Pennine Explorer Cruise – To Roaches

Part of the convoy leaving Stalybridge

Sunday 25th June 2017

The 12 boat cavalcade left the urban areas behind as it started the climb up the Tame Valley. 8 locks took the boats to Roaches Lock above Mossley and included a passage through the short Scout Tunnel. “I’ve really enjoyed the day and it brings back memories of an earlier trip when I was so struck by the  magnificent mill buildings set in the Pennine valleys’” observed Pat Stow of ‘Diligent Too’. In the comfortable surrounds of the Roaches Lock pub, Alan Stopher, Chairman of the Huddersfield Canal Society, showed the Impossible Dream film made in the run up to reopening of the canal in 2001. The well-made film has stood the test of time and, said Ray Butler of ‘Owl’, “it records the tenacity of those who stuck to their convictions when many doubted that the Huddersfield Narrow could be restored.”  Tomorrow (Monday 26th) will see the Explorer cruise reach summit level at Diggle in preparation for the Standedge Tunnel passage the next day.

Alan Stopher
Chairman HCS

A remarkable 17 boats moored below Roaches Lock.

Images by Alan Stopher

Stalybridge Festival

Sunday 25th June 2017

The weather was mixed but the Carnival carried on today. Intrepid Mike McHugh doesn’t let a bit of rain concern him as he takes another Shuttle boat full on a free trip. Passengers line up to join Still Waters for the longer cruise.

HCS’s own Eric Woulds gets the rhythm going with his accordion as Enoch’s Hammer provide a musical accompaniment on the Sunday afternoon.  (Photos: Alan Stopher)

Pennine Explorer Cruise – Best Boat at Festival

Saturday 24th June 2017

Of the 13 boats gathered in Stalybridge, David Fletcher won 1st prize for the Best Presented Boat awarded by the Stalybridge Carnival committee. Here he is pictured showing off the cup and certificate with his crew and Stalybridge Dukinfield Councillor Leanne Feeley (right). (Photo:  Alan Stopher)

In the evening all the crews headed to the legendary Stalybridge Buffet Bar for pie and black peas and the odd drink.  We were joined by friends from the Calder Navigation Society who will be helping out with the locks on the Huddersfield Broad in a week’s time.

Onward and upward!

Alan Stopher
Chairman HCS

Pennine Explorer Cruise – Participants Gather

The happy group is pictured here by Julie Arnold of Waterway Images at Portland Basin Marina on Friday 23rd June 2017. 12 boats and their crews had reached this rendezvous via the Lower Peak Forest and Ashton Canals. Help on Marple and Ashton Locks was provided by members of the Tudor Cruising Club and Canal & River Trust Volunteers. Guy and Sandra Holding kindly hosted this first gathering. Some of them are carrying their welcome goody bags stuffed full of useful information about the trip as well as their complementary Huddersfield Canal Society membership packs complete with Summer edition of Pennine Link, the Society’s quarterly magazine.

Graeme & Barbara Sleeman, 10th and 12th from the left, had travelled the furthest to join the cruise, from their base on the Kennet and Avon in Berkshire. “The trip has been pretty uneventful so far although we did run over a complete portable toilet on the Macclesfield. It’s funny what you find.”

This image by the undersigned shows Ray Butler with what must be a useful purchase from Portland Basin Marina. Perhaps he will tell me the real use for it as we join him over the Pennines.

Alan Stopher
Huddersfield Canal Society
07500 828123

Marsden Shuttle at the Stalybridge Festival 24-5 June 2017

Our Marsden Shuttle will be travelling from its home at Tunnel End, Marsden, westward, to be at this year’s Stalybridge Festival, providing free trips to the general public throughout the weekend.  However, volunteers are still needed to help on the Saturday and Sunday of the Festival; can you help please?

Society Members are invited to join the trip down to Stalybridge and back to Marsden; the planned schedule is:

Mon, 19 June, 08:30 – 14:00 Marden through the Standedge Tunnel then down to Wool Road, Dobcross
Fri, 23 June, 10:00 – 17:00 Wool Road, Dobcross to Armentieres Square, Stalybridge

Mon, 3 July, 09:30 – 18:30 Portland Basin Museum to Wool Road, Dobcross
Wed, 5 July, 09:00 – 14:00 Wool Road, Dobcross through the Standedge Tunnel to Marsden

As boating is the quickest way to slow down, these journey durations are very much approximate; all part of the adventure!

Please email the organiser, Mike McHugh at mcq.mike@gmail.com or phone the Office (01457 871800) for more information or offers of help.  Thank you.

The Marsden Shuttle at the 2016 Stalybridge Festival

STOP PRESS – Pennine Explorer Cruise now fully booked

Places are limited by the capacity of Standedge Tunnel and by early May confirmed bookings had already been received from the maximum of 12 boats agreed with CRT.

Boaters can email Huddersfield Canal Society at hcs@huddersfieldcanal.com to express interest and be put on a wait list should any cancellations be received (2 boats are already on that list as at May 21st.)

Offers of help with lock wheeling have been received. These will soon be verified to see whether sufficient help is available.

For the latest itinerary click here: