Friday, 28 January 2011

Bumble Hole....or Windmill End ....or Netherton

Whichever name you call this mooring it is simply fabulous (despite the wind, rain and poor visibility) and steeped in history. I would love to get some pics in the sun before we leave and it is definitely a place we would go out of our way to return to. Our precise location is the Dudley No. 2 Canal by the South portal of Netherton Tunnel and I'm a little reluctant to tell you this in case we cause a rush - however, the local volunteer enthusiasts deserve more recognition for thier hard work and ...well...... enthusiasm.
Above is where MR and Jacala are moored - plenty of space both sides and nobody else around. Daisy heard me call the boys on the way back from our walk and came trotting out to meet us (with her tail all puffed up in case any geese had some big ideas).

 This is the Southern Portal of the Netherton Tunnel. The Tunnel is 3,027 yds long and has a five ft wide towpath each side, so you can walk it with a torch and wet weather gear - I declined preferring the countryside over the top. It was built to relieve the congestion at Dudley Tunnel (not accessible to 'combustion engined' craft) and was the height of luxury with it's twin towing paths and gas lighting. The work was started on 31st December 1855 and was opened 20th August 1858 - the last major tunnel to be built on the British canal system. Even back in 1855 it's construction had to be cost justified - a 'traffic survey' on the Dudley Tunnel in 1841 monitored 41,704 boats passing through in the year.

Sorry. I'm banging on, but can you imagine the difference this must have made to profits.

 Then, of course, there's the Windmill End pumping station (now known as Cobbs Engine House) to keep the coal, ironstone and clay mines free of water. So I'll just put the info board up (for those of you with good enough eyesight to read it) and get on with the pics.

 One of the two beautiful roving bridges which allow the towing horses to cross the canal without their towing lines being removed or snagged - no more history, I promise.

A rare sight - another boater, just passing by us on the far side.
 Lots and lots of  hills to climb and wide open spaces for rummaging.
Muttley always wanting to be one bridge ahead.


  1. and is the "Cow pie pub" still there? It has been 15 years since I managed to get to Windmill End.

  2. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but The Dry Dock Public house closed last Easter Monday.

  3. Coming down the North Oxford last week we just went under M45 a van went over above and the sign writting said Bumble Hole Food. I wonder what none canal users make of that.

  4. Hi guys, it doesn't exactly make your mouth water when associated with food does it?. It's a lovely place to be though. Hope you are both well.

  5. love your pics of 1 of the best local shared spaces

  6. Greg, if you live locally then indeed it is a wonderful place to be. What was particularly nice about it, atleast when we were there, it was litter free and although used by many dog walkers, very little uncleared dog foulings.