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The mystery plural Wast Hill tunnel?


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Ive been through Wast Hill many times over the years, and watching Robbie Cummins TV series was all ready to show my friends (too fearful to go in it!) the tunnel. I was very surprised to hear him call it Wast Hills, the caption confirmed what he said. 

 

Looking through a number of brochures maps etc its been Wast Hill for years. 

 

Stanford's Inland cruising map of England (?1950s?)  - interestingly call it WEst Hill 

British Waterways Inland cruising booklet 14 (I guess 1950-70)  refers to it as Wast Hill.

Waterways series 1973 and 75 refers to it as Wast Hill

Early Nicholson guide 1975 I think opt out and call it Kings Norton Tunnel (I have over the years from the 1970s heard it called that too) however within the map Wast Hill is indicated

However later Nicholson mine from 2011 now calls it Wast Hills  tunnel, despite on the OS part still featuring Wast Hill! 

Most recent trip I made through was last year and I was pretty certain that there wasn't a horrible blue CRT sign but the older Wast Hill tunnel BW sign. I remember the older blue and yellow sign saying Wast Hill too. 

Looking at a map of the area there appears to be a Wast Hill Farm, and a Wast Hill lane. The latter though sometimes appears to be termed Wast Hills Lane. There is also a Wast Hill Grove  I think. 

 

It looks like Birmingham City have a training Ground at "Wast Hills" too, and Birmingham University have Wast Hills house. . 

 

Is it interchangable, as a name, or has Nicholson now got it wrong? It seems rather sad that Wast Hill appears in the internet age to be pleural. 

 

Im wondering if there is any point in doing anything about it.

 

Yours in perfectionism. 

 

 

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I've only known it properly as "Wast Hill" tunnel although I've heard and seen the other names for it. Kings Norton caused some confusion as Nicholson and BW also had the nearby Brandwood Tunnel (on the Stratford Canal) as "Kings Norton Tunnel"

 

When it comes to name changes... "Bath Locks" - really??? They're in Widcombe and were always known as Widcombe Locks. Weston Lock on the Avon is also in Bath

 

And don't get me started on Shuttleworth's Lock on the Oxford - the one they call "Dukes"... 

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11 minutes ago, Stroudwater1 said:

Im wondering if there is any point in doing anything about it.

 

Yours in perfectionism. 

 

Give up and go boating.

 

We have much the same with Johnson's Hillock Locks on the L&L.

 

Official signs and notices have variously called them

 

Johnson's Hill Lock

Johnson's Hill Locks

Johnson's Hilllocks

 

Wheelton Locks

 

The best one was the old BW sign that was printed Johnson's Hill Locks but somebody had tried to correct it with a sticker that had "lock" on it but stuck it in the wrong place on the sign!

 

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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.

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22 minutes ago, Stroudwater1 said:

 

 

Yours in perfectionism. 

 

 

Ok, I hid my inner pedant until you signed ff as above! 

More than one is plural

Pleural refers to lungs.

 

Sorry, I couldn’t help it 

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34 minutes ago, Dyertribe said:

Ok, I hid my inner pedant until you signed ff as above! 

More than one is plural

Pleural refers to lungs.

 

Sorry, I couldn’t help it 

I did try to correct it. Normally, if we click on a topic title, we can then amend it. For some reason, it didn't work this time.

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As Cap'n Pegg says.

Why Wast? Probably copied from the vernacular pronunciation of 'West'.

Plural? Well, there's only one tunnel. Maybe there are several hills. Try riding a push bike and you will find many that previously 'did not exist'!

 

Locals to me pronounce water and wasps as 'waater' and 'waasps'. And a 'ruck' of something is a lot. 'Thraping' is hitting 'it' hard with something, usually a big 'amma.

 

https://brummiesguidetobirmingham.blogspot.com/2012/07/wast-hills-canal-tunnel.html

Edited by Derek R.
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1 hour ago, Derek R. said:

As Cap'n Pegg says.

Why Wast? Probably copied from the vernacular pronunciation of 'West'.

Plural? Well, there's only one tunnel. Maybe there are several hills. Try riding a push bike and you will find many that previously 'did not exist'!

 

Locals to me pronounce water and wasps as 'waater' and 'waasps'. And a 'ruck' of something is a lot. 'Thraping' is hitting 'it' hard with something, usually a big 'amma.

 

https://brummiesguidetobirmingham.blogspot.com/2012/07/wast-hills-canal-tunnel.html

 

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.

 

Edited by Captain Pegg
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There were local names for some parts of the area above the tunnel including Red Hill as roads rose to the summit. On the First edition ordnance survey the farm above the tunnel near the Kings Norton portal was called West Hill farm and the tunnel is called West Hill Tunnel and it is under West Hill name that canal company records refer.

 

Why the change of name? Probably it may be a dialect reason. For historical accuracy West Hill is the name.

 

But then people like to change history ........

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5 hours ago, magpie patrick said:

I've only known it properly as "Wast Hill" tunnel although I've heard and seen the other names for it. Kings Norton caused some confusion as Nicholson and BW also had the nearby Brandwood Tunnel (on the Stratford Canal) as "Kings Norton Tunnel"

 

When it comes to name changes... "Bath Locks" - really??? They're in Widcombe and were always known as Widcombe Locks. Weston Lock on the Avon is also in Bath

 

And don't get me started on Shuttleworth's Lock on the Oxford - the one they call "Dukes"... 

From http://www.archiuk.com/  

map.JPG

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  • magpie patrick changed the title to The mystery plural Wast Hill tunnel?
5 hours ago, Dyertribe said:

Ok, I hid my inner pedant until you signed ff as above! 

More than one is plural

Pleural refers to lungs.

 

Sorry, I couldn’t help it 

 

And I couldn't bear looking at it! Now fixed... 

4 hours ago, Athy said:

I did try to correct it. Normally, if we click on a topic title, we can then amend it. For some reason, it didn't work this time.

I had to beat the forum into submission before it would let me change it

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Werta in Wast ill tunnl

 

Changing names is all part of looking at canal history 

 

God moves in mysterious ways his wonders to perform

 

May be God knows the story of Shuttleworth

 

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20 hours ago, Heartland said:

 

May be God knows the story of Shuttleworth

 

If you mean Shuttleworth's lock it was the name of the first lock keeper, although the canal company themselves were unsure - they paid Mr Shuttleworth every other month, with Mr Shuttlewood receiving payment in the other months. 

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This is a similar debate to Gosty Hill/Gorsty Hill a few miles east.  Land-lubbers usually call it Gorsty Hill because that's the road name.  Boaters call it Gosty Hill because that's the tunnel name.  Both are corruptions/local dialect for gorse, which used to grow all over the hill.

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20 minutes ago, doratheexplorer said:

This is a similar debate to Gosty Hill/Gorsty Hill a few miles east.  Land-lubbers usually call it Gorsty Hill because that's the road name.  Boaters call it Gosty Hill because that's the tunnel name.  Both are corruptions/local dialect for gorse, which used to grow all over the hill.


Costy Hill is another historic alternative name for the tunnel.

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3 hours ago, David Mack said:

I'm sure I've also seen Ghosty Hill, but maybe that just refers to phantom tunnel occupants.

 

I also believe I've seen it written like that but I think it's just a pun (or a very fortuitous spelling mistake).

 

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It is Gorsty Hill on Maps etc, but dialect has influence what it is called. The mine that sent coal down to the canal was Gorsty Hill Colliery, but opposite the basin was an early canal wharf called Sleck Hillock. 

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On 01/10/2021 at 17:47, magpie patrick said:

 

And I couldn't bear looking at it! Now fixed... 

I had to beat the forum into submission before it would let me change it

No it isn't, thank goodness.  Unless requested by the poster, I don't see it as up to the Mods to fix misspellings, especially if they are amusing.

 

Edited to say that I'm referring to the one at the end of the original post.  Or was pleural originally in the plural?

Edited by Mac of Cygnet
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7 hours ago, Mac of Cygnet said:

No it isn't, thank goodness.  Unless requested by the poster, I don't see it as up to the Mods to fix misspellings, especially if they are amusing.

 

Edited to say that I'm referring to the one at the end of the original post.  Or was pleural originally in the plural?

 

The error 'Pleural' in the individual post cannot be corrected by the 'poster' after a lapse of 30 minutes from posting.

The error in the thread heading of 'Pleural', has been changed by a Moderator to 'Plural', which is correct in relevance to the thread subject.

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8 hours ago, Mac of Cygnet said:

No it isn't, thank goodness.  Unless requested by the poster, I don't see it as up to the Mods to fix misspellings, especially if they are amusing.

 

Edited to say that I'm referring to the one at the end of the original post.  Or was pleural originally in the plural?

 

It was the one in the heading, not in the post - we'd been asked to fix it

 

Also, whilst I'd agree on post content and we don't intervene unless the spelling is so bad as to render it almost incomprehensible, headings are slightly different as they draw people to the post. We occasionally make minor amendments to help them make sense with regard to the subject of the thread

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