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2003 - 2004
Tidying up my research and getting down to business.
bolsover reccie 10th November 2004. Reccie of Bolsover: Didn't do it... But we will! west portal blocked by concrete casting. east approach is a swamp. We used a rope to descend the slope of the cutting and dropped a ladder tied to ropes down the last 15' which is vertical. Then waded through 250m of deap swamp to the portal. Possibly my most wanted closed tunnel... I'll be back.
W Yorks 8th November 2004. West Yorkshire: John and me again. We visited Chickenley Heath, Soothill, Shaw Cross, Earlsheaton, 'Jeremy Lane', 'Market Street', Liversedge, 'Dewsbury GN', Saville Town, Batley Carr and Gomersal tunnels - and did most of them. Oh! And we squeezed in one of my top 'wants' - Haddon on the Midland between Matlock and Manchester - on the way home - I was well pleased!
Lincs & W Mids 9th - 10th March 2004. Lincs & West Mids: I had wanted to do the tunnels in Brum City Center for sometime. I nipped over and did High Street and Withcall on the (round about) way to John's as John has already done them. If you're planning a trip to Wolverhampton Low Level, you will need waders to access from ther south end!!
18th February 2004. Swadlincote:We all know that Liverpool and Glasgow are railway tunnel 'cities' and we know that West Yorkshire and South Wales are tunnel 'regions', but did you realise that Swadlincote in Leicestershire once had at least eight tunnels, and possibly five or six more, all within a square mile? Two still exist and were 'available for comment' when John and I visited in February 2004. The rest - to the best of our knowledge (and site exploration skills!) - have been completely obliterated.
Quarries 5th - 8th February 2004. Peak Quarries, Stalybridge and North West: An odd four days. No particular plan, just ended up in a different place each day. Several possible tunnels were investigated at long closed Peak District quarries several were winners! Then a look-see at my home town of St. Helens, then Warrington and Bolton where we found an exciting manhole... But didn't have ladders to fully explore!
Coxbench Quarry 15th January 2004. Coxbench Quarry: A typical example of when a hunch leads to a 'possible' tunnel which turns out to be real. It's a good feeling! This one is full of car bumpers (honest!). It's about 30yds long and is blocked off at the quarry end. I also went to Morley today but it is well and truly filled in.
6th January 2004. Midland Railway in the Peak (1): Quick run up the A6 to do Rusher Cutting and Chee Tor No1. I looked in at Haddon but the farmer was in his field at the east end! I was taking a photo at the west end when a bailiff turned up and started to harass me! The road is public so I told him where to go! Haddon is my most wanted closed tunnel a t the moment...
22nd November 2003. Stoddart aka Chapel Milton: Nipped into the old people's home on way back from my brother's and did this famous little tunnel (yep, it really is in the garden of an old people's home). It is blocked at the west and open at the east. There was a council chap there who was apparently surveying for possibly opening as a footpath. It would need a lot of work!
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