Traci’s Notes – Easter and Beyond

Today’s post was written for us by our Chief Executive, Traci Dix-Williams.


This is the first of what I hope will be a regular blog showing just how varied and exciting it is working at Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust.

We are just coming to the end of a new event for us with our Easter Bunny Boats which have been really well received and the team are full of great ideas which we can incorporate next year. We are all fighting over who is going to look after EB our Easter Bunny though. He has proved to be very popular.  We are also working on our Bostin Fittel Event which we will be holding during the Black Country Festival – we want to showcase the best of the Black Country from its food and drink to entertainers and attractions. Events are a great way of attracting audiences and getting them to see how special our tunnels, canal and caverns are but it does mean we are always working six months ahead and we have even begun to mention Christmas again –  already!

Operationally safety is a huge focus for us, especially as we take our visitors underground into ancient caverns. Our track record is excellent so we spend a large part of our year reviewing and improving this.  All our boats have an extensive annual safety check which we have now completed and we do daily, monthly and bi-annual surveys of the mines and caverns as well as assessing all our activities. We work with a lot of specialist organisation to ensure every aspect is covered.

We have recently taken our Gongoozler Restaurant back in-house so we are looking at all our menus, our corporate bookings and adding new offers such as our Vic Smallshire Dining Cruises. We are really keen we offer a great value menu which has something for everyone, I think it is too big at the moment and the poor cooks have quite a time producing all the meals but over time we can refine this. Also, it’s not doing my waistline any good being able to pop in every day for lunch. Once the weather turns nice you will find me on the balcony again, it’s the perfect place to watch the boats on the canal and see everyone enjoying themselves.

Dudley is a really exciting place to be at the moment – so much new development and projects coming in so I work closely with the Zoo, Black Country Living Museum, Dudley Museum and Archives, the Council and all the attractions to help promote all that Dudley has to offer. We will soon be attending the Crick Boat Show in Northampton and we will make sure we showcase everything that is here.

Our open water boat trips are now available to book, we are adding to them this year with children’s activity sheets and historic information booklets. Hence if you came to the office you would see us doing word searches, drawing pictures of our boats and working out what the miners would have in their lunch tins – but I can assure you it is work!