Pennine Explorer takes place albeit curtailed

The five crews who joined us for the curtailed cruise certainly enjoyed the experience.  For four of them it meant returning via the Standedge Tunnel in the following weeks. With the stoppage east of Slaithwaite lifting by the end of June, one intrepid crew continued their journey eastwards and managed to reach Ripon via York.

Moira steers the d-Shuttle passed the dressed up Pennine Explorer cruisers during the Stalybridge Festival

 

The five craft assembled at Tunnel End Marsden on 30th June.

Pennine Explorer update June 2022

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.

New electric boat arriving soon!

The Marsden e-Shuttle is arriving soon.  Official launch at the 2 May Bank Holiday event at the Standedge Visitor Centre celebrating 21 years since the canal was restored.

Marsden e-Shuttle

Main features:

  • All electric – zero local pollution
  • Disability friendly – wheelchair lift onboard
  • Increased outside space – large open front deck
  • Heated cabin
  • Low running & maintenance costs
  • Can be used in the dark

Official launch by Robbie Cumming the star of BBC TV’s Canal Boat Diaries

Bob Gough retires

Bob receives a farewell gift from HCS, a digital camera, from Society Chair Alan Stopher on his last day of the office.

Our Administrator, Dr Bob Gough, retired on 18th February 2022 after 33 years service. He is pictured here receiving a gift from the Society. We wish him well for a long and happy retirement  and hope that he will keep in touch now that he has been given Life Membership of our Society. Continue reading

Tunnel End Fest – 21st July 2019

What a great day at Tunnel End, Marsden!

Thanks to Paul Thompson and Kim Warren for all their work in making it happen. Great credit should also be given for the 50 musical performers who gave their time so generously. Also a big thank you to Bev and her team at CRT for pulling out all the stops to ensure its success.

Here are some great pictures of the day, all courtesy of Alan Stopher, Chairman HCS.

The Marsden Shuttle was busy all day

Enoch’s Hammer entertain a young visitor

The Blackbird Family craft stall was popular with children and adults alike

The Ticket Collectors entertain

Some French dancing getting ahead of Brexit

The Uketeers warm up the wrist action for a Woo or two

An unexpected visitor

Blues Band Green T get into the Groove

We even had a cruising boat through, right on cue

Stalybridge Festival 2019

All aboard!  © Alan Stopher/HCS

It was great to have our friends the East Manchester Community Boat Project joining us at this annual event. Their friendly crew gave around 400 local people a free boat trip on ‘Community Spirit 2’ during the two days. Pictured above are eager passengers going aboard and below their crew lining up to receive First Prize for the Best Presented Boat from HCS Council member Peter Rawson.

First Prize for the Best Presented Boat    © Alan Stopher/HCS