Friday 30th June 2017
8 locks down to Huddersfield sounds easy but it needed careful water management because 12 boats don’t normally do it in quick succession. Excellent support from Canal and River Trust staff (Will and Colin) supported by Canal Society volunteers (Dave and Diane, Paul and Keith) at the locks meant that all 12 boats arrived at the Huddersfield University moorings by 2.30pm.
The University site full of boats was reminiscent of the rallies which the Canal Society held around 20 years ago to raise awareness of the restoration potential. In the evening we assembled in Heritage Quay – the splendid new University Archive centre – to award the plaques to all the boaters who had crossed the Pennines.
Jack Kershaw on behalf of the boaters thanked all involved for the organisation of the cruise and signalled out particularly people for a special mention. They know who they are.
Afterwards Alan Stopher, Chair of the Society conducted a walk around Huddersfield Town Centre to show our visitors fine buildings, sites of historic significance and what makes Huddersfield the town it is. We paused to read the plaque on the façade of the original George Hotel where the Huddersfield Canal Company had been formed in 1793. The building had been sited at the Market Place but the Georgian façade had been taken down and reconstructed in St Peters Street to make way for the new thoroughfare of John William Street and New Street. After taking in St George’s Square, surely the finest urban square in the north of England, we retired to the Sportsman pub to slake our thirst.
The cruise through the Huddersfield Narrow’s 74 locks is over but with many happy memories. Tomorrow (Saturday), 9 boats head down the Huddersfield Broad to Battyeford …….
(All photos: Alan Stopher)