Then there were none!

Published: Thursday, 14 June 2018

THOUGH Canal & River Trust maintain that the Liverpool Link is very popular, it is another of its well known exaggerations.

1v jettiesIts website often tells that there is 'no availability' whilst in actual fact the berths are virtually empty, it even persisting with its deception by reducing the stay from 14 days to seven days 'to allow more people to visit'.

Never achieved the popularity it deserved

But the long trail through what was then well known as 'bandit' country passing through the area around Aintree put many boaters off, and the Link never achieved the popularity it deserved.

It was in early 2009 that we took up the invitation by the then British Waterways to inspect the Link, together with the editor of another long established boating website, Pennine Waterways, being taken on a cruise through the many abandoned docks up to the existing Leeds & Liverpool Canal.

four in boatMan in charge

We were accompanied by the man in charge of the restoration of the Link who told us not only of the work on the restoration and the problems that had to be solved to allow narrowboats and the like to venture into Liverpool, but the history of the docks, their use and eventual decline.

It was well recorded at the time that the dockers were on strike and the docks closed more often than they were open, and as freight was being transferred to containers Liverpool could not be trusted, so freight was moved to the East coast, where continuity was guaranteed, and thus the death knell for Liverpool docks.

There was then a feature in narrowboatworld, but this was in the former style and alas is no longer available, but we have included a few of the many photographs that were taken during the trip through the Link.

infilledNo visiting boats

But now there will be no visiting boats at all—the breach at the culvert at Holmes Swing Bridge at Melling on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal has put paid to that, with the Link, and thus Liverpool, well and truly cut off.  As to when it will be repaired and opened under the regime of CaRT is an unknown factor.

The photographs were taken at this original cruise in 2009 with the first showing the empty berths even though the Link had been open a month; the second photograph of the boat that took us through the Link with Richard on the right, the man in charge, standing next to Jan; whilst here is a photograph of a dock that had been infilled when it was closed so had to be dug out.

Below is the scene coming out of Albert Dock whilst the last photograph shows the celebration of the opening of the Link.

link out of Albert dock 380

liverpool Canal Link