Lock 1W On The Huddersfield Narrow Canal – Ashton-Under-Lyne, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
N 53° 29.103 W 002° 05.330
30U E 560460 N 5926617
Quick Description: This lock is the 1st lock from Ashton-Under-Lyne on the west side of the Standedge Tunnel at the summit.
Location: North West England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 2/10/2013 3:36:50 AM
Waymark Code: WMGBFG
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member cache_test_dummies
Views: 2

Long Description:

Lock 1W
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.

In the U.K. locks on broad canals normally have pairs of gates at each end of the lock. On this canal the majority of the locks the bottom gates are a double pair, but the top gate, where the water enters is only a single gate. To let water into the lock at the top gate the paddles are built into the side of the canal.

This lock is immediately next to a road bridge and the bottom gates are so close to it that they do not have the traditional arms to open them. Instead they are pneumatically operated and there is a control panel used to open the gates. Because of this unusual arrangement the paddles to let the water out of the lock are at the side of the canal like the top gates.

Between the road bridge and the bottom gates is a small metal footbridge to give access to both sides of the canal.

The tow path leads down from the canal side on a steep cobbled path to enter a short tunnel under the road. At the far side of the bridge is Whitelands basin on the Ashton canal and marks the junction of the two canals. The Ashton canal is the earlier of the two and this part of it was completed in 1796.

There is a small arm of the Huddersfield Narrow canal next to the lock. This would allow the unloading and loading of boats without having to descend the lock onto the Ashton 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.

The bottom lock gates were replaced in 1987 and there is a plaque with this date and the fact that they were made in Stanley Ferry. The top gate was replaced in 2006, but this time was made at Bradley Workshop.

On many locks there are warning signs on the top gate 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 top 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 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:
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