Sunday, 19 October 2008

Narrowboat Dreams

I've just finished Narrowboat Dreams, by Steve Haywood. It's perhaps an indication of how much I enjoyed it that I read the whole thing in three sessions: two train journeys and a post-night-shifts afternoon. It perhaps takes a little too long to get to the meat of the journey across the Pennines via the (then newly re-opened) Huddersfield Narrow and Rochdale canals, but even so it's very funny and is full of vividly described characters and places.

I was particularly keen to read it because I've already begun thinking about our three week trip on Debdale next year. At the owners' meeting in a few weeks time, we're hoping to move the boat to a base a bit further north. And depending how far north, the South Pennine Ring is a strong contender as a route (as long as we can fit through the Standedge Tunnel -- the satellite dish is a bit of a worry). But there's plenty of time to find out about that, and despite many of the problems Steve Haywood experienced along the route, the book has increased my appetite for a double Pennine crossing.


Anonymous said...

We can thoroughly recommend the Huddersfield Narrow - fascinating bit of water and we really enjoyed Huddersfield itself and many of the redeveloped towns along the way.Of course, that was in our old share boat when they still towed you through the tunnel....
Sue, Indigo Dream
ps. the Rochdale has a fearsome reputation but some boating friends of ours highly recommended it. Looking forward to hearing how you get on (if you choose that route) as I doubt if we'll go that far North in 2009.

MartinC said...

You will have to remove your satellite dish before you go through Standedge Tunnel (along with everything else on your roof)!

See for information about steering your own boat through Standedge from next year. (The comment form wouldn't let me put a link!)

Jim Davies said...

Hi Adam,
I was lucky enough to be able to do the Hudd Narrow and the Rochdale shortly after they had both re-opened in 2003. It took eight long, gruelling days on a hireboat from Shire Cruisers but I'm realy glad I did it - particularly as the whole ring has rarely all been open at once ever since!

Adam said...

Jim -- I notice from the Shire Cruisers website that they say the S Pennine ring needs eleven days, so you must have been going some to do it in eight!

Martin -- I've already looked at your website (in fact a virtual cruise of the ring took up the best part of a night shift at the weekend!). I was hoping to find some proper information on the maximum air draught etc, but no website seems to have it. The problem with the satellite dish is that it doesn't come off! However, even with it, the air draught is still under 6ft. I wouldn't fancy getting all the way to the tunnel, only to find we won't fit.