Towlines – Events 2011

Archive of events that took place during 2011

January 19, Wednesday

The Horseboating Society has its tenth anniversary, having been founded on 19 Jan 2001.
So everyone can shout out, Hussah! and Hurrah!

February 3, Thursday

Illustrated talk, “Horseboating into the 21st century” by Sue Day, HBS chairperson, 7.45pm, to the Men’s Fellowship, Stalybridge Methodist Church, High St, Stalybridge, Cheshire, by The Wharf Inn.

March 4, Friday

Talk by Sue Day: “Horseboating into the 21st Century” (for Crooke Cruising Club, but open to all)
8.00 pm at Crooke Marina, Crooke Road, Standish Low Ground, Wigan, WN6 8LR

March 18, 19, 20, Friday to Sunday

Shire Horse Society Spring Show at East of England Showground, Peterborough. An indoor show with many classes: in-hand, driven, and ridden. Plenty of tradestands. See

March horseboating and legging dates

 •   March 27, Sunday: Horseboating Vixen from Standedge (Marsden portal) to Marsden and return X 2
Horseboating Maria, from Guidebridge on the Ashton Canal to Standedge Tunnel on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, ready for the April bi-centenary re-enactment.
•   March 30, Wednesday: Horseboating Maria from Guidebridge to Heyrod lock 8W
•   March 31, Thursday: Horseboating Maria from Heyrod lock 8W to Uppermill lock 21W

April 2, Saturday

HBS AGM at Standedge Tunnel Visitor Centre, Waters Road, Marsden, Huddersfield, HD7 6NQ
Annual General Meeting, 4.30 – 6.30 pm.
Followed by The Leggers Supper (all are welcome but all must book in).
HBS website downloads: Chairperson’s Reports: Jan 2011, February 2011, March 2011
AGM 2011 Agenda, AGM 2011 Programme for the day, Minutes of 2010 AGM (downloads coming soon)

April 2, 3, 4, Saturday to Monday

Standedge Tunnel and Huddersfield Narrow Canal Bi-centenary Festival, Re-enactment of 1811.
On 4 April 1811, seventeen years to the day since the original Act of Parliament, the Huddersfield Canal Co. organised a celebration the like of which had never been seen before in Diggle and Marsden. At a formal tunnel opening a crowd of 10,000 witnessed the entry into Standedge Tunnel of a party of 500 guests, who were regaled by a band playing “Rule Britannia” as they progressed towards Marsden.

Activities in 2011 will be by the Horseboating Society working in partnership with British Waterways.
We will provide tunnel activities including horseboating, legging and poling through the tunnel with various boats for HBS members and others, and guided walks over the tunnel top following the route of the boathorses. Horseboats being used: Elland, Maria, Vixen.
There will also be waterway craft demonstrators and boatmen’s games to provide fun for all.
All 3 days will be public orientated, but Monday April 4 will also have invited guests of honour.

Download poster promoting the weekend’s events.

•   Saturday, April 2, horseboating Maria from the Saddleworth Museum, Uppermill, up the Diggle Flight to Standedge Tunnel then legging Diggle to Marsden, with a guided tunnel top walk for the public following the route of the boathorses to meet the boat.
•   Sunday, April 3, legging and poling three boats, Marsden to Diggle, guided tunnel top walk for the public following the route of the boathorses to meet the boat.
•   Monday, April 4, legging and poling three boats, Diggle to Marsden, guided tunnel top walk for the public following the route of the boathorses to meet the boat.
NB The HBS AGM will be held on Sat April 2 at 4.30 – 6.30 followed by The Leggers Supper.

April 16, Saturday

Cuckoo Day, Marsden, Huddersfield Narrow Canal, horsedrawn passenger trips on Vixen

April 18, Monday

Talk by Sue Day: “Horseboating into the 21st Century” (for Soroptimist International, but open to all)
7.30 pm at the Springhill Hospice Education Centre, Broad Lane, Rochdale, OL16 4ZP

April 22, 23, 24, 25, Good Friday to Easter Monday

Friday: Historic boats travel to the museum from Chester.
Easter Historic Boats Gathering at the National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire

April 23, Saturday, St.George’s Day & Easter Saturday

HBS EVENT DAY: legging Standedge Tunnel & “St George and the Dragon” (download details later)
The dragon boat will emerge from the tunnel. Can St.George and his horse save the trembling villagers?

May 1-8, Sunday to Sunday

HBS EVENT DAYS: Birthday Celebrations, Social Camp, Outings, Training Days for Horse/Human, “Summit Conference” about our HBS future, Fun and Frolics. Based at the Summit, Standedge, Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

May 2, Bank Holiday Monday

HBS EVENT DAY: “Horses at Work at Standedge, 18th to 21st century” (download details)
Harnessing demos explaining the work of packhorses, wagon horses, and boathorses.


horseboating with Maria

 •   Thurs 19, Standedge to West Slaithwaite, to lock 31
•   Sat 21, West Slaithwaite to Linthwaite, lock 31-17
•   Sun 22, Linthwaite to Huddersfield, lock 17- Aspley Basin
•   Tues 24/Wed 25/Thurs 26, Huddersfield to West Slaithwaite


horseboating with Elland, Maria, Vixen

Wed 1,Thurs 2, Fri 3, Sat 4,Sun 5 June

Horseboating from Marsden, and legging Standedge Tunnel, with 3 boats to attend the Saddleworth Arts Festival (June 4-12) in Uppermill on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

June 10, 11, 12, Friday to Sunday

Stoke Bruerne Canal Museum Gala, PROVISIONAL boathorse harnessing demos and horseboating demos on the locks, To Be Confirmed.

June 20, 21

horseboating to Braunston, legging Braunston Tunnel

Thursday June 23

Horseboating Maria from Guidebridge, Ashton Canal to Marple, 10 miles and 16 locks

June 25, 26, Saturday, Sunday

Braunston Historic Boat Gathering

June 25, Saturday

Braunston Historic Boat Gathering, boathorse harnessing demos and WoW activities by HBS

July 3, Sunday

Marple Locks Heritage Society Festival, horseboat 4 locks to the park for boathorse harnessing demo, then horseboating Maria down Marple locks to Guidebridge on the Ashton Canal, 10 miles and 12 locks.

July 8, Friday

Horseboating from Guidebridge to Dukinfield for Tudor Cruising Club Social Weekend, 2 miles, 0 locks

July 10, Sunday

Horseboating from Dukinfield to Guidebridge for Tudor Cruising Club Social Weekend, 2 miles, 0 locks


possibly horseboating from Guidebridge to Worsley on the Bridgewater Canal

July 16, 17, Saturday, Sunday

Bridgewater Canal 250th anniversary celebrations, provisional horseboating demo


possibly horseboating from Worsley on the Bridgewater Canal to Guidebridge

July 15, Friday

am: Horseboating Vixen from Uppermill to Standedge: about 2 miles and 11 locks
pm: legging Standedge Tunnel from Diggle to Marsden.

July 18, Monday Re-scheduled for July 20th, Wednesday

am: Horseboating Elland from Dobcross near Uppermill to Standedge: about 2 miles and 9 locks. Meet 9.30 am Wool Road.
pm: legging Standedge Tunnel from Diggle to Marsden.
Filming on the Diggle Flight for a documentary for the new Liverpool museum.

July 19 – 28

Will we hold our first HBS Camp. Based at the Summit, Standedge, Huddersfield Narrow Canal.
Our Tenth Birthday Celebrations, Social Camp, Outings, Horseboating Days Training Days for Horse/Human, “Summit Conference” about our HBS future, Fun and Frolics.

July 20, Wednesday (?)

Horseboating Maria from Guidebridge to Roaches Lock, Mossley: about 7 miles and 14 locks.

July 22, Friday

Horseboating Maria from Roaches Lock, Mossley to Diggle: about 5 miles and 18 locks.

July 23, 24, Saturday, Sunday

Standedge Georgian Garden Party – summer bi-centenary celebrations of Standedge Tunnel.

Boat back-cabin visits on Elland for the public on Saturday and Sunday. Traditional games for the public etc.

NOTE: On Saturday, Standedge Tunnel receives its Red Wheel plaque from The Transport Trust. Ceremony sometime at midday, early afternoon.

July 23, Saturday

Horseboating Society legging Maria through Standedge Tunnel, Diggle to Marsden, approx 1 – 4pm.


Horseboating from Standedge to Huddersfield to Hebden Bridge with passenger boat Vixen and returning Maria to Guidebridge.

Please offer any dates you can manage of July 25,26, 27, 28, and Aug 1,2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11. Dates will be chosen according to crew availability.

July 29, 30, 31, Friday, Saturday, Sunday

IWA National Waterways Festival, Burton-on-Trent, HBS PowerPoint presentations

August 7, Sunday

Horses At Work, National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port.
Horseboating and horse-drawn delivery vehicles in the setting of the docks and canal system. Taking horseboat Gifford to the winding-hole and return, both morning and afternoon.

August 13 – 28 (16 days)

Rochdale Canal Festival:

Aug 13, Saturday: Boathorse Bilbo and horseboat Vixen to attend the Opening Day of the Rochdale Canal Festival at Sowerby Bridge.
Launch Day 11 am – 4 pm. Harnessing demos with Bilbo, and visits aboard Vixen for storytelling and sales of horseboating souvenir items.
Aug 16, Tuesday: Horseboating Sowerby Bridge to Hebden Bridge (Stubbing Wharf pub) – with passengers. Vixen is booked for Tuel Lane Deep Lock at 11 am: Britain’s deepest lock.
Aug 18, Thursday: Horse-drawn passenger trip from Stubbing Wharf, Hebden Bridge to Todmorden and return (market day trip). In association with Hebden Bridge Cruises.
Aug 20, Saturday: Morning trip: Hebden Bridge to Todmorden, with passengers. Arriving in time for the Rochdale Canal Festival Middle Event on that afternoon in Todmorden, 2 pm onwards.
Aug 23, Tuesday: Todmorden to Hebden Bridge, with passengers.
Aug 25, Thursday: Horse-drawn passenger trip from Stubbing Wharf, Hebden Bridge to Todmorden and return (market day trip). In association with Hebden Bridge Cruises.

August 27, Saturday?

Possible attendance by Vixen at Sowerby Bridge Rush Bearing Festival. 3 & 4 Sept, involving one day of travel between Hebden Bridge and Sowerby Bridge before (and after) the festival. Dates?

September 10 and 11, Saturday and Sunday

National Heritage Open Days. At Standedge with horseboat Elland. Visits on board into back-cabin. Harnessing demos with boathorse Bilbo.

September 11, Sunday:

Legging Elland through Standedge Tunnel from Marsden to Diggle. Guided walk for the public following Boat Lane, the route of the boathorses over the tunnel top, whilst the boat Elland is being legged thro the tunnel beneath the walkers. The guided walk is part of the South Pennines Walk and Ride Festival being launched in Marsden in 2011. Boathorse Bilbo will cross the tunnel top to meet the boat at Diggle. Horseboating to Diggle top lock and return to tunnel? Boat to join gathering of boats ready for festival on Sept 18.

September 12, 13, 15 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday

2 – 3 days taking Vixen from Sowerby Bridge or Hebden Bridge to Todmorden (for Sept 14th meeting) and return to Hebden Bridge. Dates to be confirmed.

September 14, Wednesday

Canal Connections, a waterways conference event in Todmorden Town Hall, 9.45 am – 4 pm. The organisers wrote “the event programme promises to deliver a series of discussions on a range of waterway issues, as well as looking at experiences from Yorkshire and beyond!” Booking essential. Ruth Hair, South Pennines LEADER Project Manager, 01422-846049, 07582-101322 Evening activities will also be held to continue the day.

September 15, Thursday

Illustrated talk, “Horseboating into the 21st Century”, by Sue Day to the Littleborough Civic Trust, at Littleborough Coach House, Littleborough, Lancashire (Rochdale Canal).

September 18, Sunday

Huddersfield Canal Society Festival at Diggle Tip, Standedge Tunnel. Bilbo and boat Elland in attendance.

News Flash: Plans for what happens next have changed dramatically within the last days. Elland will work her way horse-drawn down the locks from Marsden to Huddersfield next week, in order to take a motor tow to Leeds on Thursday. It is essential that Elland leaves the Huddersfield Narrow quickly on the east side as the canal is being closed for months of major building works in Huddersfield. Please, please respond to the appeal for crew.

Please note: CREW AND EVENT HELPERS ARE very urgently NEEDED.

September 19, Monday

Elland will be towed through Standedge Tunnel. Crew required. Going in at approx 8 am.
Afternoon: Horseboating down the Marsden flight of locks, lock 42e to 31e, West Slaithwaite.

September 20, Tuesday

Horseboating from West Slaithwaite to Linthwaite, Titanic Mill area, lock 31e to around lock 16e.

September 21, Wednesday

Horseboating from Linthwaite to Huddersfield, about 16 locks. Last ever opportunity to leg/pole through Sellers Tunnel!

September 19 – 24

World Canals Conference, Groningen, Netherlands.

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