Pennine Waterways
Pennine Waterways
Canals of the South Pennines
By horse-drawn boat around the South Pennine Ring (2)
At Littleborough, "Elland" was to play a star part in the opening ceremony at Ben Healey Bridge. In this picture "Elland", with Fred Dibnah on board, leads the procession of boats towards the bridge before a huge crowd in the rain. "Elland" became the first boat through the new Ben Healey Bridge when the canal was fully opened on July 1st.

crowds at Littleborough
cutting the ribbon at Littleborough "Elland" comes up to the ribbon. Alongside is Otter, carrying the local mayors and MPs.

Fred Dibnah cutting the ribbon at Littleborough
Fred Dibnah prepares to cut the ribbon, kneeling on the bow of "Elland".

The ribbon-cutting ceremony over, "Elland" is pulled away from the bridge, with Fred Dibnah and Councillor Allen Brett on board.

Fred Dibnah
Rochdale Continuing the journey the following day, Queenie has just crossed over the roving towpath bridge at Oldham Road, Rochdale.

Some parts of the towpath were closed off where work was still taking place. This picture shows Queenie towing the boat right up to the Edinburgh Way works, where a 240 metre section has been built without a towpath. At this point she had to turn back and the boat continued with the aid of poles.

Edinburgh Way, Rochdale
Gorrels Way, Rochdale On the other side of the Edinburgh Way tunnel, the boat is poled along the new towpath-less channel towards Gorrels Way.

M62, Castleton
A mile further on, the boat had to be poled through the new channel that passes below the M62. Keith Paylor, BW's Rochdale Canal restoration project manager (on right) waits for Elland to enter the new lock. Mr Paylor greatly assisted the horse-drawn passage by ensuring that many of the obstacles to the horse were removed.

Click here to see the next part of Elland's voyage: Manchester.

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