Tuesday, 18 October 2016

And the band played on as canal barge kept us in the dark
Silsden Town Band unexpectedly played an extended programme as townspeople waited and waited and waited to welcome a heritage cargo barge on a journey commemorating the 200th anniversary of the completion of the Leeds-Liverpool canal.
Kennet, a restored cargo-carrying short boat, and its flotilla were due to arrive at the wharf at Silsden (pictured above) at around 1815 hours on Sunday, October 16, where a civic reception had been arranged by the town's Grand deParty Group. Free refreshments were available.
Residents on both sides of the canal had decorated their gardens to cheer the Kennet on its 127-mile passage from Leeds to Liverpool.
Dusk turned to dark before the Kennet arrived more than an hour late, delayed by a mechanical failure of the Granby Lane swing bridge at Riddlesden. The Clarke family and friends (pictured above) and groups lining the towpath and the Keighley Road bridge, as well as the main gathering at the wharf, all did their best to make light of the setback. The 62ft. Kennet, built in 1947, is owned by the Leeds and Liverpool Canal Society and serves as a museum and learning resource. The barge left Silsden at daybreak the next morning to continue its nine-day voyage.