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Saturday 14th January
RAR 255
COVENTRY'S GBG

Meet at Greyhound, Sutton Stop, 12 noon
Sunday 5th February
HW 55
SNOWDROPS AT ALLESLEY

Meet at The Brooklands, Kingsbury Road, 12 noon.
Saturday 18th February
RAR 256
STATFORD TO WELFORD ON AVON

National Express 460 bus departs Pool Meadow Stand B 11:00am arrives Stratford 11:25am (X18 takes 1 hour 35 mins!!)

The No.27 bus leaves Welford at 3:16pm and arrives Stratford 3:29pm (opposite Maypole)
5:50pm arrives 6:12pm
6:09pm arrives 6:46pm

The X18 bus leaves B439 (Binton turn) at 3:19pm arrives Stratford at 3:56pm. This stop is supposedly 20 mins walk from Welford.
3:49pm arrives 4:26pm
4:24pm arrives 5:01pm
4:54pm arrives 5:31pm

The 6:30pm No. 460 National Express arrives Coventry 7:00pm
Saturday 18th March
RAR 257
WELFORD ON AVON TO BIDFORD ON AVON

National Express 460 bus departs Pool Meadow Stand B 11:00am arrives Stratford 11:25am

The 11:54am X18 bus from Stratford arrives B439 (Binton turn) at 12:07pm
Saturday 15th April
RAR 258
BIDFORD ON AVON TO HARVINGTON

National Express 460 bus departs Pool Meadow Stand B 11:00am arrives Stratford 11:25am

The 11:54am X18 bus from Stratford arrives Bidford 12:11pm
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This is an unusual walk in that it uses a tunnel to cross from one side of Dudley to the other. I have arranged it so that one uses the train to arrive at Tipton, then walks under Dudley from east to west to arrive at the best pubs in the area
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Arriving at Tipton station we walk up Owen Street and cross the main line canal, which was dug in straight lines in the early 19th century to replace the more winding and meandering original canal of c1776. We continue into the centre of Tipton and after a few minutes arrive at the FOUNTAIN on our right. This old pub was once the headquarters of William Perry, otherwise known as ‘The Tipton Slasher‘, a champion prize-fighter in the 19th century. It stands alongside the old canal.
the fountain
The Fountain at Tipton. Photo © GF Luckett
From the Fountain we can follow the old canal as it follows the contours through Tipton towards Tividale. After a few minutes we pass the junction with the Stourbridge canal, which leads to the Dudley tunnel. However, we cannot use this tunnel as it has no towpath. Continuing along our canal we pass through housing for 30 minutes before arriving at the Tividale Aqueduct where the old canal passes over the newer, straight, main line canal and we get a view of the tunnel portal
tunnel north portal
The North portal of Netherton Tunnel at Tividale. Photo © GF Luckett
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At Tividale aqueduct we descend to the main line canal and approach the tunnel. This was opened in 1858 to ease the congestion at the Dudley tunnel. It is 9081 feet (2768 metres) long, that is about 1 ¾ miles and was built with a towpath on either side so that boats could work through the tunnel in both directions at the same time, but now the right hand towpath is fenced off and no longer used. The towpath is not illuminated, so you will need torches to negotiate it. Boots are also necessary as the towpath is uneven with deep puddles and it isn’t possible to avoid them on a towpath in the dark. Fortunately the towpath does have railings to prevent anyone falling in the canal in the dark ! There are seven airshafts along the tunnel, which allow shafts of light to illuminate short stretches of the tunnel. After about 40 minutes you emerge into the daylight again at the Netherton end.
tunnel south portal
The South portal of Netherton Tunnel. Photo © GF Luckett
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From the tunnel you walk over a branch canal and through a grassy area called ‘Bumble Hole‘. You pass under the St Peters Road bridge and come to Griffin Bridge on Northfield Road. Turning right here and walking up Northfield Road towards Dudley brings you to the rear entrance to the famous WHITE SWAN (Ma Pardoe’s) on the left. This is renown because of its home brew and its unspoilt interiors.
white swan
The White Swan at Netherton. Photo © GF Luckett
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From the White Swan you can continue on towards Dudley along Cinder Bank, either on foot or by catching the 243 bus. The LAMP, a Bathams pub, stands on the right after 1 ½ miles.
the lamp
The Lamp Tavern at Dudley. Photo © GF Luckett
From here it is a short walk along High Street into the centre of Dudley. On the right is the FULL MOON, a Wetherspoons pub.
the full moon public house
The Full Moon at Dudley. Photo © GF Luckett
Then continuing along High Street through the Market Place you come to New Street on the left where you will find the COURTHOUSE, a free house belonging to Black Country Traditional Inns.
the courthouse public house
The Courthouse pub at Dudley. Photo © GF Luckett
From there return along New Street and cross High Street to reach the bus station where buses leave for Dudley port railway station, Birmingham, Wolverhampton and elsewhere
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