Huddersfield Narrow Canal

During the British Industrial Revolution, the canal was the motorway of its day.  Long boats pulled by horses before the invention of the combustion engine were the only means by which it was possible to transport bales of textiles from the mills to the ports on the west coast.  Given the natural barrier that separated Huddersfield from towns to the west, high moorland which allowed no possibility of effective road transport,  it became viable, indeed essential to blast a tunnel to route the canal through at Marsden.

Without wishing to get carried away on a history lesson, but at the same time wishing to put you firmly in the picture dear reader, I will only observe that the early 1800s saw some pretty impressive feats of physical engineering in the name of improving commerce, and by association the long-term prosperity of the folk of such towns as this one.

In 1811, some sixteen years after work commenced on the Standedge Tunnel project, it was declared complete; it is said that a party of invited guests entered the tunnel at Diggle on the western side, and completed the journey to Marsden by canal boat in one hour and forty minutes. The tunnel had cost some £160,000, and was at that time the most expensive canal tunnel built in Britain. It has three parallel cousins, two of which now carry trains on the Trans Pennine railway.

I passed by recently, and in addition to my last post on the subject, took some photos with the Nikon.

These tyres have been made into brightly painted flower planters, and looked nicely colourful in this exposure.

The almost panoramic shape of the image was used to reflect the long, narrow boat.

The bow of another longboat which had a lovely, rich livery of black, red and cream.

Movement is all around in the canal lock, with water leaking from the lock gates as they close.

The Marsden Estate Office is a lovely brick building, and this shot of a cloudy sky used it as an anchor.

Flickr slideshow here.

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