Narrowboat Ezri – The Littleborough Chronicles – After The Rains

Now the rains have stopped, the plan today was to take a look up the canal from where Ezri is in Littleborough though pass Summit, then Todmorden and stopping just before Hebden Bridge at The Stubbing Wharf pub and take photos.
Knowing a few of the towpaths were shut, the trip would be done in the car with my dad driving. So we made our way up the road, me looking out the windows as we past the canal to see why it was shut.
Pasting though Littleborough most of it looked fine, but as we reached the boarder did everything start to show signs of damage.
Just outside Warland, there are two small football fields and a club house called ‘Canal Side Cafe’ which backs onto the canal and before the winter came me and Ezri sent two weeks there, but as we past it the gates were shut and the welcoming lights were gone. We were comming back down the road so further investigation could wait till then.
A few quick glimpses of the canal from the main road was all I could as we past Walsden and Grandma Pollard’s Chippy most of want I was looked Ok then, the first sight of the emergency barrier fencing came into view, complete with it Canal and River Trust notice another ominous sign
We headed into Todmorden, and over the canal itself the little service and water point was full of boats all huddled together as if to keep out the cold.
I lost my view of the canal as I had map read for dad so did get to see much of anything until we were pasting a cricket pitch, and want I saw was more barrier fencing and deep grooves in the opposite high bank which once was full of trees but now just cut down stumps.
A little shocked at this I missed the right hand turn for Stubbing Wharf and we ended up in Hebden Bridge centre but we were able to turn around in the train station car park.
It was only as we got stopped by the traffic lights on our way back out of town did I start to notice the damage, the whole place was.. The only way I can describing its that the colour and life of the place has physically been washed out.
The canal must have filled up the main street and then the river came to join it, looking though the shops widows all that can be seen are ‘back soon’ or ‘closed for refurbishment’ posters, and from want I saw between the buildings more Narrowboats were clustered together, it must have been so frightening to be in the middle of all that, so it didn’t feel right to take photo like photographing tombstones.
Heading back down the road, we found the turn off but only just, the pub was still there but small car park was building site with more barrier fencing, workmen and a small digger taking most of it, so there was no were to park.
I didn’t think about the road was very narrow so Dad had a little bit of a hard time turning the car around, and when he did I saw that just beyond the pub a huge section of the bank had given away washing the towpath into the canal. As a massive hand had scooped it away.
I did my best to follow the canal as we made are way back home each time I did all I saw was huge chunks of towpath missing or the land had slipped down from the high ground.
Getting to Warland again we stopped only a few minutes at the football field but to read the notice on the gates but all they said was ‘do not park in front of is gate’ not hopeful like the posters in Hebden had been so who knows.
We stopped once again but this time behind the Summit pub, which looks out on the wharf were I had rested Ezri twice, even with the sun in the sky it was bitterly cold, and the site that greeted us was equally as chilling the canal had been dropped not two or three inches but a good few feet.
There was water in the locks between the wharf but in the wharf itself, yet no matter how much water came down from the hills around it the wharf wasn’t going to fill anytime soon.

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Before in the summer

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And now in the winter time
I later found out that the whole canal network running down from Sowerby Bridge to The Summit is shut until further notice as they rebuild the bank stone by .

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The photo is the from the Canal and River Trust and more information about this can be found here http:// https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/news-and-views/news/the-latest-flooding-news

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