The Horseboating Society accomplished a Two Tunnels Trip involving Dudley and Netherton Tunnels.
These photos show boathorse Buddy towing joey boat No. 15 along the Dudley No. 1 Canal and through Netherton Tunnel, to celebrate the tunnel’s 150th anniversary in 2008.
Joey boat No. 15, built in 1879, belongs to Francis Stapleton and is kept at the Black Country Living Museum.
On Saturday November 29th No. 15 was legged through Dudley Tunnel, taking 1 hour 40 minutes. On Sunday November 30th Buddy towed No. 15 from Parkhead along the Dudley No. 1 Canal and entered Netherton Tunnel at 1.45 pm. After a slow and steady passage, he emerged safely after taking 1 hr 20 minutes to tow the boat through. Originally there was gas lighting, later replaced by electric lighting, but nowadays no lighting is provided. The Horseboating Society used lighting on the boat and head lamps on those walking the towing path. Both Dudley and Netherton Tunnels are about one and three-quarter miles long. Netherton is the longest canal tunnel with a towing path inside. In fact it has a towing path on each side so that horse drawn boats could pass in the tunnel.
>We would be pleased to hear from anyone who knows the last occasion when a horse drawn boat passed through Netherton. Was it Caggy Stevens’ boat? The hostel boat Pamela? Another boat?< Photo: Alastair Goolden[/caption]
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