Narrowboat Tacet

Silent Movement - Our gap year travelling the inland waterways

Monday, 30 July 2012

Marsden - Diggle - Marsden- Diggle

We arrived at the entrance to Standedge Tunnel on Saturday afternoon.

We had no signals, for tv, phone or internet, so very peaceful and quiet. But a bit like when there's a power cut you keep going to do something, then find you can't!  Anyway now I can get you up to date with where we are.
First some pics of the journey from Slaithwaite to Marsden.

Yesterday, Sunday, we enjoyed a day out to Bradford meeting our daughter; visiting the Media museum and being cooked for, a super roast pork dinner in her student flat. We had a lovely time with her and her flatmates and Nora the hamster.
We were impressed that the return train tickets from Marsden to Bradford, via Leeds were just £5 each.

Today, three boats were booked to go through the tunnel at 8.30am. One was ahead of us and set off after all the checks etc and with a C&RT escort at about 8.45.  We would be next at 9.30.  They like to leave a 45 minute gap between boats.  Sadly nb Yorky who we have been meeting up with since Huddersfield was not allowed through as it appeared she was too wide to fit through when measured with their rod.  However Malcolm and Sue have taken her through at least 5 times previously!  We felt so sorry for them, as they had made the effort to come up all those locks, they are trying to get out to Llangollen, so they will now go over the Rochdale.

We were joined by Terry as our escort, same as last year.  We were pleased to see a friendly and familiar face. 
He is so knowledgeable about the tunnel and is able to point out the low bits, narrow bits and wobbly bits as we get to them, helping Ian with navigating Tacet through.  Again we got through with just a few little bumps and no harm done. I didn't want to repeat myself, so haven't given much detail about the tunnel but you can read last year's blog here.
Mostly cut out of rock, the drilling lines are still visible
Along the way adits join to an early train tunnel, now disused.

the C&RT escorts check the boats passing through

driving their van along the old train tunnel

Terry jumped off at the last adit to take these photos for us.

We had wanted to walk over the top to Diggle, but had not had time from Marsden and so were going to walk back once we had moored up at Diggle today.  It was raining however and not wanting to get soaked early on, we got a bus back to Marsden (cost £3.10 single for 13 minute journey!).........

 ........... and then donned waterproofs and walked back again. 
However with the climb we were getting hot, and then the clouds began to clear and so we stripped off,( just the waterproofs) and enjoyed the views over the towns behind us and in front as we went over the hill.
In some places the footpath was narrow, or rocky, or very wet, or all three!
Jumble had a great time, he would have liked to make friends with the sheep.  Now he is fast asleep, dreaming of chasing sheep instead of rabbits, (his legs keep twitching!)

This evening it is warm and sunny here, with lots of local people enjoying the towpath, and we're tired out.

Slaithwaite - Marsden
3 miles, 21 locks, 6 hours
Marsden - Diggle
3 miles, 1 tunnel, 1 hour 40 mins.


  1. We had a short trip on a canal boat here last year prior to our canal boat holiday. It's a lovely place, I love the feel of the mill towns.

  2. Great to get out and walk over the hills as well as burrowing under them. Travelling through that tunnel sounds like quite an adventure!

    I am hoping to visit a friend in Shipley, just north of Bradford, this week. I'm looking forward to it.