Nothing to celebrate

Published: Thursday, 30 June 2022

I WAS absolutely fuming to read that the Canal & River Trust were celebrating 21 years of the reopening of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal and Standedge Tunnel, writes Steve Hallam.

all wrappedNot only do I moor on the canal but worked on the restoration, so it upsets me to see 'this lot' celebrating what ever since it has been in power has totally neglected, unlike the British Waterways policy before it, that showed they were proud of the achievement and used it to its full advantage and well maintained it.

As many as possible

In those early days they even covered boats up in rubber to keep them clean pulling them through the tunnel (there was lots of soot left from the adjoining discarded railway) and when it was all cleared allowed as many as possible boats to go through, I going through four times taking pals and became friends with Fred (pictured below) who often accompanied us and came out and helped if low pounds, as those early days before so many mobile phones, tablets and the like saw vandals draining pounds as having little else to do.

sfredI well remember your 'Vandals' page that gave us boaters good warning, but these are a thing of the past though Canal & River Trust often blame vandals when something gives way, but not sure how many believe them, as I certainly don't!  I well remember one lock on the Narrow with just one paddle working then this seized-up, for it had not been greased for years, but vandals were blamed in the stoppage notice!

'Don't care' method

That's how it is now through the 'don't care' method of today, with the Narrow closed four times last month and it then decided to allow an absolutely ridiculous four boats through the tunnel a week that they celebrated!

Alas it is the same throughout the whole system with a closure every day and boaters like me hardly knowing where to safely cruise without being stuck behind a stoppage.  Already I have counted four closure here this month as well and wonder if there was again one a day over the system?

What a terrible way to run the waterways.