79. Tears & Tunnels. Devastating News on our Narrowboat Journey Down Heartbreak Hill Locks.
🎶Good morning, good morning.🎶 It’s stopped raining YAYYYY! [Laughs] It’s such a relief not to wake up and be trudging through mud Yes for a change. Suns out we might actually get bit of solar power today We are moored Lawton Moorings, just outside Church Lawton, it’s the bottom of the Lawton Treble Locks There you go So we did move on from Red Bull. Eventually Finally, yesterday. We actually have some letters about Red Bull. In fact we have one, it’s it’s a letter from Bob Down in Cockermouth [Laughing] What?? His sister, Wendy in Wetwang [Laughing] and he says his Red Bull called after the Red Bull drink? Is it sponsored by Red NO! [Laughing] We did a lot of research and we have absolutely no idea why it’s called Red Bull, but there you go So we are in Church Lawton, we’re gonna head out today We’re going north over the aqueduct round the corner past the British Waterways work yard, into Rode Heath, up towards Thurlwood and then we go out into the country We passed the village of Betchton and go up towards Hassall Green and hopefully there’ll be a space on the visitor mooring near lock 57. WoooHooo! Hopefully Fingers crossed Are you ready? No, but we’ll go Come on, come on [Music playing] Just after we did Harecastle Tunnel the other day, I thought I’d have a wander down to the old disused railway tunnel and I got about 20 yards in and chickened out It was just a bit too dark Come running home [Laughs] But I wanted to go in, so I rang a friend of mine and we went down yesterday You know he is This is what happened Just to the west side of the south portal of the Hareastle canal tunnels, is the old route of the North Staffordshire railway Now there used to be a station just here called Chatterley station and that’s why some people still refer to this side of the canal tunnels as the Chatterley portal. Now if you follow the old track bed north, you’ll see it comes to another tunnel entrance and this is the South portal of the southern Harecastle railway tunnel. It’s been disused for over 50 years, but I wanted to go and have a look So I gave a friend of mine a call So just 18 feet underneath and to the sides are the canal tunnels, on that side it’s the Telford tunnel that we’ve just gone through on Silver Fox, but I couldn’t resist coming up to this. This is the old abandoned Harecastle south railway tunnel on the North Staffordshire railway line they abandoned it because they couldn’t electrify it back in the 1960s. So the re-routed the railway and this tunnel which is about mile long has been abandoned ever since. Now you know I like to explore, but I’m just too much of a pussy to do it on my own and there’s only one man I could think of that could help me out So Martin Zero’s back with me Hello I wouldn’t say he’s gonna hold my hand as we go through but I’m hoping he’s gonna look after me. Are you ready? You’ll be reyt. Go on, you go first you go first I’m not going first It is rather dark though You go first I’m right behind you Did you bring a torch Oh no [Creepy music playing] So at about 300 yards it’s the tunnel and you can just see this big set of scaffolding and as you come under it there’s the first of the ventilation shafts that’s not actually that high I would say that’s probably only what, about 100 feet? Not that much [Creepy music playing]
So, we’re about 500 yard into the tunnel and we’ve just spotted this, it looks I thought it was like a drainage ditch, but it actually looks like it’s Oh it’s weird, I’m going to show you instead You come down, it’s not big enough to crawl through, it certainly, by the looks of all that too dangerous to crawl through But if you come right down and right in it opens up just back there and it’s huge, it looks like a cave or something, but you can see the rock the flatness of the rock above it and then it kind of opens up inside. It’s just a pity that whatever it is that’s collapsed over the years has blocked it off. Crawl back out again [Laughs] I’m a little bit filthy. I am gonna get done I’m doing washing for the next week [Music playing] This is weird, it’s like walking on another planet It’s weird Oh my god, it’s just so [Laughs] Squelshy Shaun’s gonna love me when I turn up It’s just like another planet all right now it’s getting a bit weird All right, got a bit deep there Do you know what? It reminds me like when we were 10 and used to go exploring You’re gonna get so done I am gonna get told off when I get back to the boat I’m gonna get done as well I’m absolutely covered and caked, my nice jeans and your nice jeans as well, It’s a fashion Gilet [Laughs] Fashion Gilet? [Laughs] It’s an exporters Fashion Gilet with multiple pockets for various devices that you may need whilst exploring and it’s covered in iron ore because of you Because of me So as we got to us last couple hundred yards we tried, we did here it was flooded but we didn’t realize it was like that flooded and it’s like we got to ankle deep and it was just, it was getting deeper and deeper so as much as Martin wanted to carry on and I would give him a piggyback you’ve had I’ve had my wellies with me, but Definitely needed wellies didn’t we? definitely needed wellies But that is Harecastle South tunnel So we’ve got the Brindley tunnel on that side we’ve got the Telford tunnel on that side. My hands are a little bit black I’ll tell you what even though I’ve got black hands, thank you for walking me through there. No problem If you haven’t already, check out Martin’s channel, called Martin Zero on YouTube I will put a link up there so that you can get to see loads of history and tunnels and rivers and canals and railways and stuff like that. You’ll love it If you love this channel, which you obviously do, you’ll love Martin’s too I can’t get over the colour of us [Laughs] Are we off for some dinner? I’m actually quite hungry to be honest with you Yeah, let’s go find some chips then Look at my My hair’s wet as well [Music playing] This is locked 53 or Thirlwood Lock on the Trent and Mersey Canal. Like most of the locks down here, it was doubled up by Thomas Telford in the 1830s, but there were also salt mining and the brine pumping caused the other lock to kind of break up and subside the subsidence was damaging it. But there needed to keep two locks open so they built this really kind of futuristic looking steel lock, it was like a box, a steel box. It had guillotine gates, the water would empty and fill from the lock on pipes on the side and they had ladders It was quite revolutionary for its time The good thing about it was is if there was more subsidence, they could jack the lock up, they could move it to keep it working. It sounds really good The problem was the boaters didn’t like it It took too long to use and there were having problems with it too and they built in 1958 well by 1988 it wasn’t getting used and it was out with you so they ended up shopping it up and selling it for scrap
I know It would have been nice to see it, it would have sat right to my right hand side But there’s only pictures now [Music playing] So we’re in Rode Heath, well actually Thirlwood Well….. in the oldendy days old Oldendy. [Laughs] when Shaun was likkle [Laughs] Rode Heath and Thirlwood were two different villages If you look from the drone shots you can actually see that over the years the housing estates on the villages have kind of gone together and moves together and now it’s just like one village called Rode Heath. But this is Thirlwood Lock, this is where, it’s still on the map as Thirlwood I’m making this really complicated aren’t I? I’m off for a cup of tea [Laughing] [Music playing] Doesn’t this music remind you of errr Which one was Windy Miller in? Was it Trumpton or Camberwick Green? Both wasn’t it? He was a weird bloke wasn’t he, Windy Miller? He wore a Quaker didn’t he? He had like a quaker’s hat on. Yeah. Do you remember? Can you remember the noise it used to make? Tshh Tshh Tuf ti tuff Tshh Tshh Tuf ti tuff [Laughs] I bet you can’t remember what the name of his windmill was? There you go that’s a question. I can’t What was Windy Miller’s windmill? What was the name of it? Put your answers down below if you know it I know Really? Yeah, didn’t you know that? No Mind of useless information [Laughs] [Music playing] [Music fading] A few days ago I got a message from a lady called Sue over here in England and she was telling me about brother Paul, watching all our vlogs and always telling Sue what we were up to and how far we’d gotten, how comical we’d been and things like that and how much he wanted to come over from America where he lives to Britain to meet us and hopefully when he retired we’d kind of inspired him to spend his retirement years on a narrowboat and she also told me how Paul had said how he was worried about me and and how well I was doing sort of coping with the mental health issues and that kinda connected because Paul suffers from depression and anxiety quite bad. Unfortunately Paul didn’t get the help they needed and he took his own life a couple of weeks ago and I was talking to Sue about it and she sent me a message saying Paul had mentioned that you hadn’t been well and it was concerned while telling me how well you’ve done and there had been a very difficult time and Paul really admired you Colin His face would light up when he was chatting about the journeys and he said to me you both cheered him up and it was his escape and the sad thing was it was coming over to stay with me two weeks before he took his life because it was
my son’s wedding and Paul said to me hey Sue, can we meet Colin as Shaun when I’m over Because I would love that But he didn’t make it, he took his own life before he got a chance to I’m sorry and I just wanted to kind of pay tribute to Paul and Sue said it was okay to do this message and lot of people say that mental health issues are invisible This is not invisible is it? You don’t have to talk openly like I do, you don’t have to be public about it But, just talk to somebody if it’s that bad So this vlog is dedicated to Paul [Gentle piano music playing] [Music fading] You okay? I’m all right He wouldn’t want us to be sad about it so we’re not gonna have some sort of big dramatic ending we’re gonna carry on because that’s what he would have wanted, all right. But if you love somebody or care about them send them a text now and just tell them and let them know.. all right I’ll get my phone, I haven’t got my phone [Laughs] It’d better be me you’re texting [Laughs] We have gone about two and a half miles today then, started off at Lawton Locks and Lawton Mooring this morning, we’re now at Hassall Green locks, that’s the first of them Lock 57, we’ve got four locks today and it’s been gorgeous. Brightness It has made a change and it does, it is a lot better isn’t it? Oh god yes Cruising in the sunshine, it is a lot better and this something near by, it’s within like five minutes walk of where we are. I haven’t told him this yet. Where I’m gonna take Shaun later today and we’ll show you in next week’s vlog [Laughs] I’ll give you a clue, it’s somewhat to do with the Generation Game. Okay You could be Isla St Claire I’m not Isla St Claire You can do Irish accent better than I can I’m not doing Isla St Claire [Laughs] Oh I don’t know though, because you’re kind of a natural Larry Grayson [Laughs] No, I’m Brucie [Laughing] I was gonna swear then [Laughs] So, that’s coming next time Normally I say, I hope you’ve enjoyed the vlog I hope you appreciate the vlog for what is this week Please give us a thumbs up and subscribe, it makes a big difference if you subscribe to the channel. Yes it does Hit the notifications icon, YouTube will let you know every time we release a new episode and even better if you want to support the channel become a Patreon, there’s a link on its way and it just helps us to keep the channel going If you love it. If not, don’t matter No pressure. No pressure We’re off for warm up to get the fire going and to get some tea and until next week take care thanks for watching and we’ll see you later. See you later, bye [Music playing] That’s this where we’re yeah yea We’ll cut that bit out [Beeeep] [Beeeeep] YAYYYY! We’re like steam engines are you ready? You’d be a rubbish Thomas the I can’t even talk, my lip are freezing up Just after we did Harecastle Tunnel, I noticed the old errr
No I’m not building that up well at all am I? [Laughs] Do it again then Lock and they were having all sorts [Beeeep] Thought the camera was making a noise and it was the GoPro [Laughing] [Music plays tio the end]