Pennine Waterways News

Tuesday 27 January 2009

Photos of Cooper Bridge Weir Failure

Following on from the report on Friday's closure of the Calder and Hebble Navigation at Cooper Bridge, I can now bring you some new photos that show clearly why navigation is not possible.

The photo above shows BW staff inspecting the damaged weir. The structure is not normally visible from this viewpoint, indicating how much the level has fallen.

The initial failure dropped the level by a foot or two, then a large section of the weir completely collapsed, rendering the river unnavigable from Kirklees Lower Lock to Cooper Bridge lock cut, including the access to the Huddersfield Broad Canal.

The entrance to the Huddersfield Broad Canal - too shallow to navigate.

Low levels on the Cooper Bridge lock cut that bypasses the weir.

Liverpool Link was centre of attention!

Liverpool's new Canal Link was the centre of attention at the closing event of Liverpool's Year of Culture!

Around sixty thousand people crowded onto the Pier Head area on each side of the new canal channel to witness the closing spectacular on 10th January. This featured fireworks, music, dance, illuminated lanterns on the canal and special lighting of The Three Graces. A film of the highlights of the year was shown on giant screens to the accompaniment of a sound track of well-known Liverpool songs.

The Liverpool Canal Link at Pier Head was at the heart of the closing festival.
Photo: Christian Smith Photography Ltd

At one time it had been hoped that the Canal Link could have been completely open in time for the Year of Culture but it was good that the section through the Pier Head was opened in time to play a leading part at the end of the year of events.

Debbie Lumb of British Waterways said: "We were thrilled to see the new canal link feature at the heart of the closing ceremony of the Capital of Culture year. With the opening of the canal link in Spring 2009 the waterfront will be animated with boaters from all over the country visiting Liverpool to see for themselves the transformation of the waterfront and the city."

Liverpool Council Leader Councillor Warren Bradleysaid: "2008 was a life-changing year for this city and we wanted to say thank-you for everyone who helped play their part. And what better way than with a party at the waterfront, where so much of this city's story began?''

Phil Redmond of Liverpool Culture Company said: ''It is a testimony to the people of Liverpool that so many came out in freezing weather. This celebration was not a finale - it simply marks a new beginning for Liverpool.''

Monday 26 January 2009

Calder and Hebble Weir Damage

January 23rd 2009 updated 26th Jan
British Waterways has announced an emergency stoppage affecting boaters using the Calder & Hebble Navigation and Huddersfield Broad Canal.

Flood damage to Cooper Bridge Weir is causing low levels between Kirklees Low Lock and Cooper Bridge Lock, along with the approach to the Huddersfield Broad Canal entrance lock.

On Friday afternoon (23rd Jan), water levels were 400mm below normal water levels, but as flood waters recede, the levels could be expected to drop further.

Update, 26th Jan: Water levels now 1.1 metres below normal water levels, making navigation impossible.

British Waterways has put an emergency stoppage in place whilst engineers consider options for repair.

Repairs cannot be carried out until after the flood water recedes. BW will issue a further update on Monday 2nd February.

This follows a similar failure last October at Ledgard Weir, 1.5 miles downstream. On that occasion, the navigation was closed for several days and then boaters were allowed to pass with care until repairs were complete.

The entrance to the Hudderfield Broad Canal - this may now be too shallow to navigate. Cooper Bridge Weir is immediately downstream to the left.

Sunday 18 January 2009

Trafalgar Dock Channel in Water

As work on the Liverpool Canal Link nears completion, water has been let into the new channel through Trafalgar Dock.

The new channel links Stanley, Collingwood and Salisbury Docks to the north with West Waterloo and Princes Docks to the South. This forms the northern section of the Liverpool Canal Link but, unlike the southern section through Princes Dock and the Pier Head, this channel runs through the old dock area still used for commercial purposes, which is not open to the public, so there will be no route for pedestrians alongside the channel.

Trafalgar Dock had been infilled except for a narrow channel along the eastern edge to maintain the water level in Waterloo and Princes Docks. This channel has been widened to navigable width, utilising the old dock wall on one side and a sloping bank constructed on the other side, lined with a mesh that will enable vegetation to grow. A new concrete-sided channel was constructed to link through to West Waterloo Dock. [see photos]

Construction of this channel was completed just before Christmas and on Christmas Eve a New Holland 235 excavator from plant contractors P P O'Connor moved in to remove the clay bund that held back the dock water.

After a period of testing, the Liverpool Canal Link should open for navigation around Easter, enabling canal boats to travel from the Leeds and Liverpool Canal through to Albert Dock and the southern docks.

The photos with this report were taken by Charlie Edge and appear with permission of P P O'Connor Ltd.

See photos of the Liverpool Canal Link route in Oct 2008.

Monday 12 January 2009

Museum for Ship Canal?

Proposals for a Manchester Ship Canal Museum are being considered by Trafford Council.

Ship Canal owners Peel Holdings have put forward plans to convert an Argos distribution warehouse close to the Trafford Centre into a new museum to tell the story of the canal and the 16,000 navvies who built it.

The proposed museum, in Barton Dock Road, would feature items used by the navvies during the construction of the canal between 1885 and 1894. Some of the steam powered machinery, such as excavators and cranes, has survived and could be included in the displays.

The plans are to be considered by Trafford council, whose Planning department is recommending approval. The museum would occupy the whole of the 31,000 square metre building. The proposal includes increasing the parking space to accommodate 750 cars. 16 bus routes stop outside the building and the Trafford Centre bus station is a short distance away. The application can be viewed online by entering H/70328 here.

Eastham Lock, Manchester Ship Canal