Gallery 6 – Legging Standedge Tunnel

The photos on this page show the legging of the Ashton Packet Boat Company’s historic narrowboat Maria through Standedge Tunnel by members The Horseboating Society on May 7th 2006.

This was the first time a boat had been legged through the 3.25 mile long tunnel since 1947.

The journey was completed in 2 hours 52 minutes. Eight leggers, working in pairs, took turns of about 20 minutes each. Also on the boat were Horseboating Society members Ronnie Barnes, aged 87, and his wife, Sheila. Ronnie worked on the canal in his twenties and legged maintenance boats through the tunnel. He came along to watch ‘younger’ society members “follow in his footsteps”.

While Maria was legged through the tunnel, Nigel Dix walked Bonny the Boathorse over the top and a large group of walkers followed them over the moorland.

Maria moves towards the tunnel to the sound of the Diggle Band.
Maria enters Standedge Tunnel.

Legging an unlined section of the tunnel.
Legging pauses as the boat glides through a wide section of tunnel.

The constantly-changing profile of the tunnel.
A distant speck of light is the end of the tunnel.

Emerging from the tunnel to the waiting crowd.
The two lady leggers bring the boat out. Photo: Bob Gough

Maria moored up at a damp Tunnel End.
Sue Day cuts a specially-baked cake, in the shape of the boat coming out of Standedge Tunnel! Photo: Ian Bradbury

The team poses at Tunnel End, with Maria in the background.
Photo: Ian Bradbury
Solo Legging of Standedge Tunnel, May 14th.

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