Huddersfield Canal Society

Current activities (June 2022):

Pennine Explorer cruise

We’ve been planning a repeat of the 12 boats cruise run west to east in 2017. However two issues have intervened to curtail it. Reduced reservoir levels and lack of spring rain on the Macclesfield and Peak Forest canals has severely limited the lock passages at Bosley and Marple flights and they will now both close for the forseeable future after 21st June. Water supplies on the Huddersfield Narrow have slightly improved after some recent rain but restrictions on use of Diggle and Marsden flight locks to the summit remain after their imposition on 9th May. On 30th May Canal & River Trust warned that passages through the Standedge Tunnel will be limited in availability until August.  Against that background the 211 year old canal presented us with a serious culvert leak in the pound between locks 20E and 21E. A review of the circumstances with 2 weeks before the planned cruise resulted in a a notification from the Trust that it was highly unlikely that the leaking section could be repaired and a long stretch of pounds rewatered in time for the  scheduled cruise to pass through.  The section is currently drained and a CCTV camera was run through it in week commencing 13th June. Options for repair are being considered and a contractor is being mobilised imminently. A further bed-valve leak near Lock 26E also needs urgent work and this will be undertaken at the same time.

The upshot was that a joint decision between the  Society and CRT on 9th June concluded that the complete cruise would not be possible and that a curtailed one would be consulted upon. As this is being written on 17th June the curtailed cruise will include 5 boats starting at Portland Basin on the morning of Sunday 26th June, taking part in the Stalybridge Festival that afternoon and then proceeding with overnight stops at Roaches (27th), Uppermill (28th) and Diggle (29th). The craft will pass through the Standedge Tunnel on Thursday 30th June. The gathering of 5 boats in mid-afternoon at Tunnel End Marsden om that day will certainly be a spectacle and plans are now being made to promote a lower key event for crews and spectators than had originally been envisaged. A notice will be put up on the Standedge Tunnel and Visitor Centre website news page during week commencing 20th June.

The same 5 boats will retrace their route on different days over the following fortnight.


Marsden e-Shuttle

After the fantastic public reception on 2nd May, training of crew has continued so that the new electric craft can operate most services on the programme.

We’re retaining the original craft, now nicknamed the d-Shuttle, for the time being and indeed it will be giving trips to the public at the Stalybridge Festival on 25th and 26th June.

Please check our online trip calendar for dates when the boat is running.


In addition:

• The Maintenance team is continuing to work on east side vegetation clearance every Friday fortnight.

• Our first e-newsletter has been issued to members and another will be published soon. 

• The office is now unattended so the best way to contact us is by email. 

**  Best wishes to all our members, supporters and friends  **

220 Club News:

The results of our 32nd Quarterly Draw  are:

£78.40 1st Prize to Mr P. Killan
£39.20 2nd Prize to Mr T. Thompson

Congratulations to the prize winners!

(If you want to join in – details are in the Members’ Area.)

Ensuring the viability and promotion of the Huddersfield Narrow and Broad Canals as navigable waterways within the overall network in perpetuity.

The Huddersfield Canal Society was formed in 1974 by a group of enthusiasts with the ambitious aim of restoring the then derelict Huddersfield Narrow Canal to through navigation and improving the Broad Canal.

After 27 years of campaigning and restoration, led by Canal Society volunteers, the Narrow Canal was re-opened in May 2001 and gained Royal approval with an official ceremony by HRH Prince of Wales in the September that year.

Funding for removal of the final set of major blockages, amounting to £30 million, was received from the Millennium Lottery Fund and English Partnerships, with contributions from the Society, Tameside, Oldham and Kirklees Councils and the former British Waterways.  Click here to download Keith Gibson’s historical summary of the restoration and follow this link to see how the major blockages were removed.

Society's offices in Transhipment Warehouse

Transhipment Warehouse, Wool Road, Dobcross, Oldham, OL3 5QR

The Society’s members and volunteers help protect and promote the canals so the years of hard work and investment can continued to be enjoyed by all.

The Society’s offices are idyllically located at Wool Road, Dobcross, in a former Lime Shed constructed by the Huddersfield Canal Company in 1820.  It was saved from dereliction by the Saddleworth Historical Society during 1979 and refurbished by the Canal Society in 1993, winning environmental awards for the work.  The Society acquired the premises in 2006, where its staff are based.
The offices are no longer staffed. If you would like to come and see us, please email to
make an appointment.  The nearest railway station is Greenfield and bus services from Manchester and Huddersfield pass by.  There is a free car park on the opposite side of the canal to our building.  Walk out of the car park, turn left, cross the road bridge and turn left down the signed track.  Or come by boat!