After a night moored on the lock landing near the Olive Branch pub we pulled ropes from around bollards at 08.10 with the intention of getting at least halfway to Huddersfield. As we travel down the picturesque Colne valley we pass old mills and factories that are now unfortunately derelict..
We picked up this mooring at Titanic Mill on the lock landing of 16E after doing 14 hard locks . Titanic mill was originally opened in 1912 the same year that it’s namesake the ship Titanic sank and then closed 63 years later . It has now been rejuvenated as flats and a health Spa.
We thought our luck was in when we got to lock 15E to find it full and in our favour. With Carolyn on Inca and me doing the locks all was going well as I opened the paddles to let the lock down until I got one almighty shout from Carolyn . Inca had caught on something and as the stern carried on going down in the lock the front was hooked up on something , with the water getting very near to coming in the back and flooding the boat Carolyn was in a right panic. Before I had chance to drop the paddles Inca luckily slipped of what it had got caught on. As you can see in the picture this is a stone built lock and one of them had popped out and our baseplate got caught on it. Needless to say Carolyn was in a terrible state as she thought Inca was going to sink. I immediately rang Canal and River Trust to report the problem as obviously it needed urgent attention before another boat used the lock . CRT said they would ring me back to confirm that action had been taken to repair the lock ,but surprise surpise I have heard nothing.
After a very hard and eventful time on this canal we decided to take a day off and booked a couple of nights on this mooring which has the luxury of hook up electric and the main town centre of Huddersfield only a short walk away.
We are now so glad to be off The Huddersfield canal and out of all the canals we have done this is the only one that we have said never again . The Huddersfield canal society were asking for more boaters to use it ,but to be honest if we knew how bad it was going to be we would have thought twice before doing it . Not only are the lock gates very heavy with paddle gear that that is even heavier. I am nearly 16 stone and it took all of my weight to move some of the paddles and gates. But also the canal is in drastic need of dredging . On most of the lock landings you can’t get any where close enough to drop off crew. There is also a real lack of moorings as the sides are so shallow you can’t get within 4 feet of the edge . At uppermill which is one of the top towns to visit on this canal they have fitted new bollards which are totally useless as there is no way of getting in next to them.To top it all we had two very near misses when we got hung up in locks ,something that has never happened in the last four years and nearly three and a half thousand locks that we have passed through.
The Scenery on many stretches is brilliant and of course the jewel in the crown of this canal is the Standedge tunnel which I must admit I really enjoyed . We spoke to some local boaters in Huddersfield and they said that the canal was re-opened too soon and in a rush . Most of them never go on it and prefer to head down the Huddersfield broad and onto The Calder and Hebble ,well I guess that tells you something . At the end of the day we have done it and it’s another canal ticked off our list.