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Report - - More underground Boating. Crimson Hill Tunnel, Somerset 05/2010 - UPDATED OCT' 10 | Underground Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk
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Report - More underground Boating. Crimson Hill Tunnel, Somerset 05/2010 - UPDATED OCT' 10

Styru

Admin
Staff member
Admin
#1
EDIT: - revisit October 2010 with Urbanity and Frayedsanity - deeper, darker, further - seen end of thread:thumb

fulltroy.jpg


Hi, I’m Troy McStyru!

You may remember me from such 28DL underground boating extravaganzas as

“Why is all of Bristol staring at us?”

and

“If these are Catacombs – why don’t the locals speak French?”

For today’s third installment in the underground boating series we leave the UK, and head to a quaint nearby country called ‘Somerset’.

Situated literally next-door to modern-day England ‘Somerset’ has no formal entry requirements – but you must remember to turn your watches back (about 25 years)

Building on the lessons learned during previous trips (yeh –right!) we took a veritable flotilla of vessels this time (4 people + 5 boats = flotilla!)

We assembled a crack team of explorers – but sadly they all told us to bog-off – and so the party consisted of Mr Urbanity, the Reverend Spungletrumpet, Troy McStyru and Rob (a friend of Urb’s who lives in the real world, and so hasn’t got a silly pseudonym)

Our quest for the day was Crimson Hill tunnel:


Crimson Hill tunnel, one of the longest in Britain at 1800 yards long, was built to form part of the old Taunton to Chard canal...

The canal was one of the last main line canals to be made. A 13.5-mile tub-boat (rectangular craft designed to carry cargo as part of a train of similar vessels) canal, with inclined planes and 3 tunnels, from the Bridgwater and Taunton at Creech St. Michael to Chard.

Authorised by an Act of 1834, open to Ilminster in 1841 and to Chard in 1842. It carried traffic until 1867 (mainly coal, fertilizers, salt bricks, slate and timber) when it was bought by the Bristol and Exeter Railway and closed.

The Chard Canal was the last of the main English canals and technically one of the most advanced
Rarely explored, and certainly never reported here full credit to Urbanity for getting out there and finding/scouting this one*.

*(what does he want want, a medal or something??)




Oh, OK, go on then...





medal.jpg


On with the pics.


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Pre-access access point (the way all good explores should start on a sunny day) the aptly named Canal Inn

The canal itself has long since silted up/been drained.

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Sad remains of the once great waterway:

An interesting navigation, we were already aware that a roof fall about halfway in had put the mockers on a through trip, and with the water depth varying between about 8 and zero inches our passage was a combination of paddling, punting, and wading (whilst the water level was low you will be pleased to hear that the mud/silt level under the water was a healthy 10-14 inches of wader grabbing goodiness!)

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The mystic portal

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Please remove muddy footwear before entering craft

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It was at this point that Mr urbainty piped up with the soon to be regretted line:

"I recon I can wade this bit - it will be easier than paddling"
IM004710.jpg


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This line was soon to be followed by

"shit, I'm stuck in the mud"
and

"aggghhh - wader fail!"
IM004711.jpg


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Camera hints number 453 - always ensure a firm base for your tripod

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The Explorer 200 - a modern day classic in underground boating

At about its midpoint the tunnel widens to allow boats to pass, it was also at this point that water turns to some of the deepest, stickiest mud and silt that I've waded in ages:

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Urbanity (top) and Spungletrumpet about to experience an altogether higher level of mud sinkingness

Whether coincidence, or whether it was due to the wide nature of this section, this is the point at which a fall blocked the tunnel a few years back:

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Urbanity inspects the damage - anyone got a bucket and spade?



Beating an equally muddy, wet retreat, we retired back to the Canal Inn

But not before Spungletrumpet had stopped to kiss the ground, and give thanks to the Lord for a safe trip:

IM004752.jpg


(or he might have just been deflating his trusty 'Explorer 200')

The looks on the faces of the locals upon seeing boating gear and much mud were priceless - I think few of them had any idea that there was a waterway nearby (although you'd think that the fact that it was the Canal Inn would have been a bit of a give away :rolleyes:)

A big thanks to my (so far) trusty £9.99 Union Jack boat that is now survived 3 underground trip, and to my Lidl waders that, despite a year of launching/retrieving boats in the Bristol Channel and being stuck in some of the worlds stickiest mud once again stayed watertight.

Cheers for the company guys - look forward to your pics, comments, laundry bills, insults, etc. :thumb

BUT WAIT - there's more! - we returned at a later date and got past that fall - see further on in this report!!!
.
 
Last edited:

pauln

too old to be reckless
28DL Full Member
#2
Re: More underground Boating. Crimsin Hill Tunnel, Somerset 05/2010

Excellent write up - what a bunch of loons. That boat looks ready to sink at any second.
 

badwabbit

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#3
Re: More underground Boating. Crimsin Hill Tunnel, Somerset 05/2010

Hehe. Entertaining as ever :)
 

urban

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#5
Re: More underground Boating. Crimsin Hill Tunnel, Somerset 05/2010

:popcorn

nice one...looked a good day out!
 

urbanity

28dl flâneur
Regular User
#6
Re: More underground Boating. Crimson Hill Tunnel, Somerset 05/2010


It's a really nice tunnel. I didn't take any photos on this trip, but I'll be back soon to get some decent ones, after I've brought yet another boat.

Thanks to Styru and Spungletumpet for an excellent afternoon out.
 

Ryno118

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#7
Re: More underground Boating. Crimson Hill Tunnel, Somerset 05/2010

Looked like a mega day out. Laughing just reading it.
 

Magnetmonkey

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#8
Re: More underground Boating. Crimson Hill Tunnel, Somerset 05/2010

Top write up would be good if more people on write ups had a sense of humour. :popcorn
 

vwdirtboy

Keeuunnntt!
28DL Full Member
#9
Re: More underground Boating. Crimson Hill Tunnel, Somerset 05/2010

Nice one boyz.. you are liking it wet..lolz!
 

Oxygen Thief

Admin
Staff member
Admin
#10
Re: More underground Boating. Crimson Hill Tunnel, Somerset 05/2010

Who let the lunatics out of the asylum (again) ?

Brilliant report, glad you pulled it off.
 

archcarrier

28DL Member
28DL Member
#12
Re: More underground Boating. Crimson Hill Tunnel, Somerset 05/2010

Brilliant report guys! Never seen pics of the inside of Crimson Hill before!! all credit to Lidl's budget outdoor footware range. I didn't know there was a collapse in the middle...I assume there's nothing to see of the southern end of the tunnel
 

petzl

Explorational Urbanite
28DL Full Member
#15
Re: More underground Boating. Crimson Hill Tunnel, Somerset 05/2010

i wanna go there lol great job lads :thumb