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Pennine Waterways
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Pennine Waterways
Canals of the South Pennines
Pennine Waterways Newsletters 71 - 80
      
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P e n n i n e   W a t e r w a y s   N e w s l e t t e r   # 7 1
A u g u s t   1 2 t h   2 0 0 4
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Welcome to the latest e-mail newsletter from Pennine Waterways!
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There was no newsletter during July as there was not a lot to report.
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There seem to be ongoing problems with water supply on two of the canals in the area. In late June, the Rochdale Canal was "closed" briefly over a weekend following a prolonged water shortage. When it re-opened boaters were temporarily asked to book passage through Lock 1 in Sowerby Bridge. This is no longer required but boaters are asked not to come up through the deep Tuel Lane Lock, wind and go back down again as this uses a great deal of water.
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The long pound above Tuel Lane Lock is still lower than normal and some pounds around Hebden Bridge and Walsden are low, requiring care.
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British Waterways said. "Following the recent long spell of dry weather, water levels on the East side of the Rochdale Canal have fallen below normal operating levels. This situation is being monitored on a daily basis by British Waterways staff."
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Boaters wishing to cross the Rochdale Summit and Littleborough flight, between Locks 36 and 48, should note that this must be booked at least 24 hours in advance, preferably longer. Only 4 boats (or 2 lock-fulls) are being allowed in each direction each day and boats booked on this section should be ready at Lock 36 or Lock 48 at 8.30 am. Telephone 01925 847700 to book.
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British Waterways have also warned of water shortages on sections of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, last week reporting that there were just 5 weeks' water supply available for the summit pound, although there are currently no restrictions in place or booking needed.
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The good news is that the present periods of heavy rainfall seem to be making a difference to the situation. Adrian Sains, British Waterways' NW Manager, this week said that the rainfall across the country throughout the summer had not had any significant impact on BW's reservoirs up to August 10th. However, he added: "Over the last 48 hours we have increased our reservoir holdings by over 40% and these continue to rise. Our forecasts now indicate that we can maintain water supplies for navigation for the remainder of the season given normal seasonal rainfall."
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July saw the 200th anniversary of the opening of the Marple flight of locks in 1804. These locks linked the Upper and Lower Peak Forest Canals, which had been open since 1800 but had been linked by a tramway. A celebration of the anniversary took place along the lock flight and in Marple Memorial Park. Events included a re-enactment of Samuel Oldknow's inaugural trip down the locks, using the Ashton Packet Boat Company's horsedrawn boat "Maria", 150 years old this year and one of the only surviving working boats from the Peak Forest Canal.
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The contractors working at Bugsworth Basin on the Peak Forest Canal finished their work some time ago and are clear of the site. The basins are now in water. No date has yet been given for the re-opening, which will happen after dredging and minor repairs have taken place in the approach canal. This work was expected to be completed in August but the contractor has not yet started. For more information, see http://www.brocross.com/iwps/pages/newsflash.htm
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I get many emailed questions about the apparent lack of progress on the restoration of the Manchester Bolton and Bury Canal. The timetable seems to have slowed down from that announced earlier due to the greater difficulty in finding funding at the moment (which has affected canal restoration projects all around the country). Some have suggested that the canal restoration bubble has burst for now and a number of major schemes are having difficulty attracting funding. However, I am told that BW are still committed to the project although it will take longer than anticipated.
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BW have now published their "2025 Vision" in which the Manchester Bolton and Bury Canal is listed as a Priority 1 project for their support. This is good news, as a number of high profile canal restorations have not appeared in the document at all.
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BW have just begun to remove tonnes of the fast-growing aquatic weed known as Water Soldier (Stratiotes Aloides) from some sections of the Manchester Bolton and Bury Canal that are in water. They are using a special boat called a Miller Weed Harvester which pulls weeds out of the water on a conveyor. This will allow fish and submerged plants to have more open water and allow anglers to fish open water.
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Advance warning to boaters using the Bridgewater Canal: the Barton Swing Aqueduct will be closed for maintenance between September 26th and October 9th 2004.
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If you wish to change the address to which this newsletter is sent, please visit http://messagebot.com/remove.html enter your old email address and the list name penninewaterways. Then visit http://messagebot.com/add.html enter your new email address and the list name penninewaterways. That's all there is to it!
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P e n n i n e   W a t e r w a y s   N e w s l e t t e r   # 7 2
A u g u s t   2 0 t h   2 0 0 4
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Welcome to the latest e-mail newsletter from Pennine Waterways!
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Rochdale Embankment Collapse
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The Rochdale Canal has been closed between Manchester and Littleborough Summit because of a collapsing embankment just below Lock 59 at Boarshaw, Middleton, below the Slattocks lock flight.
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The Whit Brook, which flows through a culvert below the canal at this point, was swollen following heavy rainfall. The volume of water caused the downstream end of the culvert to collapse, with about 1000 tonnes of the embankment slipping down into the brook.
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The slippage was discovered early on 19th August. Because of the risk that the canal might breach it was immediately closed to navigation and the pound has been drained. The towpath is also closed.
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Below the surface layer of soil the embankment is built of sand. This has made the embankment highly unstable. BW staff have covered the exposed sand with plastic sheeting to prevent rain washing more away. The edge of the slippage is around 6 feet from the edge of the canal.
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It is not yet known how long this stoppage will last. British Waterways engineers are assessing the site to see if it is possible to stabilise the bank temporarily so that the canal can be re-opened.
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It is thought that the nearby large industrial estate at Slattocks may have contributed to the incident. Instead of soaking into the ground, rain falls onto the roofs of the large distribution sheds and tarmac areas and runs off quickly into drains which are believed to feed into the brook upsteam of the canal culvert.
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Any boaters who were planning to travel on the Rochdale Canal should phone the Waterway Office on 01925 847 700 to get the latest information about this stoppage.
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Photographs of the slippage can be seen at http://www.penninewaterways.co.uk/news/news2005.htm#slattocks
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P e n n i n e   W a t e r w a y s   N e w s l e t t e r   # 7 3
O c t o b e r   1 5 t h   2 0 0 4
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Welcome to the latest e-mail newsletter from Pennine Waterways!
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Rochdale Embankment Collapse
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The Rochdale Canal is still closed between Manchester and Rochdale because of a collapsing embankment just below Lock 59 at Boarshaw, Middleton, below the Slattocks lock flight.
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British Waterways have only just resolved legal difficulties in gaining access to the site to carry out repairs to the embankment. It would appear that the Rochdale Canal Company, previous owners of the canal, had sold off land adjoining the canal, including this embankment. It seems that agreement with the landowner has now been reached and site investigations should be starting this week. The delays mean that there is now no chance of the canal being re-opened during the current boating season.
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Rochdale Canal Facilities
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Some boaters have been expressing unhappiness about facilities on the Rochdale Canal. They will be pleased to hear that British Waterways have now installed a new water point at Hebden Bridge and have secured the leases for the Hebden Bridge site and the new Todmorden Service Station from Calderdale Council. The Todmorden facilities should be open before long.
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Peak Forest Canal
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Users of the Lower Peak Forest Canal will be pleased to hear that British Waterways have said that this stretch of canal will be dredged this winter.
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It now seems likely that the Bugsworth Basin complex will be re-opened in Spring 2005. In September a leak developed on the entrance canal leading to the basins but swift action by British Waterways staff has resulted in the leak being fixed before any harm was done. BW are looking at the possibility of carrying out further work to improve the stability of the embankment. The entrance canal still awaits dredging.
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Leeds and Liverpool Canal Weevils
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British Waterways have announced a scheme to fight weed with weevils onthe Leeds and Liverpool Canal. A fast-growing weed known as "Azolla" is now covering large sections of the waterway near Wango Lane at Aintree. BW are starting a biological trial by introducing specially-bred azolla weevils that, they hope, will eat their way through the weed, after mechanical extraction proved too costly and ineffective. The weevils are around 2mm long and originate from North America. BW introduced over a thousand of them in September.
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Manchester Bolton and Bury Canal
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The restoration of the Manchester Bolton and Bury Canal is about to get a boost in Salford. British Waterways have submitted an application to restore a section of the canal in the Oldfield Road / East Ordsall Lane area as part of the Middlewood regeneration scheme. This includes the construction of new channel basins, restoring an existing lock, creating three new locks and towpath and building a bridge over the restored canal at East Ordsall Lane. I will send out more information when it becomes available.
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Pennine Waterways website news
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I have started to revise the website, beginning with the oldest part - the Ashton Canal pages
www.penninewaterways.co.uk/ashton
There are lots of new photographs in the Virtual Cruise, with older photographs being improved. The coding has been completely changed to assist accessibility. However, the 1% of visitors who use very old browsers will not see the new layout but will see a simpler layout instead.
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A number of books listed on the "bookshop" pages have been reduced in price by Amazon. The pages show selections of canal guides and maps, local and general canal books and local interest books.
www.penninewaterways.co.uk/shop
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I would also like to remind you that the Message and Discussion Board is now completely free of advertising and pop-ups:
www.penninewaterways.co.uk/d.htm
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P e n n i n e   W a t e r w a y s   N e w s l e t t e r   # 7 4
F e b r u a r y   2 0 t h   2 0 0 5
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Welcome to the latest e-mail newsletter from Pennine Waterways!
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Rochdale Canal News
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Work began at last at the beginning of February to repair the collapsed culvert and landslip that has closed the Rochdale Canal below Slattocks since August. British Waterways are hoping that the canal will be re-opened by Easter.
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It seems that the long-awaited towpath through the tunnel under the M62 at Trub, near Castleton, is to be installed shortly. This will take the form of a floating pontoon. Boaters using the canal with wide-beamed boats (over 7') will need to contact BW (01925 847700) at least 24 hours in advance so that the pontoon can be moved out of the tunnel to a nearby wide section.
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The 200th anniversary of the Rochdale Canal in December was marked by short walk followed by a Bicentenary Lunch, organised by British Waterways in partnership with local authorities and the Rochdale Canal Society.
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Ashton Canal News
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In December, a routine inspection of the Ashton Canal showed a large crack in the towpath between Bridges 5 and 6 at Beswick. The towpath has been closed, with a diversion in place. It is thought that a substantial repair will be needed.
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A further housing development is proposed alongside the Ashton Canal near Lock 2 at Ancoats and adjoining the "New Islington" development. This development could be known as "Islington Wharf" and could include up to 860 apartments in 8 blocks of between 7 and 21 storeys.
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Bugsworth Basin News
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It was reported previously that, in September, a leak developed on the entrance canal leading to the basins. This whole section is being re-lined and the wash wall re-built on a waterproof membrane so that the canal can be open in time for the Official Opening of Bugsworth Basin, which is planned for 26th March 2005, when a boat rally will take place.
See photos of progress at www.brocross.com/iwps/pages/newsflash.htm
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A grant of £195,000 has been secured to convert the line of the disused Peak Forest Tramway, between Bugsworth Basin and Chapel-en-le-Frith, into a walking and cycling trail. The funding will cover improved drainage and erosion control amongst other work.
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Manchester Bolton and Bury Canal News
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The Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal Society has been awarded the Manchester Civic Society's premier award 'The Spirit of Manchester 2004', recognising the dedication of volunteers over many years.
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I previously wrote about the "Middlewood" re-development scheme, which is to feature a section of the MBB Canal as part of the development. The line of the canal through this site has now been excavated, with lock chamber and wash walls being exposed. Photographs are now on Pennine Waterways site at
www.penninewaterways.co.uk/mbb/mbbc40.htm and the page which follows it.
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Bradford Canal News
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A 3-day conference highlighting the major benefits inland waterways can bring to communities took place in Bradford last week. British Waterways organised the event for Northern European members of Canal Link to discuss how waterways can bring about major benefits for towns, cities and villages. British Waterways, Bradford Council and Bradford Centre Regeneration are working together on the possibility of re-opening Bradford Canal and are currently tendering for a feasibility study to be carried out. The Bradford Canal is a branch of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal from Shipley.
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Pennine Waterways Website News
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The revision of the older parts of the website continues with the Peak Forest Canal pages www.penninewaterways.co.uk/peak including many new photographs in the Virtual Cruise.
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Many more old photographs of the Manchester Ship Canal and Bridgewater Canal are now available on the site, courtesy of Mike Dilger. The archive photos begin at -
Ship Canal: www.penninewaterways.co.uk/manchester/m35.htm and
Bridgewater Canal: www.penninewaterways.co.uk/bridgewater/bri10.htm
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Keith Gibson's latest book "Pennine Pioneer", about the Rochdale Canal, can now be obtained from Amazon through a link at
www.penninewaterways.co.uk/shop/books1.htm
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P e n n i n e   W a t e r w a y s   N e w s l e t t e r   # 7 5
M a r c h   2 7 t h   2 0 0 5
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Welcome to the latest e-mail newsletter from Pennine Waterways!
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Bugsworth Basin News
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Bugsworth Basin is now once again open to navigation! Crowds of boaters, canal enthusiasts and local people turned out on an overcast Easter Saturday (26th March) to see the official opening of the basins complex. The MP for High Peak, Tom Levitt, opened the basin by cutting the tape from the bow of a boat, accompanied by the Vice Chair of British Waterways, Dr Campbell Christie, the Mayor of High Peak, Councillor Ann Mone, Ian Edgar, Chairman of the Inland Waterways Protection Society, and many guests.
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You can see photographs of the opening and the boat rally in the basins by clicking on
http://www.penninewaterways.co.uk/peak/pf12.htm
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Bugsworth was once the largest and busiest inland port on Britain's narrow canal system and the site was also a busy centre for the production of crushed lime for agriculture and the developing chemical industry. The area around Dove Holes yields some of the purest limestone in Britain and this was transported to Bugsworth by means of a tramway. Limestone and crushed lime was then carried by boat along the Peak Forest Canal to Manchester and beyond.
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Bugsworth Basin closed in 1927 and by the 1960s was dry and overgrown. In 1968 volunteers from the Inland Waterways Protection Society began the long work of restoration. The basin re-opened in 1999 but had to be closed again after a few months later due to major leaks. Since then, the IWPS has worked in partnership with the Countryside Agency, East Midlands Development Agency, Derbyshire County Council, European Regional Development Funding and British Waterways and secured funding for the £1.2 million pound restoration from English Heritage.
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It had originally been planned to re-open the basins in 2004 , but new leaks developed on the entrance canal leading to the basins. This whole section has been re-lined and the wash wall re-built, with the canal being re-watered just days before the opening ceremony!
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Rochdale Canal News
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The Rochdale Canal is open to through navigation once again. The canal had been closed since August because of a collapsed culvert and landslip between Locks 59 and 60 below Slattocks. The construction company Galliford Try has sunk steel piles to prevent further slippage while they construct a new concrete culvert. They are replacing the section of culvert that was washed away with pre-cast concrete sections and lining the rest of the brick culvert with concrete.
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British Waterways have requested that boaters remain on their boats through this section and only alight to operate lock 59. The towpath will remain closed until 20th April.
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Photographs of the work under way can be seen at
www.penninewaterways.co.uk/news/news2005.htm#slattocks
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Canal Clean-up
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On March 17th, British Waterways staff and volunteers joined forces to improve the canal and towpaths on the Rochdale Canal in Manchester city centre. Office staff at British Waterways and managers joined volunteers from Mersey Basin Campaign and Manchester City Council as part of the national Towpath Tidy campaign.
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Debbie Lumb, Service Manager for British Waterways, said: "We spend thousands of pounds each year on maintaining the North West waterways by dredging, repairs, lock gate renewals, maintaining towpaths and vegetation management. The national Towpath Tidy campaign is a great opportunity for our staff to actually get onto the banks and help make a difference, working alongside customers and local residents."
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The initiative also forms part of the "Manchester Challenge - 100 days to a Clean City" campaign.
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Skipton Waterway Festival
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The fourth Skipton Waterway Festival will take place from Saturday April 30th to Monday May 2nd. Over the three days, there will be live music, street entertainment, childrenís events, vintage engines and more. Special events are being organised for boaters, including competitions, the Saturday evening "boaters' bash" and Sunday evening get-together.
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New to this yearís event will be an illuminated cruise taking place on the Sunday evening. It will leave Skipton at around 6.30 pm, cruising to Snaygill and returning to Skipton for around 7.30 pm.
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P e n n i n e   W a t e r w a y s   N e w s l e t t e r   # 7 6
A p r i l   2 5 t h   2 0 0 5
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Welcome to the latest e-mail newsletter from Pennine Waterways!
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Rochdale Canal News
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The Rochdale Canal is closed yet again! This time by a serious breach next to the Irk Aqueduct between the Rose of Lancaster pub and Lock 63, in the Chadderton area - only a mile from the embankment slippage that caused the canal to be closed for seven months last August. The breach occurred in the early hours of Saturday 23rd April and the canal is likely to be closed for several months. The Irk Aqueduct itself does not appear to have suffered any structural damage, as the breach happened immediately alongside it, but the towpath has been washed away.
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A fuller report and photographs of the breach can be seen at
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Huddersfield Canal News
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The former canal warehouse which had been home to the Standedge Visitor Centre has closed its doors. The Visitor Centre was opened in 2001, but, at the beginning of 2004,was down-sized, using only the ground floor of the building. Now the exhibitions and visitor information have been moved into Tunnel End Cottages, next to the mouth of Standedge Tunnel, which had been occupied by the "Water's Edge" bar, which has also closed. The cottages will now be known as an "interpretation centre".
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Boat trips for visitors running 500 metres into the tunnel are still operating and start from outside the cottages. The cottages and boat trips are only available on Saturdays and Sundays and Bank Holidays between 25th March and 25th September 2005, from 10 am to 4.30 pm.
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It is not known at this time to what use the former warehouse will be put.
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Leeds and Liverpool Canal News
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Liverpool City Council has given planning approval to British Waterways to go ahead with the Liverpool Canal Link, which will connect the Leeds and Liverpool Canal with the South Docks, by way of the Pier Head. The link is expected to be open in 2007. More details and artists' impressions of the link can be seen at
www.penninewaterways.co.uk/news/liverpoollink.htm#approval
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P e n n i n e    W a t e r w a y s    N e w s l e t t e r    # 7 7
June    2 n d    2 0 0 5
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Welcome to the latest e-mail newsletter from Pennine Waterways!
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Rochdale Canal News
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The previous newsletter reported that the Rochdale Canal had been closed by a breach next to the Irk Aqueduct below Lock 63. A British Waterways source has admitted that there is a strong possibility that the affected section between Slattocks and Manchester could remain closed until the end of the year. Amongst other problems, it seems that it is taking some time to work out where the money is going to come from. The "Rochdale Nine" in Manchester and the Yorkshire side of the canal are operating as normal.
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A fuller report and photographs of the breach can be seen at
www.penninewaterways.co.uk/news/news2005.htm#irk
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Leeds and Liverpool Canal News
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The Leeds and Liverpool Canal has been closed this week at Forge Locks, near Leeds, following vandalism that rendered one lock unusable. One balance beam had been broken the previous week, but on 29th May, the vandals returned and broke the other beam, so that one of the locks on this three-rise staircase was completely unusable. BW staff have been fitting steel bracing to the beams to repair them and enable the gates to be operated. The locks, which are on the section where boaters are given assisted passage, will be open again from Saturday 4th June. The gates will be replaced eventually.
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The canalside at Wigan looks set to undergo changes. The plan is to turn the present heritage area into a "cultural quarter" called the Wigan Pier Quarter, with a hotel, a 500-seat performance centre, specialised retail outlets, public house / restaurant and residential zones. The world's largest working steam engine, at Trencherfield Mill, will remain open to the public. The rest of the mill will become an "urban village" with apartments and shops. Opie's Museum of Memories closed its doors in April and the museum of Victorian life The Way We Were is set to close in 2007, when it will be turned into a "creative industries complex". The boat trip between Wigan Pier and Trencherfield Mill will continue to run, subject to review.
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Huddersfield Canal News
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There are two towpath closures along the Huddersfield Narrow Canal at present. The section between Locks 21w and 24w through Uppermill and Dobcross will be closed in stages between May and August to allow upgrading to take place. The section between Mark Bottom Bridge (below Lock 6e) and the Colne Aqueduct at Lock 5e will be closed throughout June and July as it will be obstructed by scaffolding during building work on the Old Moorbottom Ironworks
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Pennine Waterways Website News
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Two new sections have been added to Pennine Waterways!
These cover the Barnsley Canal www.penninewaterways.co.uk/barnsley
and the Dearne and Dove Canal www.penninewaterways.co.uk/dearne
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The two canals formed a link between the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation at Swinton and the Aire and Calder Navigation near Wakefield and served the collieries in the Barnsley area. Neither of these canals is navigable but the website shows virtual journeys along the whole of each canal.
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The Barnsley Dearne and Dove Canals Trust is campaigning to restore these canals as a missing link in the canal network.
See www.bddct.org.uk
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A new section of the website covering the Aire and Calder Navigation and an expanded section on the Calder and Hebble Navigation will appear in the next few weeks.
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P e n n i n e    W a t e r w a y s    N e w s l e t t e r   # 7 8
J u l y    7 t h    2 0 0 5
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Welcome to the latest e-mail newsletter from Pennine Waterways!
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Bridgewater Canal News
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Eight miles of the Bridgewater Canal in Manchester have been closed this week after a sluice gate failed in Castlefield. The canal is closed between Sale, Barton and Castlefield. Most of the water on the closed-off section was lost and boats ended up sitting on the bottom. Boaters cruising the Cheshire Ring have been affected. The latest information is that it could take a week before the canal returns to a navigable condition.
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A full report and photographs of the scene can be found at www.penninewaterways.co.uk/news/news2005.htm#sluice
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For the latest information about the canal, contact the Bridgewater Canal office on 0161 629 8266 or check their website:
www.bridgewatercanal.co.uk
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Honour for BW man!
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Waterway maintenance supervisor Jimmy Swindells was awarded an MBE in the Queen's birthday honours list. Mr Swindells has worked for BW for 28 years and looks after the Ashton, Rochdale and Manchester Bolton and Bury Canals. He has recently had to deal with the problems on the Rochdale Canal.
Photograph and more details at
www.penninewaterways.co.uk/news/news2005.htm#jimmy
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Rochdale Canal News
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The Rochdale Canal remains closed between Manchester and Slattocks following the breach at the Irk Aqueduct. Temporary dams have been constructed each side of the breach and some water is being pumped past to preserve wildlife and the ecology of the canal further downstream, but reconstruction work has not yet started. Engineers have been investigating the site in preparation for designing the major repair work.The canal is unlikely to re-open during 2005.
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Because of low water levels on the River Calder in West Yorkshire, BW have been warned that they may have to stop pumping water from the river into the canal at Luddendenfoot. Water levels in the canal are being monitored and the operation of Tuel Lane lock in Sowerby Bridge could be restricted at times. If Lock 1 is padlocked, boaters should walk up to Tuel Lane lock and speak to the lock keeper. At the moment there is no need to book in advance.
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In all the concern about the breach on the Rochdale Canal, I forgot to report to you that a short arm off the canal in Manchester was uncovered for a few days in April, before being filled in again. Photos and story at
www.penninewaterways.co.uk/news/news2005.htm#oldarm
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The promised towpath pontoon for the M62 tunnel near Castleton has been made and is now awaiting installation.
Photo at www.penninewaterways.co.uk/news/news2005.htm#pontoon
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BW on the move!
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British Waterways is to relocate its North West office from its current rented accommodation in Warrington to the ground floor of a new four-storey building which is under construction in Wigan, alongside the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. The new building is due to be completed by May 2006.
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Ashton Canal News
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The Ashton Canal was closed for a few days in June after the body of a woman in her 60s was found in the canal near Lock 18 at Fairfield. The police investigated and searched the area around the lock but are not treating the death as suspicious.
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P e n n i n e   W a t e r w a y s   N e w s l e t t e r   # 7 9
O c t o b e r   9 t h   2 0 0 5
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Welcome to the latest e-mail newsletter from Pennine Waterways!
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My apologies if you have been waiting a while for this newsletter! It is issued at irregular intervals and I have been away boating for part of the time since the last newsletter. Anyway, there are now several points that may be of interest to you....
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Leeds and Liverpool Canal News
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The Leeds and Liverpool Canal has been closed between Barrowford Locks and Holme Lock, east of Gargrave, because of severe water supply problems. The canal was shut between Holme Lock and Greenberfield in the middle of September. A few days later, the closure was extended to include the summit pound through Foulridge Tunnel to Barrowford. It is reported that Foulridge Reservoir was virtually empty. Some boats moored on the canal were found to be on the bottom, so it was necessary to close the locks to prevent the rest of the water being lost.
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A stretch of the canal between Oddy Lock and Spring Garden Lock in Leeds was closed for a a week in late September when part of the wash wall collapsed. Repairs were needed to prevent water loss through the embankment.
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Rochdale Canal News
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The Rochdale Canal between Manchester and Slattocks has been closed since April by a massive breach at the Irk Aqueduct in Chadderton. Thousands of tonnes of embankment was swept away, together with part of the towpath and canal bed. British Waterways have installed temporary dams on each side and have been pumping water past the breach to ensure that the ecologically sensitive environment of the canal is protected.
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A £30,000 ground investigation has now been completed, which has revealed that "the unexpected failure of the embankment was due to the nature of the weak sandy soils from which the embankment had been originally constructed." BW has now moved on the the designing and pricing phase of the repair project, the results of which are due in November. The repairs are expected to cost at least £1 million. It is believed that sources of funding for the repair have yet to be found. It is hoped that the repairs will be completed during 2006. Photographs and more details of the Irk Aqueduct breach at http://www.penninewaterways.co.uk/news/news2005.htm#irk
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The canal was previously closed for seven months by an embankment collapse a mile away at Slattocks.
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A water shortage on the Rochdale Canal in Sowerby Bridge has led to restrictions on the locks at the eastern end of the canal. Passage between Lock 1 and Tuel Lane Lock is only available between 9.00 am and 3.00 pm and must be booked 24 hours in advance (07717 348258). Water is being back-pumped to keep the canal open above Sowerby Bridge
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Huddersfield Narrow Canal News
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New homes have being provided for the Daubentons Bat on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal in Uppermill! This was carried out by the Greater Manchester Bat Group and British Waterways with the support of The Waterways Trust.
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The Daubentonís Bat is becoming rare in the area due to a lack of roosting sites. As part of the recovery programme, twenty new bat boxes will be installed along the canal for them to roost in. Chris John, Ecologist for British Waterways, said: "This is a great contribution to bat conservation, we hope to see many more bats along the canal over the coming years."
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Jim Taylor of the Greater Manchester Bat Group said: "The bat group looks forward to undertaking the monitoring of the project and intent to undertake a number of public "bat walks" in the coming year." Anyone interested in joining the group can contact him on 01706 665554.
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Daubenton's Bat is a small species, with a pinkish-brown face. The fur on their upper-parts is dark grey/brown and the under-parts silvery grey. The wings and tail membrane are dark brown. They have large furry feet, which they use to grab prey from the surface of water. They hunt over open water such as canals.
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Photos at http://www.penninewaterways.co.uk/news/news2005.htm#bats
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Manchester Bolton and Bury Canal News
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Work on the first phase of the restoration of the Manchester Bolton and Bury Canal will start during 2006. A 500 metre section from the River Irwell will be restored as part of the Middlewood Locks development. There will be more news on this shortly. Photos of the exposed canal route can be seen at Middlewood Locks site before development starts at:
http://www.penninewaterways.co.uk/mbb/mbbc41.htm
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Winter Stoppages
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The stoppages announced for canals in the Pennine area are summarised here: http://www.penninewaterways.co.uk/stoppages.htm
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P e n n i n e   W a t e r w a y s   N e w s l e t t e r   # 8 0
N o v e m b e r  1 s t   2 0 0 5
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Welcome to the latest e-mail newsletter from Pennine Waterways!
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Manchester Bolton and Bury Canal News
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Work has finally started on restoring the Manchester Bolton and Bury Canal! Preparatory work has begun on the site of the Middlewood Locks development in Salford, which will see 500 metres on canal re-opened, along with three locks. The £600 million Middlewood Locks development is one of the largest in the area and will include apartments, hotels, restaurants, bars and leisure facilities.
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Read more at www.penninewaterways.co.uk/mbb
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Huddersfield Narrow Canal News
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Plans are being drawn up for an exciting new "Waterfront Quarter" alongside the Huddersfield Narrow Canal near the centre of Huddersfield.
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The £200 million scheme would see the site, currently occupied by Sellers Engineering and West Riding House, transformed into a mixed development of waterside café bars and restaurants, offices, apartments and a hotel.
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Part of the tunnel which presently takes the canal under the site would be opened up to form the centrepiece of the development.
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More at www.penninewaterways.co.uk/news/news2005.htm#waterfront
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The Huddersfield Narrow Canal will be closed between November 7th and March 17th at Scout Embankment, between Stalybridge and Mossley, for major channel lining work. This work will cost in the region of £1 million and will make safe this embankment which has been closely monitored by British Waterways for several years. For a full list of winter stoppages, see www.penninewaterways.co.uk/stoppages.htm
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BW's "Dredge Pledge"
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Waterways in Yorkshire are to benefit from what British Waterways has dubbed its "Dredge Pledge", with the budget for dredging being trebled.
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More at www.penninewaterways.co.uk/news/news2005.htm#dredgepledge
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Leeds and Liverpool Canal News
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The previous newsletter reported the closure of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal between Barrowford Locks and Holme Lock, east of Gargrave, because of severe water supply problems. This section of canal has now been re-opened but with the locks only being open between 8.00 am and 4.00 pm.
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From November 7th, Greenberfield Locks will close for new gates to be fitted, while Bingley 5-rise and 3-rise locks will close for gate repairs. Dowley Gap Aqueduct, near Bingley, will close from 7th November to 31st March for the construction of a new channel lining. For a full list of winter stoppages, see www.penninewaterways.co.uk/stoppages.htm

    
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