It’s 200 up for historic Leeds canal

HERITAGE: The Leeds & Liverpool canal at Rodley. PIC: Tony Johnson
HERITAGE: The Leeds & Liverpool canal at Rodley. PIC: Tony Johnson
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Canal enthusiasts across the country have started a year of celebrations to mark the bicentenary of the completion of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.

Britain’s longest single man-made waterway was completed on October 22, 1816.

A heritage mile marker project, a new choral symphony, the pioneering Desmond Family Coast to Coast Canoe Trail, the Super Slow Way arts project and dozens of festivals and events will mark the 200th anniversary year along the canal’s 127 mile route.

The celebrations will be led by the Canal & River Trust - the charity which cares for the canal, the Leeds & Liverpool Canal Society, the Inland Waterways Association and the 12 boroughs through which it travels.

Chantelle Seaborn, local waterway manager with the Canal & River Trust, said: “The Leeds & Liverpool Canal is such a special waterway and it’s fantastic that so many people want to celebrate this landmark anniversary with festivals and other events.

“To leave a lasting legacy we will be launching a major project EveryMileCounts in November to replace the missing or severely damaged mile markers which have been lost from the canalside over the last two centuries. We are very excited to work with local communities who want to be involved with refurbishing or replacing mile markers, and are looking for sponsors who would give £200, in our 200th year, to help with this important legacy project.”

The celebrations will culminate in October 2016 with the heritage education boat, Kennet, re-creating the first complete trans-Pennine journey along the canal by the merchants of Yorkshire and Lancashire 200 years ago.

To get involved in the bicentenary celebrations email at the Canal & River Trust.