - with those of southern canals on which it is argued there are too many boats and possibly also of the 'wrong' sort. I think it shows why arguing against boats on canals is a perilous game.
  23. That's really a political driver and politics is rarely logical. The thing is a boat either fits the waterway dimensions or it doesn't. The latter should not be allowed and I think there are craft on the GU that shouldn't be there (including wide beams of more than 12' 6" above Berkhamsted). However a suitably crewed large boat should be no more of an issue on the GU than a 70' x 7' on a narrow canal in the Midlands. Unfortunately we come up with wrong arguments against wide beams. Consider that there at least three Leeds & Liverpool short boats on the southern GU. These are very big boats and fully laden probably a lot deeper than a modern wide beam, yet they were built for a canal with dimensions very similar to those of the GU (although of course slightly shorter). Would anyone who argues against wide beams on the GU argue that Kennett should be removed from the L&L? The problem isn't the boat itself, it's the sheer number and purpose of why they are there that's the issue.
  24. Tongue in cheek I presume but that's not true. The additional water has been displaced over the by-wash weir before the bigger boat gets into the lock. The whole thing is actually quite complex but I suspect the size of the boats concerned doesn't make much difference in relation to the overall effects of just operating a fixed number of locks for a fixed number of boats.
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