Duncan recalls that this trip was from Middlewich for a fortnight. I joined it in Birmingham for the second week. From Birmingham we went via New Main Line, Gower Branch, Old Main Line and Dudley to Wolverhampton, Staffs & Worcester, Great Haywood, Trent & Mersey, Caldon Canal and then back to Middlewich. At Dudley we joined the museum trip boat for a trip through Dudley Tunnel. The boat was too big to go through Froghall Tunnel and Jim and Duncan turned it round in a winding hole with great difficulty while the rest of the crew were in the pub. We found out later that the winding hole was intended for 65ft boats only. This may also have been the trip when Bob Telfer led a party of bus enthusiasts to photograph the buses at Penkridge High School and explained to the headmaster that they were interested in the buses, not the girls to which the head replied that the girls could look after themselves!
There was commercial traffic (pottery) on the Caldon Canal and we collided with one of the boats! I’m told that Phil Pearson was steering at the time and the pottery boat steerer was not best pleased!
Dates: April 1982
Boat: Oak from Willow Wren Kearns at Middlewich
Crew: Ken Birch (?), Pete Cash (?), Jim Davies, David Evans, Hugh Mowat, Phil Pearson, Duncan Roberts, Bob Telfer, Martin Tordoff, (Note the appafrent absence of female participants!)
Route: (second week) Birmingham – New Main Line – Gower Branch – Old Main Line – Wolverhampton – Great Haywood – Etruria – Froghall – Etruria – Middlewich
Stops and Pubs
Dudley Tunnel (Black Country Museum)
are on this Flickr link.