Lock 21W On The Huddersfield Narrow Canal – Uppermill, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
N 53° 32.745 W 002° 00.513
30U E 565694 N 5933440
Quick Description: This lock is the 21st from Ashton-Under-Lyne on the west side of the Standedge Tunnel at the summit.
Location: Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 11/10/2012 6:04:02 AM
Waymark Code: WMFNR0
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member cache_test_dummies
Views: 1

Long Description:

Lock 21W
Being a narrow canal the locks on this canal are also narrow, and this reduces the size of the lock gates compared to a broad canal.

The bottom gates are a double pair as is normal on U.K. broad canals, but the top gate, where the water enters is only a single gate.

The paddles for the bottom gates to let water out of the lock are built into the gates themselves. To let water into the lock at the top gate the paddles are built into the side of the canal.

The lock wall has a ladder that was added when the canal was restored and provides access from the boat at the bottom of the lock to the top of the lock.

On many locks there are warning signs about making sure the boat does not get caught on the cill. It's not always obvious what this means, but basically the wooden lock gate does not go to the bottom of the lock but sits on a stone base. When the lock is full and a boat is going down, the cill is not visible. This means that when the water is released from the lock it is possible for the boat to get caught on the cill.

When the lock is empty it is much easier to understand how this works.

The main road through Uppermill runs parallel with the canal for a while but at this point it crosses the canal directly in front of the lock at an acute angle. The bottom lock gates are right next to the bridge that carries the road over the canal. The road had been widened between the canal’s closure in 1944 and its reopening in 2001 and the opening under the road bridge was no longer usable. The underside of the extra width of the road had to be extended to enable the boats to pass under the road.

The gates were also replaced as part of the restoration work. They have a date of 2000 on them and they were made in Northwich. The lock is so close to the road that one of the lock gate arms is much shorter than normal. It does not provide enough leverage for normal usage and so there is a vertical winding mechanism on the ground. It is operated by the normal windlass but provides extra torque to operate the gate. A metal rod connected to the arm on gate pushes or pulls the gate as required.

This page on the Pennine Waterways website shows the first boat using the restored lock and the windlass.

The Huddersfield Narrow Canal
This canal is one of three that crosses the Pennine Hills and built to provide transport between Huddersfield in Yorkshire and Ashton-Under-Lyne in Lancashire.

As the name suggest it is a narrow canal that although was cheaper to build had less carrying capacity compared to the other two broad canals.

Work started on it in 1794 and partly due to the need to construct the longest canal tunnel in the United Kingdom it was completed 17 years later in 1811.
The canal is only 20 miles long and due to the nature of the terrain has 74 locks even though the summit tunnel reduced the required number of locks. The canal climbs 436 feet from Huddersfield and descends 334 feet to Ashton-Under-Lyne.

In theory having a summit tunnel to reduce the number of locks means that the journey times should be relatively short. However the tunnel does not have a tow path and when it was first opened it was necessary to lead the horses over the moor to the other end of the tunnel. Meanwhile it was necessary to leg the boat through the tunnel. This involved specialist workers who lay on their backs and used their legs with their feet against the tunnel wall to leg the boat through.

Competition from the railways led to the closure of the canal in 1944.

During the 1970s leisure boating in the U.K. had become popular and there were various campaigns to re-open canals that had lain derelict for a number of years.

Work on restoring this canal started in 1981 and the whole canal was finally reopened by 2001. These days the canal is only open to leisure boaters and with the re-opening of other connecting canals it is possible to travel far and wide.

However boats are restricted to maximum width of 6 feet 10 inches and a draught of 3 feet 3 inches which does restrict some boats that are used on the broad canals.
Waterway Name: The Huddersfield Narrow Canal

Connected Points:
Links the Huddersfield Broad Canal at Huddersfield in Yorkshire to the Ashton Canal at Ashton-Under-Lyne in Lancashire.


Type: Lock

Date Opened: 1/1/1811

Elevation Difference (meters): 4.00

Site Status: Operational

Web Site: [Web Link]

Date Closed (if applicable): Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Logs marked as “visits” should be made after physically visiting the waymark location. Include a picture taken during the visit. Notes may be logged by individuals who have visited the web site or looked at the online information and would like to provide comments or feedback on the waymark.
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hulletteers visited Lock 21W On The Huddersfield Narrow Canal – Uppermill, UK 2/9/2013 hulletteers visited it