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Standedge Tunnel.Is it suitable for unconverted boat?

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Has anyone had a historic boat through the Standedge tunnel in recent times?

 

We're hoping to take Bellatrix (small Northwich) through at the end of September.

 

Anticipating a lot of arm wrestling with CRT. Ability to quote the previous experience of others would be helpful.

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Note the beam though - 7' up to 21W, 6'10" after that to Huddersfield.

 

You might need the grease pot out again!

 

2 minutes ago, Flyboy said:

you will probably have to ballast the bow down.

I know there are some bags of sand at Rose Grove ...

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4 minutes ago, Flyboy said:

Your exhaust pipe may have to be removed and you will probably have to ballast the bow down.  I can't see a major problem if you meet the profile requirements on the link.

https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/places-to-visit/standedge-tunnel-and-visitor-centre/boating-through-standedge-tunnel

We've got some IBC's in there just now,so we can put 31/2 tons of water in if necessary. Also we can take the cratch down.

 

5 minutes ago, TheBiscuits said:

Note the beam though - 7' up to 21W, 6'10" after that to Huddersfield.

 

You might need the grease pot out again!

We've had the grease out often enough with Ribble.Not that she's oversized - It's just that L&L gates don't go back far enough!

Bellatrix is remarkably straight, and almost certainly less than 7 feet - and we only want to go to Marsden for a wedding, the turn round and go back again.

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8 hours ago, TheBiscuits said:

 

 

 

 

I know there are some bags of sand at Rose Grove ...

Yeah!😀 Missed this when I read it earlier.

  • Haha 1

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Fit a right angled elbow to divert your exhaust fumes to the side.  3 1/2 miles of breathing diesel fumes is no joke, the chaperone won't appreciate it either. 

 

 

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10 hours ago, TheBiscuits said:

 

I know there are some bags of sand at Rose Grove ...

That'll be the ones with the budlliea growing out of them.

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Horseboat Maria has been to Huddersfield several times since the HNC was re-opened. Usually legged through Standedge. Motor Joel has also been the full distance, though towed  through the tunnel in a convoy. Both boats are narrow narrowboats at 6' 10+" . Not sure how far the WCBS have got with Forget Me Not & Hazel, might be worth asking? Most historics stick at 19 or21W and I know  it can be a long reverse  to wind as the turning place at Roaches Lock is too silted up for 70'. 

Bill

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13 hours ago, TheBiscuits said:

I know there are some bags of sand at Rose Grove ...

 

4 hours ago, DRP said:

Yeah!😀 Missed this when I read it earlier.

 

Maybe CRT would like them delivering to Whaley Bridge if you are heading up that way! :giggles:

 

I did wonder if you would be playing out on Bellatrix when I came past Ariel loaded with fuel last week.  Nice to see her back at work even if she's in stealth mode paintwork. 

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3 hours ago, NB Esk said:

 

Fit a right angled elbow to divert your exhaust fumes to the side.  3 1/2 miles of breathing diesel fumes is no joke, the chaperone won't appreciate it either. 

 

 

I ran thro with no stack or cutter. Wasn’t too bad. The chaperones now don’t stand on the back of trads after one went for a swim. I did end up with a lot of dust on the roof tho. 

 

Ballast as much as you can. The water point by Diggle entrance has good pressure. The one at Marsden is dire. 

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1 hour ago, frangar said:

I ran thro with no stack or cutter. Wasn’t too bad. The chaperones now don’t stand on the back of trads after one went for a swim. I did end up with a lot of dust on the roof tho. 

 

Ballast as much as you can. The water point by Diggle entrance has good pressure. The one at Marsden is dire. 

 

Ah, okay, I know the guy stood on the back with me.  Don't think he was too impressed though (he said as much) and, although I don't mind the odd lung full of diesel fumes, a couple of hours of it tends to take the shine off.

 

 

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On 23/08/2019 at 22:11, DRP said:

We've got some IBC's in there just now,so we can put 31/2 tons of water in if necessary. Also we can take the cratch down.

 

We've had the grease out often enough with Ribble.Not that she's oversized - It's just that L&L gates don't go back far enough!

Bellatrix is remarkably straight, and almost certainly less than 7 feet - and we only want to go to Marsden for a wedding, the turn round and go back again.

Are you sure about that? Back in the 1960's,  I used to help work a Small Northwich, and as far as I can remember it measured seven foot and a half an inch across the guard irons The sometimes quoted six foot, ten inches is the measurement across the gunwhales.

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I’m fairly sure I saw my cousin on a TV programme a few years ago, helping to leg an old working boat through Standedge. This would have been not long after it reopened.

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As far as I can recall, they check your above water dimensions (fail and no go, no argument) but not much said about age, maker, purpose, draft or whatever. Not even sure that they checked the insurance but may have asked the question. In any event, if you don't fit you cannot pass but enjoy the reverse scenery on the way back down again.

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20 hours ago, David Schweizer said:

Are you sure about that? Back in the 1960's,  I used to help work a Small Northwich, and as far as I can remember it measured seven foot and a half an inch across the guard irons The sometimes quoted six foot, ten inches is the measurement across the gunwhales.

Thanks,that's helpful. Sadly,it sounds as though CRT aren't. I wonder what "margin of safety" their measurements include,and who advised them to set those limits.

Whatever,it's looking as though the trip will be off.

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I would imagine that in this case it's the people on the ground don't want yet  another boat stuck in the lock at Uppermill.

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5 hours ago, Mac of Cygnet said:

I would imagine that in this case it's the people on the ground don't want yet  another boat stuck in the lock at Uppermill.

Maybe they could suggest to those who make the decisions - get the lock at Uppermill fixed.

In fact we would have been going west to east, so the Uppermill lock would probably have screened us out.

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16 minutes ago, DRP said:

Maybe they could suggest to those who make the decisions - get the lock at Uppermill fixed.

In fact we would have been going west to east, so the Uppermill lock would probably have screened us out.

I understand ,from someone who should know, that Wade lock in Uppermill  was "fixed" within the last year or so. The narrow bits of the lock walls were altered so that the whole length of the lock is now a uniform width. Unfortunately that  new width is still not quite adequate for  some of our so-called dimensionally challenged narrowboats. It is, after all,  the Huddersfield NARROW Canal. As opposed to, say, the Ashton Canal  which is a narrow canal with perfectly adequate width of locks.

  • Haha 1

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On 26/08/2019 at 14:28, billh said:

. . . As opposed to, say, the Ashton Canal  which is a narrow canal with perfectly adequate width of locks.

But, regrettably, frequently wildly inadequate amounts of water in the pounds.

 

Also, update and thanks to all who answered my original question. I measured Bellatrix today, and she is 7ft 01/4ins over the guard irons at the engine hole bulkhead, so that's the tunnel out for us.

We specifically wanted to get the boat to Marsden for a wedding at the end of September.

If that's not going to be on, we can enjoy the scenery from the train.

 

If anyone from CRT reads this, perhaps they could favour us with the real minimum dimensions in the tunnel, before their "expert" set the "safety margin"?

 

We have experienced CRT "experts" before, when one of them tried to prevent our commemorative carrying trip across the Leeds & Liverpool Canal with the Ribble in 2016. Fortunately, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency had a firmer grasp of the rules than he did.

 

It seems ridiculous that the limits that currently exist preclude the passage of most of the historic narrow boats still in existence, even if they haven't spread beyond their original dimensions.

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10 minutes ago, DRP said:

 

It seems ridiculous that the limits that currently exist preclude the passage of most of the historic narrow boats still in existence, even if they haven't spread beyond their original dimensions.

 

Did any of the historic narrow boats still in existence ever pass through Standedge Tunnel before it closed in 1944?  I rather doubt if any of the GUCCC fleet did.

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1 hour ago, David Mack said:

 

Did any of the historic narrow boats still in existence ever pass through Standedge Tunnel before it closed in 1944?  I rather doubt if any of the GUCCC fleet did.

This is the problem  and I keep banging on about it. "Narrow" is an approximation not an exact size, and the GU were at the larger end of the spectrum. 

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2 hours ago, David Mack said:

 

Did any of the historic narrow boats still in existence ever pass through Standedge Tunnel before it closed in 1944?  I rather doubt if any of the GUCCC fleet did.

Probably not, but the tunnel didn't have rubbing boards then; and my point is :How much so called safety margin is there in the current restrictions enough to meet the CYA needs of CRT management.

 

It is a matter of record that GUCCC boats were by no means confined to the Grand Union Canal in the thirties and forties.Are you suggesting they should be now?

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4 minutes ago, DRP said:

Probably not, but the tunnel didn't have rubbing boards then; and my point is :How much so called safety margin is there in the current restrictions enough to meet the CYA needs of CRT management.

 

It is a matter of record that GUCCC boats were by no means confined to the Grand Union Canal in the thirties and forties.Are you suggesting they should be now?

But was the HNC ever wide enough for GU boats? And is the pinch point the tunnel or is it the locks? And if its the locks is that because they were built narrower than 7 ft 1/4 in originally, or have they come in since?

It must be about 30 years since Mikron Theatre Co's Tyseley got stuck at Wade Lock in Uppermill, and I'm not sure how many 'wide' narrow boats have tried to go further since.

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1 hour ago, David Mack said:

But was the HNC ever wide enough for GU boats? And is the pinch point the tunnel or is it the locks? And if its the locks is that because they were built narrower than 7 ft 1/4 in originally, or have they come in since?

It must be about 30 years since Mikron Theatre Co's Tyseley got stuck at Wade Lock in Uppermill, and I'm not sure how many 'wide' narrow boats have tried to go further since.

Many of the HNC locks were re-located and/or  rebuilt by the L&NW Railway in the later years of C19th this in connection with their construction of the Micklehurst loop and 4 tracking of their line from Stalybridge to Huddersfield. Most recognisable  by being built with blue engineering brick. I can't think of any of these where width is a problem. Going back to Wade Lock, Uppermill: at restoration around 199x(?) , the walls were completely rebuilt to  a width that  has since caused a lot of the problems for GU boats and others. Somebody , possibly at British Waterways, at the time approved the construction of those walls. It cannot have been a matter of cost, the savings by making it 6" narrower than it should be would be minute. I can only think that BW at the time thought the HNC would never get re-opened  throughout and so did not take too much notice of how locks were being rebuilt and to what dimensions?

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