Pennine Waterways News

Monday 24 October 2011

One Day Stoppage at Thorne

Boaters using the Stainforth and Keadby Canal this week should be aware of a one-day stoppage at Wykewell Bridge on the outskirts of Thorne.

Essential works will be carried out on Wykewell Lift Bridge between 8.00 am and 4.30 pm on Thursday 27th October. The bridge will be without power and therefore out of action during that time.

Thursday 6 October 2011

Name for New Waterways Charity announced

The new Canal and River Trust logo

It has been announced today that the name of the New Waterways Charity will be "Canal and River Trust". The announcement comes from the transition trustees. In Wales the Trust will be known as "Glandwr Cymru". The trust will take over the waterways of British Waterways in April 2012 and those of the Environment Agency at a later date.

In a statement, the trustees say: "The decision has been taken following extensive public and internal consultation and market research into the replacement for the name and symbol of “British Waterways.” They reflect the important step the Government is taking in creating a new successor organisation to hold the waterways in trust for the nation in perpetuity. The change also offers an opportunity to attract the attention of, and to appeal to, the wider public."

The design agency Pentagram, who created the British Waterways symbol in the 1980s, provided free design consultancy to develop the new national charity‟s name, symbol and imagery.

While many will welcome this news as a step towards building a positive public image for the new charity, it will disappoint those who are worried at the cost of replacing all the existing BW signage at a time when the government will be giving the charity each year one sixth of the amount it is prepared to spend on ensuring weekly bin collection.

The name chosen may be confusing for many people, as the charity will not have responsibility for the vast majority of rivers, with only a small number of navigable rivers being included in its portfolio comprising mostly canals.

This is a genuine news item,unlike this story which appeared on 1st April this year.

Sunday 2 October 2011

Huddersfield Canal closed for tunnel removal!

The Huddersfield Narrow Canal has closed to through boat traffic early this year because of a lengthy stoppage between Locks 2e and 4e in Huddersfield.

The stoppage began on 1st October and will continue to March 31st 2012, in effect closing the eastern half of the canal, while Sellers Tunnel is removed. British Waterways will take advantage of this longer-than-usual stoppage period to replace all or some of the gates on eleven of the locks on the east side of the canal, hopefully leading to fewer problems with water levels.

The work to be carried out in Huddersfield involves the opening up of the tunnel that was constructed below the former site of Sellers Engineering in 2000, bringing the canal back to the surface. This will require the new Lock 3e to be relocated close to the site of the original lock, just west of Chapel Hill.

Rather than construct a brand new channel, for most of the route the existing sheet-piled channel will be used. This will be partly-infilled to raise the canal bed to the higher level. The concrete struts that currently prevent the two sides from collapsing inwards can then be removed.

A short wider section will be constructed west of the new lock, enabling boats to pass.

The former Sellers site showing the tunnel being opened up.

In order to fit the work into the comparatively short time slot, a head start has already been made by removing the concrete roof sections that were placed between the supporting struts, as seen in the photos above and below. [Click photos to see larger versions.]

The former Sellers site showing the tunnel being opened up.

Sellers Engineering has moved to a new site and their former site is being developed as the Huddersfield Waterfront Quarter regeneration scheme, which includes the new site for Kirklees College as well as offices, around 300 new homes, leisure facilities and restaurants.

The completed development will include a public square next to the canal and will enable walkers to follow the canal from Longroyd Bridge to Chapel Hill. There will still be the shorter section between Chapel Hill and Queen Street where a pedestrian diversion away from the canal will still be necessary.

Sheet-piling channel during construction in February 2000.

The concrete roof sections being put into position in 2000. (Photo: Costain Ltd)

To better understand how Sellers Tunnel was constructed, see the sequence of web pages that illustrate its construction just over a decade ago.

For an impression of what the scheme may look like, see this web site.

The removal of this tunnel and relocation of the lock after just ten years must make them candidates for the shortest-lived canal tunnel and lock!

The locks on the east side that will have gates replaced during the stoppage period are:
- Locks 1e, 7e, 12e, 28e, 28e, 32e, 37e, 38e, 39e and 40e will have their top and bottom gates replaced.
- Locks 8e and 40e will have their bottom gates replaced and Lock 34e will have its top gate replaced.
- The top gate of Lock 31w at Diggle will also be replaced.