EMAILS AND LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
I have just read the article "Lapal Tunnel" and would like to mention that the two photographs of the tunnel entrance and the Black Horse Pub illustrated is wrong. I have fished, played and rowed a boat to the tunnel entrance many times obviously many years ago. The Black Horse Pub is at least 350 yards or three field's width beforethe tunnel entrance. Even today if you stand on the Black Horse lower car park there is no way a tunnel entrance could have been there. If you walk up the by-pass from the pub and turn right into Lapal Lane, just along before the sharp left hand bend turns up the hill, the tunnel entrance would have been one field away to your right hand side. I have even been inside the tunnel in a boat (But not very far).
On the map on the previous page that I enclosed with this e-mail, you will clearly see the pub is alongside old Manor Lane by the well known "Hump Back Bridge" and the canal meanders at least three fields to the east of the pub and then disappears at the tunnel opening.
Other than that an excellent reading, incidentally if this e-mail has reached Bernard Taylor. I am the person who corrected your some time ago on your article, also excellent, "Quinton Shops" about the missing shop at the corner of Balden Road and Hagley Road.
I replied to Barry
Many thanks for that Barry the photograph was taken from the John Hope Collection (page 3 number 33) as linked from www.johnhopecollection.co.uk, I had used it several times without having its authenticity questioned but I take on board your comments and will include your email in the next Oracle No 61 out in May 2014. Number 60 is printed and already available.
The other photo was sent to me by a member who assured me that the details he sent with it were correct but thank you for bringing it to my attention.
And following on he replied to me
Thanks for the reply Bernard,
I have seen those two photographs before in other articles over the years but could not supply any proof that they were wrong. Out of the bunch of lads I used to know only one can remember the same as me as to the tunnel entrance.
So recently I started to look for old maps and eventually found one which you now have part of and proves the distance between the pub and tunnel.
If you go to the lower car park of the Black Horse and walk towards the hedge and face towards Walton or Clent Hills that is where the Barges (Not Narrow Boats) could stop alongside for beer or whatever. That is where we once stopped in a rowing boat and one friend of mine went and fetched a pint of beer.
Further along the canal going on the right hand side towards the tunnel entrance was a well known swan's nest which if memory serves me rightly was also a bit of a boggy maybe overflow area. I think the canal widened a little just there and canal water may have over lapped creating the wet area. The swans nested year after year and if they were nesting it was a risk to cross that part of the canal path. The Cob would stand on the canal path wings spread out and no one dared approach him. You could see the Pen on the nest well protected by him. The nest would have been to the right side of the path and a few yards into the wet area.
The tunnel entrance was always open and again nothing like the photo's that has been circulated. The photograph of the Gorsty Hill Tunnel entrance is more like the Lapal Tunnel entrance.
I actually went into the tunnel for about 20-30 feet but came out as it very quickly became pitch black. There would not have been a canal path on the Black Horse side going towards the tunnel and certainly no buildings.
And following on Barry has sent this:-
Have a look at this latest map I have found, it shows the "Spring " that I said was a boggy area close to the tunnel entrance. Also if you zoom into the Black Horse you will see the letters "Wharf" where I said the barges would have pulled up, the map is around 1920-1930.
Many thanks to Barry and the map appears below
True Location of Lapal Tunnel Spring
I do receive quite a few emails from people and not just members. I cannot recall where these photos came from but I felt that I should share them with you all.
The article in question is the “Parkes Phillit Quick Pump”. According to Fred Clay in Anthony Rosser’s “Quinton and Round About –part two” – “Jim Parkes had a business in Bissell Street, founded by his father. Jim’s uncle Harry Parkes, invented the two-way pump. Harry was disabled and had a workshop by the Municipal Bank (now a Children’s Nursery). Jim Parkes’ factory was responsible for production and they had a contract to supply the Westinghouse Brake Company with the pumps.
Here are two photos of an actual pump and clearly marked “Parkes Quinton”.
Here is a letterhead which interestingly shows a date 192...
A wonderful piece of Quinton nostalgia, my thanks to whoever sent it and if it is a member, my apologies for not remembering or noting the source. Anyone else out there with such treasures lurking or hiding in the attic, shed etc. Please let me know what you find.
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