Leaks Big Leaks, Leeds Liverpool Breach 2, 14th October

Over the last few days there has been plenty going on at the Leeds Liverpool Canal breach. A dam has been put across one bridge hole and I think stop planks have gone in on the other side of the breach. There is a lot of footage available on Youtube. Here’s a link to some drone footage.

A group of lads also went down to where the dam has been put in. Their theory, before they got there, was that the water was going down into a disused coal mine. Bare with the swearing, they get quite a bit of information about the collapsed wooden culvert that has caused the breach. They then go to explore the breach site and below it. I do not condone their actions, but it is quite interesting to see below the canal.

Several boats have been affected including NB Mr Blue Sky, the boat we shared locks into Manchester with a couple of years ago. I so hope the boat is safe along with others that have been caught up. Sections of the canal are now getting water back in them and boats are being re-floated. Other sections will take a while longer as water needs to be pumped round the breach site to reach them. is now cut off. Refloating those boats will take longer.

The Leeds Liverpool isn’t the only canal with problems.

Down on the Grand Union Canal the levels dropped between Copper Mill Lock and Cowley, a C&RT notice was put out yesterday with an emergency navigation restriction. On Tuesday night Widewater and Denham Deep Locks were closed due to low water levels. Several boats have sunk because of this in the marina there.

15W ten days ago

Then on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal yesterday a significant leak had been discovered between locks 14W and 15W, where we had been moored last Tuesday. Today a method of repair has been established and repair works will happen over the weekend.

On this side of the Narrow someone has left a paddle up at Lock 14E. This doesn’t sound too bad, half emptying a the pound above. The eastern side of the Huddersfield Narrow has limited water resources and the refilling of this pound will have a knock effect to the lower end of the canal.

Not a good time on the canals at the moment.

5 thoughts on “Leaks Big Leaks, Leeds Liverpool Breach 2, 14th October

  1. Dave (Scouts)

    You really have to wonder what has been happening about maintenance over the last few years. I know covid hasn’t helped but never understood why (if true) that CRT furloughed maintenance staff when they could have been doing more whilst everyone was in lockdown.

    It seems from outside looking in as a blog reader and a hire boater that CRT want the network as a wildlife and walker haven and that the needs of the boater are secondary.

    1. Pip Post author

      Hi Dave
      We hear a lot about ‘why wasn’t more done in lockdown’. March 2020 everyone but key workers were told to stay at home due to the pandemic, to me the majority of C&RT staff were not key workers. The staff who were kept on were there to keep the network open for essential cruising, not to do routine maintenance jobs.

      As a boater I think C&RT are struggling to maintain an ageing network, the budget they have is not limitless. Yes they could do more and some of their decisions are at times odd and frustrating. At the moment the Government fund C&RT, but to secure future funding they have to appeal to a wider proportion of the population rather than those who pootle about, or not, on the network on their boats.

      A year of minimum use followed by everyone feeling it is their right to cruise, with or without respect for an aging infrastructure has not helped. Some things would have happened anyway. The Huddersfield Narrow has always had it’s problems and they have a good team who react quickly. The Rochdale Summit is currently closed due to the of lack of water, this is because the reservoirs were sold off when the canal was closed in the 1920’s. Now United Utilities is limiting the amount of water that can be used in the canal, hence the closure.

      Yes they have their faults, but you should see the amount of work that has gone into the Figure of Three Locks after they had almost been washed away by flood water.

  2. Anonymous

    Oh my it sounds bad hope you don’t get stuck like last year.
    Take care all of you.
    Barbara xx (Bessie surtees)

    1. Pip Post author

      Thank you Barbara, we currently have a lock on restricted hours right in front of us. But thankfully it is still passable.
      Hope your roof painting went well
      Pip x

      1. Anonymous

        I have to say we are very pleased with the roof, we did the back bit riddle red and the rest dark grey it looks so much better.
        Loving reading your adventures stay safe and looking forward to your next blog.
        Barbara xx

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