Tuesday, 29 July 2014
Haunted Harecastle Tunnel
After a few very enjoyable days on the Macclesfield and Peak Forest canals it was time to get on our way and start heading back down South via the river Soar. Carolyn just couldn’t resist a final bowl of wild Raspberries as we left the Macclesfield canal.
We soon arrive at Harecastle Tunnel and join the line of boats waiting to go through. It is only a single lane tunnel and they let a maximum of 8 boats through in one direction at a time. Before entering you get a safety talk from the Tunnel keeper. The water here is a very funny colour, it’s a very orange colour.
Carolyn looking a little concerned before we enter as there are so many stories about this tunnel and the Ghost which is known as the Kidsgrove Bogart that lives in it. There was also an unfortunate incident a couple of Months ago where a boater fell off the back of his boat whilst steering through and drowned.
The Tunnel is very low and the Tunnel keeper checks the height of your boat to make sure you have enough air draft to get through. There are also chains that hang down from the entrance to show you the height through the tunnel. As soon as the last boat enters the tunnel the doors at the Southern portal close and then fans are put on to extract all the Diesel fumes as the boats pass through.
Once into the tunnel you can see how the water gets its colour. It is caused by minute particles of ironstone rock that leaches out of the tunnel walls and in to the water.
The further you get into the tunnel the lower the roof gets and you have to duck down as you pass through.
Finally out after 1 hour and 4 minutes. For some unknown reason we were stopped still in the middle of the tunnel for nearly half an hour. We saw no Ghosts and had a bloody good laugh and in the end we really enjoyed the experience.
After exiting Harecastle its not long before you enter the Potteries. There are a lot of closed down factories and we were told not to stop anywhere on our way through Stoke as it can be very dangerous . We often look at the amount of Graffiti that is about to give us an indication of how safe an area is. But here we even met some Canal and River trust workers who said don’t stop ,just keep going.
If you needed any Crockery there was plenty in this skip at a Stoke Pottery. I guess the firing went wrong .
The old and the new.
I just loved this bit of engineering, a cut out in the Railway bridge to allow the lock balance beam room to swing.
In the very same lock this chap was walking up the wall. It’s a Crayfish and was about 8 inches long and I bet he would give you a nasty nip.
I know that Graffiti is bad but sometimes it is very clever and you have to have a good laugh at it .
How the other half live, they even have their own little marina to their his and hers boats.
When we reached Stone we bumped into our friend Chris on nb Belloti. Good to see you Chris and a shame we couldn’t have stopped longer ,but we will catch up again in the future.
We picked up this mooring in the Centre of Stone and had intended to just do a quick shop and then off again, But Molly needed a vet and we couldn’t get her in till the next day so we ended spending the night here. Molly has been having small fits and a few problems with her behavior so the vet has put her on Valium to see if that will sort her out. Carolyn said maybe I should take a few of them to see if they will sort me out….
We are now heading down towards Shardlow to meet up with a couple of very good friends and then on to the River Soar and then back down South . We have our Granddaughter Abbie (Curly) coming to stay while her mother swans off abroad for a couple of weeks. So we want to be off the river before she arrives and start heading down south……..