BMC 1,800 alternator First Patreon Pledger! Adding to narrowboat battery bank Phone broke [Nether Hayford] Funny video of the day Google, other tech companies warned over ‘dangerous’ banning of neo-Nazis, hate groups How a bitcoin is made Fastening fairleads to my boat pt1 Google Censorship clamps down on the ‘alt-media’ Middle of nowhere – Near Gayton Sense of future – Unilever Saga 20 years on Censored by Google- 64% Black-hat Google penalty for White-hat site Final day painting and Gayton Marina Bonnie Eye Boat update Blisworth Marina 3 Reasons you won’t ever tell me 9/11 was not an inside job Nene and onwards Tradline ropes and things, Braunston Junction Houses past and present Bourne End to Weedon Bourne End upwards Little ride home Ease my Brexit shroom – Daan sawwf On the Thames again Day 41 – Newquay to Lands End Day 40 – Tavistock to Newquay Day 39 – Exeter to Tavistock Bonnie Revival Hungerford -> Newbury -> Aldermaston BMC 1800 waterpump Downton Abbey (Highclere Castle) and Watership Down Hungerford Marsh -> Hungerford Froxfield -> Hungerford Marsh To Ham Bird action in Oak Hill World Press Freedom Index Oak Hill – Dun Aqueduct Oak Hill Little Bedwyn -> Oak Hill 5 popular destinations for travelling where disease is still rife Chased by sheep – Little Bedwyn Taking a long walk…. Great Bedwyn -> Little Bedwyn Sunday on the canal Crofton Meadows -> Great Bedwyn Wolf Hall -> Crofton Meadows Brimslade -> Wolf Hall My first Zander Wotton Rivers -> Brimslade Most visited sites on the internet ABS Review – Leisure batteries for a narrowboat Burbage wharf Mooring in Wootton Rivers, Wiltshire Sunday in Pewsey Measuring the draft Looking for moorings around Wootton River/Clench New button fitted! Milkhouse Water, Wiltshire Now in Pewsey, CRT mooring rules Get into Stonehenge free Flaperon from MH370; no story – 1 month on Skyrim V Connect/’sign in’ to ‘open network’ wifi on Windows 10 My personal Strava movie – 2016 The biggest hacks of 2016 – A year in hacking US vs Bullying China Russian Google and Reddit misdirects skewing Google Analytics First complaint Winter electricity usage Devizes The fight for freedom, Not In My Back Yard Donald Trump – Puppet masters, Parody to victory, and the march to nationalism US Presidential elections 2016 Taking a narrowboat on the Thames Giles Wood – Melksham Bonny Journey List of dead bankers 2016 – conspiracy update Day 38 – Taunton to Exeter Day 37 – Seend Park to Taunton Day 36 – Seend Park to Bradford on Avon Day 49 – Caen Hill Marina to Seend Park Bleeding a BMC 1800 marine engine Day 48 – Caen Hill Locks Day 47 – Devizes – Caen Hill Locks Day 47 – Honey Street to Devizes Day 46 – Great Bedwyn to Honey Street Day 45 – Newbury to Great Bedwyn Day 43 – Theale to Newbury Day 42 – Goring to Theale Day 41 – Oxford to Goring Day 40 – Aynho to Oxford Day 39 – Claydon to Aynho Day 38 – Flecknoe to Claydon Day 37 – Ansty to Flecknoe Day 36 – Alvecote to Ansty Day 35 – Kings Bromley to Alvecote Day 34 – Little Haywood to Kings Bromley News Winter moorings
Stone moorings

Day 32 – Kidsgrove to Stone

Michael Tyler

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A full day. In every respect.

Camera gave up, and refused to record any timelapse through the Harecastle.

Harecastle Tunnel
Harecastle Tunnel

Turns out the SD card was full. It ran the battery down anyhow.

Waterexplorer tells me it’s 17 locks and 16.16 miles total for the day.

Harecastle tunnel

Had to wait about 30 minutes to go in.

The CRT attendant was friendly and professional. Talked me through all aspect. Couldn’t ask for a lot more.

The tunnel itself is a touch over 3,000 metres long and was built in the 18th century, you can read a little more about it here.

People still fear going through it today.

I’ve no idea why. The roofs are low. It drips. It’s dark.

It’s not much fun for rentals. If you know your boat, it’s just a long dark tunnel.

There is however this creepy story associated with the tunnel:-

It is said that many years ago, in the early years of the canals, a young lady was traveling from Liverpool to meet her husband in London who had recently taken up work there.   He had sent a guinea to her to enable her to pay for her transport, and she was carrying all the goods she owned with her in trunks.

After a long ride on a cart that was taking corn to the mill at Hardingswood, she stopped to take rest at the Canal Tavern, a lock-side pub in Kidsgrove.  She was trying to arrange her further passage south by road, with no offers.   Someone in the tavern suggested that she travel by canal barge, and although she was not very happy about the idea, she could find no other choice.

The Tavern landlord agreed to watch over her luggage whilst she went to the wharf,  and there she met three boatmen who promised her they would give her transport to London on their canal barge.   They wanted to go on that night, and she was reluctant.  They convinced her that the passage through the tunnel was dark in day or night, so they may as well set off as soon as possible.    She did not like the idea too much, but because she could find no one else, she accepted.  She noticed then that they had all been drinking, and that may have been to do with the cargo they were carrying which was wine and spirits.

The Boatmen went back to the Tavern with her to collect her luggage, and they took a pint of porter and then set off with the lady due South via the Harecastle Tunnel. At the mouth of the tunnel, one of the boatmen took the pony up the track to Boathorse Road, and the other two set off into the tunnel with the lady.

The barge emerged at the other side carrying the boatmen, but the lady never came out. In the hope that she had riches in her trunks, they had murdered her and hid her body in the underground culvert to Goldenhill Colliery, known as Gilbert’s Hole. On the search for her, she was found some days later in the tunnel, without her head.
The boatmen were tried and executed for her murder, but it has been said over the years that the Kidsgrove Buggut has been heard wailing in and around the tunnel and along Boathorse Road. This is the road that runs directly above the tunnel where the tow-ponies used to walk when the barges were going through the tunnel.

There’s quite an interesting blog on the Harecastle Tunnel here.

Stoke on a boat

After that, you get a lake at Westport, then to journey through Stoke, past all the disused potteries by boat.

Etruria
Etruria

Nothing like Wigan, it’s very picturesque. Very pretty even. Passing by the industrial innards of Stoke, functioning, some not. Nature plays a surprising large part on your journey through city.
From the canal, you might think it was all trees and hills.

I appreciate the Graffiti they’ve put on the walls here. Some of the best you’re going to see on the canal, (in my experience).

Etruria

I can imagine how they could have said this name 200 years ago. Like it was an industrial utopia.

It’s named by the Wedgewood family after an area of Italy.

Etruria
Etruria Graffiti

They used it to produce their ceramics, and created a factory to ship Wedgewood across the world.

During the second world war, the factory closed down.

Things went down hill after that.

graffiti
graffiti

It’s like driving through an open-air museum on the canal.

Stone

So.

Made it to Stone, and through all the locks.

Parked up not far from Aston, which is considered the last of the ‘Stone’ locks.

Stone moorings
Stone moorings

Cooked some toad in the hole.

Drunk some beer.

Bed soon.

Day 31 – Map

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Copyright 2016 Michael Tyler Sailor's Almanac: Further Narrowboat Adventures
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