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Current News- The Official Opening at Uppermill on Friday 18th May 2001

The Dobcross to Ashton section of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal reopened on Monday 9th April when full navigation was again be possible after more than 50 years (follow this link for more information and photographs). The official opening ceremony will take place on Friday 18th May and there is expected to be a substantial press presence. There will also be an evening of celebrations and entertainment on Churchill Playing Field where all will be welcome.

The proposed itinerary (subject to change - please check back nearer the date) is:

2.00pm Invited guests attend a presentation at Saddleworth Museum, Uppermill.
3.15pm Speakers and invited guests board the Pennine Moonraker and descend Wade Lock.
3.30pm Cutting of the ribbon as the Pennine Moonraker emerges from Wade Lock.
3.35pm Press photo call.
3.45pm Diggle Band play fanfare and more press photos taken.
3.50pm Inspection of High Street Bridge on foot by all guests as they walk to Churchill Playing Fields.
4.00pm Even more press photos and interviews.

4.00pm - 8.30pm Evening celebrations at Churchill Playing Fields - all comers welcome! Entertainment includes:

Local shops selling food from stalls
Music provided by local brass bands
Mikron Theatre
Our very own John Lund carrying out boat trips through the bridge
Exhibition detailing the restoration work
Street entertainers (jugglers, stiltwalkers, balloon modellers etc.)

The full length of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal is scheduled to open on Tuesday May 1st when the full length of the canal from Huddersfield to Ashton will be open for navigation. The official opening ceremony will take place sometime in June 2001 at Tunnel End, Marsden and a member of the Royal Family is expected to officiate. - Further details will be posted as soon as they are known.


For more information about the restoration work, contact the British Waterways Project Office at Tunnel End, Waters Road, Marsden, Huddersfield, Tel. 01484 844298

The Pennine Waterways site has up to the minute news and photographs.


History of the Restoration Work


In 1974 a small band of canal enthusiasts formed the Huddersfield Canal Society with the aim of restoring the canal to a navigable waterway. A significant step was taken with the formation of a joint committee involving Tameside, Oldham and Kirklees councils, British Waterways and the Society to oversee the restoration project.

62 of the canal's 74 lock chambers have already been rebuilt and two thirds of the canal dredged to navigable standards.

Now the Huddersfield Narrow Canal Company is leading the final push for the removal of the remaining obstacles between Ashton-under-Lyne and Huddersfield.

The Company, formed in May 1997, brings together the five original partners actively involved in the restoration. Of the £30m needed to complete the restoration, £15m is coming from the Millennium Commission and a further £12m from English Partnerships. The five partners in the Huddersfield Canal Company are also contributing funding and expertise.

The restoration involves 19 individual construction projects, five of them major engineering schemes. The largest schemes are the reopening of Standedge Tunnel and the original line of the canal through Stalybridge town centre, Slaithwaite village and under the working mills at Bates and Sellers in Huddersfield. In Saddleworth, work at Greenfield has already been completed and work at Uppermill and Dobcross has started.

The whole project is due for completion at the end of April 2001.

Tunnel End, Marsden





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