Hugh's Bridge Canal Tunnel
The canal tunnel at Hugh's Bridge, Lilleshall on the Donnington Wood Canal has been attracting the attention of Club members for a number of years.
Yet apart from a brief foray into the tunnel in the 1960s by David Adams (who didn’t reach the end) nothing much has happened. On the evening of July 4th this year, this situation was rectified when a dozen Club members paid a visit with a view to (hopefully) reaching the shafts at the end of this "shaft and tunnel" system.
Stuart Tyrer received a certain amount of good natured 'mickey-taking' when he kitted up in full diving gear - even more so when he stood in the entrance and it barely covered his flippers!
But, he had the last laugh after donning his diving gear and entering the tunnel the others with him (Evan, Tony and Andy) rapidly discovered that the water in the tunnel was much deeper than they thought. The land owners have put a barrier across the entrance to make the canal a garden feature, increasing the depth of water inside the tunnel.
As they moved into the tunnel Evan and Tony tried holding onto Neal's inflatable dingy while Stuart towed them along. However, after about 30m with progress proving very slow, Stuart left the dingy behind and pushed onto the end. He managed to get a couple of views of the filled shafts with his video camera, which showed there was no way onwards.
When the team came out measurements where made up the incline to work out where the shafts might be. Two spots were identified with trees growing out of them as the likely locations either side of the track along the former towpath.