Canal Boat And Leggers – Diggle, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
N 53° 34.080 W 001° 59.543
30U E 566729 N 5935930
Quick Description: This sculpture is attached to the gates to Standedge tunnel on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal.
Location: Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 11/8/2012 10:52:50 AM
Waymark Code: WMFNC9
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Outspoken1
Views: 2

Long Description:
When the canal was built in 1881 canal boats were towed by horses. However this tunnel is 16,499 feet (5,029 m) long and took 17 years to blast through the rock.

To reduce costs the tunnel is as narrow as possible with no tow path. In order to get the boats through the tunnel men had to lie on their backs and use their legs to propel the boat through the canal.

There are a few passing places in the tunnel, but when the canal first opened there used to be fights as each boat wanted to be first through and neither wanted to give way.

Eventually the canal company employed professional leggers and had set times that boats could go through in each direction.

By 1944 the canal had ceased to be used as a working canal and the tunnel was closed. In the 1960s and 1970s leisure boating became popular and most of the canal network in the UK was re-opened for leisure use. This canal tunnel finally re-opened in 2001, but its use is restricted to diesel powered boats. It is necessary to book in advance to get an allocated time slot and boat pilot.

The Sculpture
Attached to the gate is a silhouette of the front of a narrow canal boat with men lying on their back with their legs on the tunnel walls. It shows what the job of a legger was like.

It used to take 1 hour and 20 minutes to leg an empty boat through the tunnel and 3 hours with a full load.

They were paid the same amount of money regardless of whether the boat was empty or full and were paid one shilling and 6 old pence. In modern currency this is equates to 7.5 new pence.

Visiting The Tunnel
If you don’t have your own boat it’s still possible to have a trip inside the tunnel.

Between March and November it is possible to take a boat trip from the Marsden end of the tunnel part way into the tunnel. Every other weekend boat trips are run through the tunnel end to end. This

website
has details of the tunnel and the trip boats.

This website has details of trip times and booking arrangements.

Title of Piece: Unknown

Artist: Unknown

Material/Media: Metal

Location (specific park, transit center, library, etc.): Standedge Tunnel on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal at Diggle

Web link(s) for additional information: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:

Enjoy taking your photos from varying angles to really show off the beauty of the piece. Please include your impressions of the piece.

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hulletteers visited Canal Boat And Leggers – Diggle, UK 2/9/2013 hulletteers visited it