Cruising the Huddersfield Narrow Canal

page 6 - Slaithwaite to Huddersfield

Click on any of the photographs for an enlarged view

The derelict building in picture 1 (close to lock 16E) was formerly the Titanic steam powered mill. At the second of the two Appleyard Bridge Ramsden locks (13E) we are only 3 miles from the canal terminus at Huddersfield, but the scenery is still totally rural. Golcar aqueduct is soon reached. It crosses impressively over the river Colne - picture 4.

The Titanic Mill Ramsden Locks Golcar aqueduct The river Colne runs below the Golcar Aqueduct

From lock 9E, the new Milnsbridge canal side flats are in harmony with the surroundings. A little further on, at Factory Lane, Milnsbridge, a mill has been converted into apartments. Many modern canal sides dwellings look out of place but these totally complement the canal environment. Bridge canal plaques remind everyone where much of the money has come from to restore the Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

Canal side flats at Milnsbridge A former mill, now apartments Lock 8E - Factory Lane - Milnsbridge Millennium plaque

As the canal enters Huddersfield it's apparent why this section and the area around Stalybridge earned the canal the name "The Impossible Restoration". At Sellers Engineering and Bates & Company the canal had been totally built over. The only way to make this canal fully navigable was to tunnel underneath the factories. This boat is entering Bates' Tunnel and will eventually appear at the other end, in a deep channel, substantially reinforced to prevent subsidence.

Bates and Co - Yarn spinners Bates' Tunnel - Huddersfield Exit of Bates' Tunnel Reinforced girders support the canal channel

Almost at journey's end and the canal passes what must have once been a hive of industry, soon to reach Aspley Basin where the Huddersfield Narrow Canal meets the Huddersfield Broad. The beginning of the Huddersfield Broad Canal can be seen through the bridge in picture 3 below. Click any of the images for an enlarged view.

Former industrial buildings line the canal Once a hive of industrial activity The Huddersfield Narrow meets the Huddersfield Broad Canal at Aspley Basin Aspley Basin

In its 20 miles, from Ashton to Huddersfield, the Canal has traversed both industrial areas and much spectacular, rural, Pennine scenery. Canal users will have worked a lock almost each quarter of a mile and passed through two tunnels, including the longest, deepest and highest tunnel on Britain's canal system. Often classed as The Impossible Restoration because of the sheer tasks involved, the impossible was eventually achieved and the canal was re-opened to full navigation in May 2001.

Cruising the Huddersfield Narrow Canal
[ Marple - Ashton page 1 ] [ Stalybridge page 2 ] [ Stalybridge to Diggle page 3 ]
[ Standedge Tunnel page 4 ] [ Marsden to Slaithwaite page 5 ]