Leeds nostalgia: Canal marker looks miles better

editorial image
Have your say

A Milestone was passed this week, well, a mile marker to be precise.

It being one of many along the Leeds Liverpool Canal. Nothing special about that you might think but this particular milemarker has been bereft of its signage for quite some time.

We first noted its plight in this column in March 2015 when we noted its precarious position on the edge of the steep bank on the way out of Leeds, between the old lock keepers house at the top of the first steep incline (having passed Wellington Bridge) and the turn off to Armley.

Its signs denote one-and-a-quarter miles to Leeds and 126 to Liverpool, although it is also about half a foot away from disaster (as we noted previously), as it is leaning at an acute angle, owing to subsidence.

Some months ago, the signs on this post disappeared and a hand-written note was left on a bit of cardboard, indicating repairs were underway. But then the note disappeared too and for a long while the milemarker made a forlorn sight. Until this week... because the signs have been returned, its glory restored, as the above pictures show.

Milemarkers along the canal were important in days of yore and as they neared the city, they become increasingly frequent and there was a reason for this.

As the canal was originally a trade route, the barges which operated upon it employed numerous people, who got paid according to the distance travelled. As they neared the city, each half and quarter of a mile became more important in terms of wages, depending on where the boat docked.

So, we welcome its repair, the new plates look very good, one thing occurs (although I am loathe to mention it and in any case am reliably informed by an expert it does not really matter) but the signs have been put on in reverse.