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Unusual Boat Sights and Events

Leeds Liverpool Canal Centenary

The Leeds Liverpool canal runs for 127 miles from Leeds to the docks at Liverpool.  Construction began in 1770 at both ends and by 1777 the canal was open from Leeds to Gargrave and from Liverpool to Parbold. At this stage, the money ran out and work stopped until 1790. The route was then altered to pass by the growing industrial towns of East Lancashire. The final section between Wigan and Johnson’s Hillock, near Chorley, was not completed until 1816.

In 1816 the first full trip of the canal took place with a boat taking 5 days to complete the journey.

In 2016 the Canal & River Trust, the Leeds & Liverpool Canal Society, the Inland Waterways Association and the 12 boroughs through which it travels organised several events to commemorate the 200 years of the canal’s existence.

In October these events culminated in the heritage education boat, Kennet, run by the Leeds & Liverpool Canal Society re-enacting the first complete trans-Pennine journey along the canal by the merchants of Yorkshire and Lancashire 200 years ago. 

In its heyday, the canal carried cotton, coal, wool, limestone, sugar and other vital commodities through the rapidly expanding industrial communities of Lancashire and Yorkshire. From the Second World War onwards, it suffered declining cargo traffic and narrowly escaped closure in the 1970s. Two hundred years on, the canal is still cherished but now as an oasis for wildlife, a thriving centre for tourism, recreation and leisure and a catalyst for regeneration.

It was the opening of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal that encouraged the development of the textile industries in Lancashire and West Yorkshire. For many years, they were the mainstay of Britain’s economic development so the Leeds & Liverpool canal can rightly be said to be the most historically significant canal in the country.

Other Unusual Sights

This boat had a piano on the back of it.  The person shown had pulled the boat by hand all the way from Liverpool. He said his intention was to deliver the piano to London.  An interesting proposition, both because the piano was almost a wreck and it was never clear how he was going to pull the boat by had all the way to London.

This boat is normally moored in Bingley near the top of the Five Rise flight of locks. It was seen moored in Skipton for a couple of weeks in 2019

Spirit of Endeavour