Pennine Waterways News

Wednesday 11 April 2012

Frenches stoppage on HNC continues

Further problems have been found at Halls Lock, 20w, on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal at Frenches, Greenfield.

The work involved extensive grouting of the lock chamber walls and towpath approach to resolve serious leaks. It was scheduled to be completed during the winter stoppage period, but overran because of additional problems encountered. BW recently announced that assisted passage through the lock would be available at 8.00 am each day while work was in progress.

However, following an inspection of the lock chamber floor by divers, the lock will now need to be de-watered to enable further work to be carried out.

This means that the lock is closed to navigation until further notice. BW will issue an update on Monday 16th April.

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

Update 17th April:
British Waterways says that contractors are having severe difficulty in removing the water from the lock floor due to the amount of leakage through the lock and the recent wet weather. Works to repair the lock floor cannot be stared until the lock is dewatered.

BW warns that the work could take from 14 days up to a month to complete.

BW will update the stoppage notice as soon as it possible to do so. BW says that these works are extra to the recent grouting works at the site following a failure during the commissioning stage, and that it is still unclear what has caused this failure.

Update 20th April:
In spite of the dire warnings put out earlier this week, BW has announced that the work is complete and Lock 20w is now open to navigation.

This prolonged stoppage has been a huge disappointment after BW had put so much money into replacing lock gates elsewhere on the canal this winter. A number of boats that were travelling along the canal have been waiting to go through this lock, including the wooden horseboat Maria which is travelling to take part in an event at Standedge.

An unconfirmed source has told Pennine Waterways that concrete grouting being installed leaked out and spread over the lock floor, preventing gates from opening.

Halls Lock, 20w, at Frenches.


  1. 6 of us "Aussies" did the south pennine ring fromm Sowby Bridge to Manchester along the Rochdale Canal and back to Sowby Bridge via the Huddersfield Narrow and Broad Canals over two weeks in July 2008. I have kept up with the news through this site and have amazed at how fortunate we must have been to do the complete circuit with such little trouble. It was such an enjoyable experience I dread thinking about people on holiday now who would have their trip curtailed by an incident.

  2. Ah! Leaky grout syndrome ! I remember working on the very problem on on of the Marple locks. The invert was immersed in about six inches thick concrete over a 70ft length. The contractors were called Priestly- Whitlock iirc. PFCS?/?WRG was allocated the job of removing it.


Please feel free to comment on this item.

If you do not have a Blogger/Google etc account, then please click on "Name/URL" and type in your name or nickname.

If you have no URL you can leave that part blank.

Please do not post as "Anonymous".