Wednesday, 17 October 2012
I just happened to be crossing the bridge over the canal on my way home from work when this barge was passing. Alert readers will recognise the old cottages, known as Jane Hills, as I've shown them before. They are now hemmed in and dwarfed by modern commercial buildings. These 18th century cottages were originally homes for boatmen who worked the barges that carried wool, lime and all manner of other goods along the Leeds-Liverpool Canal in its heyday, wide barges like the one in this photo. (See also The Kennet, last Saturday's photo.) The prettier narrowboats that are often seen on the canal nowadays were not the main working boats on this canal. Look back here for a photo of a horse-drawn boat on the canal.
I had scheduled this blogpost anyway but, coincidentally, I've heard that a new free app for phones has just been launched, which covers the stretch of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal between Saltaire and the Bingley Five Rise Locks. Developed by the Canal and River Trust, with graphic designer Tom Blockley, it's full of photos, history, stories and information and is an innovative way of helping people to enjoy and understand our local heritage. There are trails to follow and family activities to do, as well as information on nearby cafés, pubs and transport links. A digital guidebook (and more!) in your pocket. I haven't had chance to really try it yet but there is lots on it to explore at home as well as out by the canal.
(See here for full information and here to download it from iTunes.)