The passenger horseboat Vixen (built in 1990) was used during the Rochdale Canal Festival in August 2012. She was started from Hebden Bridge to go to Sowerby Bridge for the start of the festival. She then travelled over several days from Sowerby Bridge to the Rochdale Canal Summit level, carrying passengers on various occasions.
An enterprising idea, from the Rochdale Canal Development Officer Lucy Rogers, was to invite poet-in-residence Winston Plowes to hold poetry workshops on the horse-drawn boat over two days. The result was an exchange of words and vocabulary, culminating in a poem written about the horseboating from Todmorden to Walsden.
On Friday August 24th, Vixen was used to give public trips on the Rochdale Canal Summit amidst spectacular Pennine scenery which the passengers enjoyed in glorious sunshine. The resident lock-keeper is keen to see Vixen used again for horse-drawn passenger work on the Summit, even including some limited lock use.
See more photos of the Vixen on the Rochdale Canal here in our Photo Gallery.