CANALBOAT PUB OF THE YEAR

Canal Boat - - Contents - To find out more, read the book­let Nor­wood Tun­nel: four cen­turies of chal­lenge by Chris­tine Richard­son.

Don’t miss your last chance to vote!

Our Pub of the Year Awards 2015 were such a great suc­cess we thought we’d do them again this year – and just like last year we want you to vote for your favourites. To en­ter, go to canalboat.co.uk and click on the Pub of the Year tab then tell us which wa­ter­ing hole you’re nom­i­nat­ing, its lo­ca­tion and why it should win our pres­ti­gious prize: is it the beer, the food, the at­mos­phere, the com­pany, the land­lord/land­lady? En­tries will close on 2 Novem­ber and we’re look­ing for­ward to hear­ing from you. The win­ner will be an­nounced in the New Year and re­ceive our cov­eted Canal Boat

Pub of the Year plaque to hang on their wall – and be­cause we be­lieve good things come in threes, as last year, we’ll also be se­lect­ing two run­ners-up who will re­ceive one of our spe­cial plaques as well.

car­ried out, where it passes through a gap be­tween the tip site and new hous­ing on the right. A fur­ther two locks will over­come a rise in ground level here.

Leav­ing the col­liery site be­hind, the new canal route en­ters farm­land and takes an S-bend to the left, cross­ing to the south side of the line of the for­mer tun­nel. You can fol­low its ap­prox­i­mate route via foot­paths and tracks as it heads to­wards the M1. A fi­nal two locks will climb to a short sum­mit, car­ried un­der the mo­tor­way in an ex­ist­ing farm bridge.

Beyond the bridge, the new sum­mit level ends and the de­scent will be rapid. Two triple stair­cases (with a cross­ing by HS2 some­where in the mix, if cur­rent pro­pos­als are adopted) will drop the canal into a cut­ting. This will merge with the old tun­nel ap­proach not far from the west por­tal (bricked up, with only a few yards of tun­nel in­tact at this end).

Just beyond is the start of the ex­ist­ing (but as yet derelict) Nor­wood Locks: to­gether with the new stair­cases this will one day form one of the steep­est and most spec­tac­u­lar flights any­where on the sys­tem – five triple stair­cases and a quadruple in half a mile. And beyond the bot­tom of the flight, an­other planned di­ver­sion around a hous­ing es­tate built on the line in Kil­la­marsh, will lead to the lengths cur­rently un­der restora­tion.

Talk of di­ver­sions, new locks, open­ing out a length of tun­nel, and build­ing a new road bridge makes it clear that this won’t hap­pen quickly. And speak­ing to se­nior CRT staff af­ter­wards, it’s clear that their main in­ter­est is in car­ry­ing out their statu­tory in­spec­tion, not pre­par­ing for restora­tion. But they do point out that the first stage – re­open­ing the quar­ter mile of sur­viv­ing tun­nel, build­ing the first three locks, and turn­ing Kive­ton Wa­ters into a ma­rina (in an area with few such fa­cil­i­ties) – might make good busi­ness sense in its own right, as well as form­ing the first step to­wards through nav­i­ga­tion.

And with CCT’s vol­un­teers fresh from build­ing the new Stave­ley Lock and keen to try their hands at a stair­case, there are ways of mak­ing it more af­ford­able.

Per­haps there is in­deed a light at the end of the tun­nel...

Re­mains of Nor­wood flight: one day they will form a se­quence of 19 stair­case locks

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