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Wast Hill tunnel


Philip
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Does anyone else find Wast Hill tunnel a really eerie one, particularly entering from the north end? Compared with Blisworth and Harecastle, there's something a bit foreboding about both the portals and the tunnel itself, perhaps the deep and gloomy cuttings on the approaches as well as the fact it's often misty inside; the far end is sometimes either not visible for ages or a very faint chink of dull light.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Philip said:

Does anyone else find Wast Hill tunnel a really eerie one, particularly entering from the north end? Compared with Blisworth and Harecastle, there's something a bit foreboding about both the portals and the tunnel itself, perhaps the deep and gloomy cuttings on the approaches as well as the fact it's often misty inside; the far end is sometimes either not visible for ages or a very faint chink of dull light.

 

 

It's also because it's a combination of long, 2 boats wide and no towpath.  Harecastle bothers me less because the presence of the tunnel keeper reassures me, I have no chance of meeting an oncoming boat and I'm in a convoy.

 

Single handing through Wast Hill tunnel can be a lonely and spooky experience.  I alway think about breaking down in there with a total electric failure and having to pole myself out lit by a head torch.

 

Braunston seems bigger inside despite no towpath, it's shorter too.

 

Netherton is huge inside so far less claustrophobic and you can always see the far end, unless it's night.

 

Never been through Blisworth.

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9 minutes ago, doratheexplorer said:

It's also because it's a combination of long, 2 boats wide and no towpath.  Harecastle bothers me less because the presence of the tunnel keeper reassures me, I have no chance of meeting an oncoming boat and I'm in a convoy.

 

Single handing through Wast Hill tunnel can be a lonely and spooky experience.  I alway think about breaking down in there with a total electric failure and having to pole myself out lit by a head torch.

 

Braunston seems bigger inside despite no towpath, it's shorter too.

 

Netherton is huge inside so far less claustrophobic and you can always see the far end, unless it's night.

 

Never been through Blisworth.

I've been through Wast Hill with just a head torch which was fine, I boated through it a lot as a child so used to going through.

 

Last time I went through Netherton it was dense fog in there as kids had been setting of fireworks, I was a bit cautious as never seen it like that before.

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5 minutes ago, Rob-M said:

 

 

Last time I went through Netherton it was dense fog in there as kids had been setting of fireworks, I was a bit cautious as never seen it like that before.

Don't say that!  I'm going through Netherton in a few days.  I presume fireworks are on sale now?

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Yes I do and it seems to mark the visual boundary between Birmingham and Rural Worcestershire which seems to add to it.
It’s rare to see both ends from the middle but it can happen. Luckily rubbish is rare now but in older days the occasional almost submerged railway sleeper added to the eeriness, especially in a GRP or thinner hulled wooden boat. 
 

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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.

 

 

IMG_0965.jpg

Edited by Captain Pegg
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If you're the first boat of the day and it is a bright day, then the end is visible, though you may think for the first ten minutes that you have an 'oncomer' . When you think that a few years ago, on Saturday afternoon/sunday morning it was heaving with Alvechurch, Black Prince, Dartline, Anglo welsh all heading for Stratford or Birmingham and tussling with the Brummagem Fleet coming the other way.

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It feels very pleasant emerging at the south end into peaceful countryside and birds singing. The middle shaft had a fair bit of water coming down it when I went through yesterday morning. I could see both ends at the mid point of the tunnel yesterday, but for some reason there was a lot more light at the northern end.

Edited by Philip
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6 hours ago, Grassman said:

Totally irrelevant this, but the tunnel goes right underneath Birmingham City FC's Wast Hills training ground. I thought you might like to know :).


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.

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