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Monday, 3 April 2017

Parked at Park Head.

It was very quiet over night but I was up early'ish this morning as there had been a problem with the hot water yesterday so I had been thinking about that and waiting for it to come on this morning. Three way valve trouble but hopefully sorted now.

The sun was lovelly this morning but the wind was still quite cool when we set off. I quite like this office block at the north end of the Waterfront complex. I'm not sure if anybody works there though!

We were soon back at the 12 ft Blowers Green lock and Helen getting all agile again.

We had decided to go up the 3 Park Head locks and moor at the top as a change to Windmill End, and as we hadn't been up there before. The BCN cottage and toll house seem a better standard than the usual ones that you see on the system.

At the top of No.3 lock there is a good view of the Park Head Viaduct. This used to carry the railway from Dudley to Netherton and a bloke I was talking to told me that plans are a foot to use it for a new Metro route to Merry Hill. Helen is just heading back after setting No.2 lock.

Looking back down to Locks No.2 and £ and Blowers Green pumping house through the viaduct.

We have made it to the top lock, No.1 and there is a lovely green space with bollards, all to ourselves. The dome is the over flow from the basin.

Once moored up I set to washing the boat for the first time since it being painted. It is actually a pleasure for a change as you could see the difference it made and the paint didn't come off when you rubbed it, like before. At the bow of the boat is the Grazebrook Arm that led off to the Netherton Old Furnaces.

Hidden round a slight bend is the southern entrance to the Dudley Tunnel. An Act of Parliament was passed for the building of it in 1785 and it was written that it had to be completed by 1788. In 1787 it was found that some of the work had been poorly done, so heads rolled and the work redone. Later it was found that the bore was not straight. It finally opened for through traffic in 1792.

Showing off the new paint scheme to it's best advantage.

On the right of the lock is the Pensnett Canal, sometimes called the Lord Ward's Canal. This led a bit over a mile to the Earl of Dudley's Old Park and Wallows coal pits. It was opened in 1840. It also led just to the north of the large Round Oak steelworks. From there a small railway led to the Staffordshire and Worcester Canal, and the Dudley No.1 canal passed to the south of the site. It was closed in 1950 other than for the short length up to the viaduct.

The board at the mouth of the canal gave the maximum headroom allowed as 6'5" and looking at the gauge I reckon we are under that. There may be a bit of trouble with the width of our accommodation, but I think when we are round at the Black Country Museum we will go and have a word and see what the limits are and see if we can check the gauge there.


  1. I really love your posts, Tony - so informative.
    And the weather looks lovely - please keep it that way for us. In exactly a month from right now we will be in Auckland ready to fly out, and in one month and two days we will be on board nb Waka Huia! Can hardly wait!
    M&D xxoo

    1. Hi Both, I Expect you are now making list of lists so as not to forget anything. We have now decided to buy two of everything so as to be able to leave one lot on the boat and not have to transport things backwards and forwards each to time we shuttle between home and the boat over this year. Hopefully we will be able to meet up again this year. The count down has started for you now!!