Pennine Waterways News

Thursday 23 April 2015

Marsden lock gate on 'Blue Peter'.

A new lock gate in Marsden will feature in BBC's flagship children's programme 'Blue Peter' tonight.

The feature will focus on the new gate at Lock 37e on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal in Marsden. Presenter Barney Harwood rolled up his sleeves and got stuck into making a new lock gate and then fitting it during two full day filming sessions with Canal & River Trust staff from the Manchester & Pennine Waterway team and carpenters from the Trust’s Stanley Ferry Workshop, near Wakefield.

The BBC production team with the CRT team in February, by the newly installed lock gate and balance beam. Photo: CRT

Lock 37 east was due to be replaced as part of the Trust’s routine winter maintenance programme. When Blue Peter producers heard what was involved, they thought it would make an ideal feature on the programme.

The first filming day was in September 2014 when Barney enjoyed a trip into nearby Standedge Tunnel, Britain’s highest, longest, deepest canal tunnel, helped Trust carpenters measure up on site and then make the new oak gate at the Stanley Ferry Workshop.

Trust construction and operations supervisors Mark Wigley and Nick Atkinson were on hand to act as his waterways guides and then carpenters Andrew Bayliss and apprentice Josh Hindson assisted with the making of the gates and carving the Blue Peter logo into the balance beam.

In February Barney and the Blue Peter filming team returned again to the Huddersfield Narrow Canal in Marsden to watch the old gate being craned out and the new Blue Peter lock gate being craned in and fitted, again under the expert guidance of construction supervisor Mark Wigley.

Mark said later: “It was great fun welcoming the Blue Peter team to the Huddersfield Narrow Canal and the Stanley Ferry Workshop. We were impressed Barney just got stuck in and threw himself into the job with real enthusiasm. This is a great way to introduce children to the waterways and the work involved in caring for them.”

Barney Harwood presenting Blue Peter badges to CRT staff Mark Wigley and Nick Atkinson after filming in September. Photo: CRT

Visitors to Lock 37e will now be able to spot the Blue Peter Lock by a special plaque and Blue Peter logo carved into the balance beam next to the towpath.

If you miss the programme when it is broadcast on 23rd April, it will be repeated at 9.00 am on Sunday 26th April and will be available on BBC iPlayer.