The “straight mile” on the Leeds and Liverpool canal

I’ve posted before about the Leeds to Liverpool canal The straight mile was one of the most difficult parts of the canal to build and has been described as one of the “Seven Wonders” of the British canal system. Last time I set out to photograph his section the battery in my camera died on me (not well prepared) but I got a nice picture of an old factory chimney by the canal side.

This time I was well-prepared but the weather was decidedly unhelpful with an overcast sky. Nevertheless you can still see some interesting features of this part of the canal.P1020067

There is no wall between the towpath and the canal of course but in the old days when boats were horse-drawn that wouldn’t have worked. These days I’m surprised that Health and Safety haven’t had something to say. I remember when I was in my teens people being thrown in the canal and recently an 11-year old boy tragically drowned taking a short cut across it.

P1020068The canal embankment is 60′ above the town as you can see when you cross behind Tesco and look down to the bus station. The towpath is popular with dog walkers and cyclists but only a solitary duck on the water!P1020075

P1020069P1020085Walking towards Leeds you soon come to the famous culvert which carries the canal above Yorkshire Street near the town centre.

You can also see the rusting remains of the hoist that was intended to be used to drop large pieces of wood into the canal to block the flow if ever the culvert was bombed during WWII. P1020071There were fears that the canal would empty its contents into the town centre if that happened.

I also found a vandalised mosaic piece of art dedicated to the long-gone Odeon cinema which was on Yorkshire St.

It was built in 1937 in the art deco style and a popular place for young couples to go. It even had double seats on the back rows! P1020072

I didn’t walk much further; I’d hoped to see a boat but it wasn’t to be so I headed for the nearest coffee shop instead.P1020070