Had enough of the Leeds & Liverpool

Published: Wednesday, 22 September 2010

ROSEWOOD Narrowboats has 'had enough' of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and is closing down.

The closure of the waterway during the entire major holiday season has proven too much for its owner, Nigel Feeney, and he will cease business at the end of the season when his last hire boat returns.

Will happen again

His great fear is that the same thing will happen again next year, attacking British Waterways:

"I have no faith in British Waterways. The threat of closure has been there since 2005 and it could happen again any year. I don't feel staying in the industry is a viable option at the moment. It's not a safe bet."

Nigel, the owner of the family-run company near Blackburn is very scathing of the 'absolutely filthy' state of the waterway and claims that parts were 'like a rubbish tip', and that the 'the general state of the canal is awful'.

Great upheaval

When the Leeds & Liverpool Canal was closed the business was relocated to Nantwich on the Shropshire Union Canal. That caused great upheaval, and brought complaints that hirers wanted to cruise the dramatic scenery of the Pennines not a boring virtually straight waterway overlooking flat countryside.

As Nigel expects further problems with the waterway in the future, and is not prepared to stand the hassle and disappoint his customers he tells us:

"Re-locating was a major upheaval. It is not ideal to have to transport everything there and then travel down there four times a week.

"We are not returning. We're staying put until the end of the season and then we're leaving the industry completely."

Bearing in mind that it is a picture of a leaking lock and rusty paddle gear on Rosewood's website, one can only agree.