Pennine Waterways News

Sunday 29 January 2012

Bingley Five Rises to the Occasion

Open Day at Bingley. Photo: Richard Robson

British Waterways have had a successful open weekend at Bingley Five Rise Locks yesterday and today.

The event at the iconic lock staircase has captured the public's imagination, with good publicity in the press and on television pulling the crowds in. BW says that 7,276 people have passed through the locks over the weekend.

The lock gates are replaced every 25 years, so BW took advantage of the gate replacement taking place in the same year as BW transforms into the Canal & River Trust charity to involve local people in gaining a greater understanding of the canal feature on their doorstep.

The gates each weigh around 3.8 tonnes before the balance beams and paddle gear are added. Four of the six pairs of gates are being replaced this winter, so the staircase has been completely drained. (The other gates were replaced in 2000 and 2006.) Apart from holding the open event, BW is also taking the opportunity of the flight being drained to clear out rubbish and carry out repairs to the ground paddles and the lock chambers.

The entire operation, including making the gates, the erection of scaffolding and hire of cranes, is costing around £300,000.

Open Day at Bingley. Photo: Richard Robson

These photographs of the open event at Bingley were taken by Richard Robson and appear with his kind permission. You can see more of his photos of Bingley Five Rise here on his Flickr pages.

If you missed the television coverage of the event, you can see watch short BBC videos on this page.

By contrast, last week's open day at Marsden was a lower-key event.

Open Day at Marsden

Work on Lock 40e, the planned location, had not started so the event was moved to Lock 32e. This involved a walk down the very scenic but muddy towpath, meaning that the flow of visitors could better be described as a trickle. British Waterways staff were on hand to talk with visitors and explain the work involved in re-furbishing the locks.

Open Day at Marsden

There will be further BW open days at Stanley Ferry Workshop (11th February) and Lock 31w at Diggle (20th February). More information here.

Saturday 14 January 2012

BW Canal Open Days

Bingley 5 Rise Locks

British Waterways is organising a series of "Open Days" at locks around the region to let you go and see some of the work that is involved in maintaining canal locks.

Each winter, sections of canal are closed to allow BW's ongoing maintenance programme to take place. As part of its policy to involve the local community more closely, you are invited to take the opportunity to have a "behind the scenes" look and see at close hand the work involved in replacing gates and other work that has to be carried out and talk with some of BW's experts about their work.

At Bingley Five Rise Locks on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, four sets of gates are being replaced this winter. You are invited to visit the locks on one of two open days - Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th January, between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm, with the last entry to the site being at 3.00 pm.

Parking for the site is at UKAR UK, Croft Road, Bingley, BD16 2UA, a pleasant 20 minute walk from the locks along the towpath. A shuttle bus service will also be provided. Roads near the locks will have parking for residents only.

For more information on this event, please visit the Waterscape website.

At Marsden on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, there will be an open day on Tuesday 24th January, between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm. This will be at Lock 40e, which is between Marsden Station are Warehouse Hill. Parking is available in Marsden Station car park or limited parking on Warehouse Hill.

Update: This open day has been re-located to Lock 32e, about 10 - 15 minutes' walk down the towpath from Warehouse Hill.

At Diggle on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, there will be an open day on Monday 20th February, between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm. This will be at Lock 31w, which is next to Ward Lane. Parking is available in Ward Lane, which is off Huddersfield Road in Diggle, near the Hanging Gate pub.

Update: The date of the Open Day at Lock 31w, Diggle has now been changed to Monday 12th March.

For more information on the events at Marsden and Diggle, please visit the Waterscape website.

Stanley Ferry Workshops, near Wakefield, where the lock gates are made, will be open to the public on Saturday 11th February between 9.00 am and 3.00 pm. For more information about the Stanley Ferry open day, please visit the Waterscape website.

Stanley Ferry Workshops

Wednesday 11 January 2012

Canal 'Open Days'

Sorry, there were technical problems preventing this page from displaying correctly for some visitors in Internet Explorer.

Please see this page instead.

All the information about the 'open days' at Bingley Five Rise Locks, Marsden, Diggle and Stanley Ferry is now on this new page.

Saturday 7 January 2012

Trees block canals

High winds this week have brought down trees in several places that have blocked canals.

On the Rochdale Canal, a tree has fallen from the offside of the canal and has hit Mayroyd Bridge (15), just downstream of Hebden Bridge. The top of the tree has detached from the trunk and is now partially submerged, making navigation unsafe.

British Waterways anticipate that the navigation can be reopened by Wednesday 11th January 2012.

On the Peak Forest Canal, there are blockages at two locations between Marple and New Mills. At Turf Lea Lift Bridge (22), a large tree has fallen from the offside and is blocking the canal. At Higgins Clough Swing Bridge (25), a large tree has fallen from the offside and is blocking both the canal and towpath.

British Waterways warn that, because of the high number of trees that have fallen in the area, the contractor is in great demand, so a date for re-opening this section of the Upper Peak Forest Canal cannot yet be given. BW will publish an expected date for re-opening as soon as they are able.

On the Macclesfield Canal, a large tree has slid down the offside cutting slope and has fallen across the canal close to Gurnett Aqueduct, south of Macclesfield. The contractor is in great demand, so a date for re-opening this section of the Macclesfield Canal cannot yet be given. BW will publish an expected date for re-opening as soon as they are able.

Any enquiries about these stoppages should be made to BW on 01782 785703.

Update 9th January:
The fallen trees on the Peak Forest Canal have been removed and the navigation has now re-opened.

Update 9th January:
The tree has been cleared at Mayroyd Bridge on the Rochdale Canal, but the navigation will not re-open until BW staff have made safe loose and overhanging coping stones on the bridge, which should be done on the morning of Monday 9th January.

Update 9th January:
The navigation has now re-opened at Mayroyd Bridge, Hebden Bridge, on the Rochdale Canal.

Update 12th January:
The fallen tree on the Macclesfield Canal has been removed and the navigation has now re-opened.

Mayroyd Bridge, Rochdale Canal

Wednesday 4 January 2012

Huddersfield Narrow Canal Pages Updated!

Pennine Waterways' 'Virtual Cruise' along the Huddersfield Narrow Canal has been completely revised. All of the photos have been replaced with larger clearer images, with many new photos added.

This was the first 'virtual cruise' to appear on Pennine Waterways but this is only the second time that it has had a major revision. The photos are much sharper than the earlier ones with many of the earlier photos being replaced with clear new ones.

The revised tour is a must for anyone thinking of visiting the canal as it gives a much better idea than before of the dramatic scenery and mixture of landscapes that the canal passes through.

The new 'Virtual Cruise' can be seen starting here.

One of the new photos, showing the locks at Diggle.

Tuesday 3 January 2012

Restriction at Bosley Locks

Boaters intending to use Bosley Locks on the Macclesfield Canal should be aware that restricted passage times are currently in operation.

Following the collapse of the bottom offside quadrant (the area where boaters walk to push open the bottom gate) at Lock 6. this lock must only be operated by BW staff.

Passage through Bosley Locks must be booked at least 24 hours in advance by phoning BW on 01782 785703. Boaters should be prepared to accept an alternative time for their passage on the day requested, if this can make the best use of BW's resources.

Boaters will work their boats through the lock flight in the usual way, except at Lock 6, which will be operated by BW staff.

Booked passage through Bosley Locks will only be available on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays until further notice. The temporary arrangement will stay in place until the permanent repair has been carried out later this month.

Enquiries about this restriction should be made to BW on 01782 785703.

Update 8th February:
Work has been completed. The restrictions have now been lifted and the Bosley Locks are open to normal navigation.

Lock 6 at Bosley.