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Heartland

Canal Tunnel identification

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The image in this post was a 1930's view of a canal tunnel with a towpath, but where is it?

24342r.jpg

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That fence along the towpath in the tunnel looks very BCN

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Don't know if it is of any help I have a little book called Canal Tunnels of England and Wales by David Appleby, Allan Gilbert & Paul Samuel ISBN 0 9540382 0 7.

 

I have just had a quick flick through and it doesn't have a picture similar to above. There are however lots of entries with no pictures.

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Woodley, AKA Butterhouse  Green Tunnel, south end ,Peak Forest Canal?  A lot of development and trees since then. 176yards long

Edited by billh

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45 minutes ago, billh said:

Woodley, AKA Butterhouse  Green Tunnel, south end ,Peak Forest Canal?  A lot of development and trees since then. 176yards long

bs5u_0.jpg

 

24342r.jpg.044c97bddbd5e89d1ad3ad904ed05

 

Richard

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3 hours ago, RLWP said:

bs5u_0.jpg

 

24342r.jpg.044c97bddbd5e89d1ad3ad904ed05

 

Richard

 

I think not. The tunnel in the OP is much shorter, the angle and curve of the towpath are wrong, and the masonry proportions are different. Which doesn't help, of course!

Edited to say that Google's 'best guess' for the image is the Royal Palace of La Granja de Idelfonso, but I actually have been there, and can't remember anything quite like that. :)

Edited by Mac of Cygnet
  • Greenie 1

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Woodley also lacks the flank wall alongside the towpath in the "myster" picture.

 

It's got me really puzzled.

 

Possibly looking for something of around 100 yards, (????) but I can't think of any candidates.

Edited by alan_fincher

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1 hour ago, alan_fincher said:

Woodley also lacks the flank wall alongside the towpath in the "myster" picture.

 

There still is a stone "flank" wall at Woodley. In fact there was a more or less continuous wall, except where  off the towpath access was required, from Ashton to Bugsworth to keep the boat  horses  on course. There are remains of this wall evident all along the canal, but it has not been maintained for many years and most of it is in the canal. 

The surroundings at Woodley have changed considerably since 1930s. There is housing both sides of the cutting and over the tunnel and the grades of the embankments have been increased. Also, the tunnel was re-lined with sprayed concrete 20 years ago and this has altered the tunnel profile and appearance somewhat. 

I'm not saying this is Woodley tunnel , just suggesting it, so far we have had no other ideas.

ETA

Mac, The towpath does curve in the same way as the OP, just the ancient and modern pics are from different angles.

ETA: The 1896 O/S map of Woodley, Stockport shows buildings in similar layout to those in the pictures.

Edited by billh

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But.....   If you look at the relative sizes of the tunnel exits, it seems to me that the OP tunnel is much shorter.

 

Edited to say I've now looked at billh's link, and of course he's right, but how do the old and modern pics apparently show different lengths of tunnel?

And when was it written, because it says "This 176yd-long tunnel has a towpath through it but boats cannot pass inside it."

Edited by Mac of Cygnet

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It is certainly a poser, the image is taken on a  larger format roll film and may be 1928. Woodley would be consistent with the photographer, Bertam Baxter as he was taking photographs in that general area then. It is a  loose end tidy up query to be passed on. It is numbered negative 1005 which would be 1928, or earlier. The shortening commented upon may well be due to the type of camera and lens used.

 

I attach a section of the 1935 25 in O/S map. The buildings over the tunnel appear to be in a place consistent with the map evidence. The Smithy on the map is in the same place as the building over the tunnel.

 

Woodley.png

Edited by Heartland

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11 hours ago, Mac of Cygnet said:

 

And when was it written, because it says "This 176yd-long tunnel has a towpath through it but boats cannot pass inside it."

I think this is a reference to the fact that nearby Hyde Bank Tunnel is , in theory, wide enough to pass boats within, though there is no towpath. In practice  passing boats  in Hyde Bank would be tricky these days, shallow at the sides  and not suited to lengthy  high cabins on leisure boats because of the roof profile. The narrow Woodley tunnel also has this problem since it was re-lined, keep your boat against the towpath!

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8 hours ago, billh said:

I think this is a reference to the fact that nearby Hyde Bank Tunnel is , in theory, wide enough to pass boats within, though there is no towpath. In practice  passing boats  in Hyde Bank would be tricky these days, shallow at the sides  and not suited to lengthy  high cabins on leisure boats because of the roof profile. The narrow Woodley tunnel also has this problem since it was re-lined, keep your boat against the towpath!

Has CRT changed the signs at the tunnel yet?  According to them, two way traffic is possible!

 

George

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58 minutes ago, furnessvale said:

Has CRT changed the signs at the tunnel yet?  According to them, two way traffic is possible!

 

George

I expect the signs to be updated with the new logo soon.? They insist on calling it "Hyde Tunnel." For the last 50 years, I have understood that name applies to the 'new' M67 tunnel  , which IS in Hyde.

Interesting to determine why Hyde Bank was made wide? There must be a break point based on length and prospective traffic . By 1802, before Marple Locks were opened , the Marple Tramroad was passing over 1000tons  of stone per day, equating to about 50 boats towards Manchester and mostly empty boats returning . A single width tunnel the length of Hyde Bank would create a bottleneck. There were leggers permanently stationed there, their bothy was at the Marple end over the tunnel mouth.

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As to Hydebank, this tunnel is named after a location, as is shown on the attached O/S map section (25 in. survey 1896, published 1898), though large scale, there is no indication of a bothy though.

hydebank.png

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7 hours ago, billh said:

I expect the signs to be updated with the new logo soon.? They insist on calling it "Hyde Tunnel." For the last 50 years, I have understood that name applies to the 'new' M67 tunnel  , which IS in Hyde.

Interesting to determine why Hyde Bank was made wide? There must be a break point based on length and prospective traffic . By 1802, before Marple Locks were opened , the Marple Tramroad was passing over 1000tons  of stone per day, equating to about 50 boats towards Manchester and mostly empty boats returning . A single width tunnel the length of Hyde Bank would create a bottleneck. There were leggers permanently stationed there, their bothy was at the Marple end over the tunnel mouth.

Bob, I was talking about Woodley Tunnel!

 

For some reason BW/CRT think 2 boats can pass in that tunnel, or so the notices at each end say!

 

George

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It's Woodley - the portal stonework and the flanking wall on the towpath are very apparent

 

I can only attribute the bend in the towpath on the original to the low angle and vagaries of differing focal lengths and negative size back then - I'd suggest significant foreshortening compared to a modern camera?

 

Acknowledgements to Martin Clark/Pennine Waterways

 

 

woodley tunnel.jpg

 

Edited to add - I only concluded this having racked my brains and all avaialble images for every other short tunnel I could think of with a towpath, including Combe Hay, which didn't fit the date

Edited by magpie patrick

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3 hours ago, magpie patrick said:

It's Woodley - 

 

As I suggested in post 4 and confirmed in post 9

Wake up at the back there!

5 hours ago, furnessvale said:

I was talking about Woodley Tunnel!

 

George

Sorry  George, I needed a  mini rant 

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4 hours ago, billh said:

As I suggested in post 4 and confirmed in post 9

Wake up at the back there!

Sorry  George, I needed a  mini rant 

I was agreeing with you, but at the risk of being pedantic you hadn't answered Alan Fincher's queries over the picture posted by RWLP., and thus in my mind at least there remained some doubt. 

 

The supporting evidence had been wheeled out whilst the contradictory bits were ignored. Amongst the things I did was search out images of every sub-200 yard tunnel I could think of just to check. 

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4 hours ago, magpie patrick said:

I was agreeing with you, but at the risk of being pedantic you hadn't answered Alan Fincher's queries over the picture posted by RWLP., and thus in my mind at least there remained some doubt. 

 

The supporting evidence had been wheeled out whilst the contradictory bits were ignored. Amongst the things I did was search out images of every sub-200 yard tunnel I could think of just to check. 

See post 8, a direct answer to Mr Fincher and to an extent, Mac's. I have no idea about the effects of  different types of camera lens .

 

 

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On 14/05/2018 at 08:51, alan_fincher said:

Woodley also lacks the flank wall alongside the towpath in the "myster" picture.

 

 

It's got me really puzzled.

 

Possibly looking for something of around 100 yards, (????) but I can't think of any candidates.

I presume Alan was referring to RWLP's picture, in which the wall is there but not obvious

 

The your post 8

On 14/05/2018 at 09:42, billh said:

There still is a stone "flank" wall at Woodley. (MP add - but not obvious in RWLP's picture, which is what Alan was, I think, questioning) In fact there was a more or less continuous wall, except where  off the towpath access was required, from Ashton to Bugsworth to keep the boat  horses  on course. There are remains of this wall evident all along the canal, but it has not been maintained for many years and most of it is in the canal. 

The surroundings at Woodley have changed considerably since 1930s. There is housing both sides of the cutting and over the tunnel and the grades of the embankments have been increased. Also, the tunnel was re-lined with sprayed concrete 20 years ago and this has altered the tunnel profile and appearance somewhat. 

I'm not saying this is Woodley tunnel , just suggesting it, so far we have had no other ideas.

ETA

Mac, The towpath does curve in the same way as the OP, just the ancient and modern pics are from different angles.

ETA: The 1896 O/S map of Woodley, Stockport shows buildings in similar layout to those in the pictures.

For reasons I don't quite understand you are being a bit precious about having got there first, when my post reinforced your conclusion

 

For anyone interested I looked at images of the following tunnels

 

Whitehouses

Ellesmere

Gregory

Buckland Hollow

Hag

Cwmbran (and realised it didn't have a towpath!)

Queen Street

Combe Hay

Leek

Scout

 

I was fairly certain it was Woodley but as per your doubts in post 8 wanted to check that no other ticked the boxes

 

I didn't look at Cookley and Dunsley as I know what they look like, and Froghall  has no towpath

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5 hours ago, magpie patrick said:

 RWLP

Surely the most commonly mis-spelled of all our members.

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Just now, Athy said:

Surely the most commonly mis-spelled of all our members.

Ooops, I've mixed his grandfathers up again!:blush:

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Thanks to all who replied to this poser, I think that is now demonstrated the image is Woodley

 

I attach comments from Grahame Boyes, the present RCHS President, regarding the two tunnels- Grahame was another/co author of the Peak Forest Canal Book;

 

The PFC Committee decided on 2 March 1798 to build the Hyde Bank tunnel  wide enough for two boats to pass, but without a towpath – no reason given. The Woodley tunnel is only wide enough for one boat, but with a towpath.

 

The minimum  widths at water level quoted in Bradshaw’s Handbook (D&C reprint 1969) are:

Hyde Bank 16ft 0in

Woodley 9ft 3.5in

 

 

 

Edited by Heartland

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