New Lock 21E On The Huddersfield Narrow Canal – Slaithwaite, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
N 53° 37.414 W 001° 52.529
30U E 574373 N 5942227
Quick Description: This lock is the 21st from Huddersfield on the east side of the Standedge Tunnel at the summit and had to be re-constructed at the time of canal restoration in the year 2000.
Location: Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 12/27/2012 12:55:27 PM
Waymark Code: WMG08J
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member cache_test_dummies
Views: 2

Long Description:

New Lock 21E Built in 2000
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.

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 canal closed due to under use in 1944. This part of the canal was restored in the year 2000. The stretch of canal that passed through Slaithwaite had been blocked off and completely filled in. As part of the restoration the canal had to be completely dug out. The original lock 21E was to the east of bridge 42 whereas this is now immediately to the west of the bridge. The bridge originally had a small hump, but after the canal had closed a new flat road bridge had been built for modern trucks with long wheel bases.

When the canal was restored here the bed of the canal had to be lowered to allow boats pass under the new bridge level and the lock moved to this position.

This new lock was made of concrete. At the same time a ladder was added to the lock wall to provide access from the boat at the bottom of the lock to the top of the lock.

New lock gates had to be built and they have a date plaque of 2000 which also shows they were manufactured at Northwich.

An integrated wooden footbridge was also built to give access to both sides of the lock whilst operating the gates.

The website link shows the renovation work carried out on the lock.

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: 1/1/2000

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 New Lock 21E On The Huddersfield Narrow Canal – Slaithwaite, UK 1/5/2013 hulletteers visited it