Shipley-born boss moves business to Apperley Bridge to beat closure

Lee Shepherd, left, and a workmate

Lee Shepherd, left, and a workmate

First published in Apperley Bridge by

The boss of a canal boat business is shipping his vessels across the Pennines to prevent them being marooned when a section of the drought-hit Leeds-Liverpool canal is made off limits today.

Lee Shepherd is moving his hire boat outfit temporarily from its base in Lancashire to Apperley Bridge.

And, in a way, he is coming back to his roots, for the 40-year-old former soldier was brought up in Airedale.

The retired Warrant Officer, who saw service in Afghanistan, was born in Shipley, brought up in Wyke and lived for a time in Haworth at Low Brow Farm, before joining up in Bradford in 1988.

Now he is returning to Yorkshire to run his hire boat business, Hapton Valley Locks, which he set up in 2009, from Apperley Bridge until the closure is lifted.

A fortnight ago British Waterways announced it was to close a 60-mile section of the canal from Gargrave, near Skipton, to Wigan, because of a shortage of water.

It left Mr Shepherd’s business trapped in the locked section and facing the prospect of cancelling holidays. However, he has arranged for holidaymakers to sail East through Skipton, and Bingley Five Rise locks to the new temporary base.

He said: “The customers are happy to be going towards Yorkshire and the beautiful countryside and going through the famous Five Rise locks.

Comments (14)

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9:57am Sun 1 Aug 10

Joedavid says...

It is about time the owners of this canal sorted this water problem out.
To me they just let the water run down hill and out to the river and sea.
Why do they not pump water used in the locks back to the top of the lock and recycle it?
It is about time the owners of this canal sorted this water problem out. To me they just let the water run down hill and out to the river and sea. Why do they not pump water used in the locks back to the top of the lock and recycle it? Joedavid
  • Score: 0

10:30am Sun 1 Aug 10

Mike Strutter says...

Joedavid wrote:
It is about time the owners of this canal sorted this water problem out.
To me they just let the water run down hill and out to the river and sea.
Why do they not pump water used in the locks back to the top of the lock and recycle it?
Another classic comment from our resident clown
[quote][p][bold]Joedavid[/bold] wrote: It is about time the owners of this canal sorted this water problem out. To me they just let the water run down hill and out to the river and sea. Why do they not pump water used in the locks back to the top of the lock and recycle it?[/p][/quote]Another classic comment from our resident clown Mike Strutter
  • Score: 0

12:36pm Sun 1 Aug 10

Andraste says...

Mike Strutter wrote:
Joedavid wrote:
It is about time the owners of this canal sorted this water problem out.
To me they just let the water run down hill and out to the river and sea.
Why do they not pump water used in the locks back to the top of the lock and recycle it?
Another classic comment from our resident clown
I think you'll find that that prize goes to 'albion' (and surprisingly, not me) :(
[quote][p][bold]Mike Strutter[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Joedavid[/bold] wrote: It is about time the owners of this canal sorted this water problem out. To me they just let the water run down hill and out to the river and sea. Why do they not pump water used in the locks back to the top of the lock and recycle it?[/p][/quote]Another classic comment from our resident clown[/p][/quote]I think you'll find that that prize goes to 'albion' (and surprisingly, not me) :( Andraste
  • Score: 0

1:38pm Sun 1 Aug 10

Joedavid says...

So Mike and Andraste you both not into recycling I take it.
So Mike and Andraste you both not into recycling I take it. Joedavid
  • Score: 0

2:17pm Sun 1 Aug 10

albion says...

Andraste wrote:
Mike Strutter wrote:
Joedavid wrote:
It is about time the owners of this canal sorted this water problem out.
To me they just let the water run down hill and out to the river and sea.
Why do they not pump water used in the locks back to the top of the lock and recycle it?
Another classic comment from our resident clown
I think you'll find that that prize goes to 'albion' (and surprisingly, not me) :(
Do they have w*g clowns?
The cost of engineering a water recycling system for locks would I suspect be far too expensive, especially in the current economic climate.
[quote][p][bold]Andraste[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mike Strutter[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Joedavid[/bold] wrote: It is about time the owners of this canal sorted this water problem out. To me they just let the water run down hill and out to the river and sea. Why do they not pump water used in the locks back to the top of the lock and recycle it?[/p][/quote]Another classic comment from our resident clown[/p][/quote]I think you'll find that that prize goes to 'albion' (and surprisingly, not me) :([/p][/quote]Do they have w*g clowns? The cost of engineering a water recycling system for locks would I suspect be far too expensive, especially in the current economic climate. albion
  • Score: 0

7:16pm Sun 1 Aug 10

Joedavid says...

Do not see why so expensive, there are water pumps in use all over the place in all shapes and sizes.
Plus a pipe from the bottom of the lock to the top.
Run it at night on cheaper electric too.
Do not see why so expensive, there are water pumps in use all over the place in all shapes and sizes. Plus a pipe from the bottom of the lock to the top. Run it at night on cheaper electric too. Joedavid
  • Score: 0

7:46pm Sun 1 Aug 10

albion says...

Joedavid wrote:
Do not see why so expensive, there are water pumps in use all over the place in all shapes and sizes.
Plus a pipe from the bottom of the lock to the top.
Run it at night on cheaper electric too.
Not wishing to spend hours debating it but as a former engineer I can assure you that it would cost a great deal.
[quote][p][bold]Joedavid[/bold] wrote: Do not see why so expensive, there are water pumps in use all over the place in all shapes and sizes. Plus a pipe from the bottom of the lock to the top. Run it at night on cheaper electric too.[/p][/quote]Not wishing to spend hours debating it but as a former engineer I can assure you that it would cost a great deal. albion
  • Score: 0

1:43pm Mon 2 Aug 10

mrs walker says...

Albion. Please stop using such unpleasant racist terms in your posts. That's the second time you've used that in the last few days. I may not agree with your opinions, but I did like to think that your intelligence lay above using such horrible and offensive insults. Asterisking a vowel out does not make it any less disgusting.
Albion. Please stop using such unpleasant racist terms in your posts. That's the second time you've used that in the last few days. I may not agree with your opinions, but I did like to think that your intelligence lay above using such horrible and offensive insults. Asterisking a vowel out does not make it any less disgusting. mrs walker
  • Score: 0

1:46pm Mon 2 Aug 10

albion says...

mrs walker wrote:
Albion. Please stop using such unpleasant racist terms in your posts. That's the second time you've used that in the last few days. I may not agree with your opinions, but I did like to think that your intelligence lay above using such horrible and offensive insults. Asterisking a vowel out does not make it any less disgusting.
Snigger.
[quote][p][bold]mrs walker[/bold] wrote: Albion. Please stop using such unpleasant racist terms in your posts. That's the second time you've used that in the last few days. I may not agree with your opinions, but I did like to think that your intelligence lay above using such horrible and offensive insults. Asterisking a vowel out does not make it any less disgusting.[/p][/quote]Snigger. albion
  • Score: 0

1:55pm Mon 2 Aug 10

albion says...

Oops! There I go again.
Oops! There I go again. albion
  • Score: 0

2:03pm Mon 2 Aug 10

mrs walker says...

N*t b*g, n*t cl*v*r. St*p *t n*w, n*tw*t.
N*t b*g, n*t cl*v*r. St*p *t n*w, n*tw*t. mrs walker
  • Score: 0

2:06pm Mon 2 Aug 10

albion says...

Hang about while I plug in the Enigma.
Hang about while I plug in the Enigma. albion
  • Score: 0

4:24pm Mon 2 Aug 10

DCarbz says...

They would also need 127 miles of electricity cable. Not cheap.
Not all locks are like they are in the Bradford - Leeds area (staircase) so you could not pump back from one pound to another because the lower pound/locks require the water from above fill the pound/lock below. At Gargrave for example the water would need pumping back to Bank Newton.
They would also need 127 miles of electricity cable. Not cheap. Not all locks are like they are in the Bradford - Leeds area (staircase) so you could not pump back from one pound to another because the lower pound/locks require the water from above fill the pound/lock below. At Gargrave for example the water would need pumping back to Bank Newton. DCarbz
  • Score: 0

3:41pm Tue 3 Aug 10

Mel-Sterlands-Love-Child says...

tell you what, they need to sort those rivers out as well. they just run into the sea as well. Shocking in my opinion.

They should pump the water back from the delta to the source.
tell you what, they need to sort those rivers out as well. they just run into the sea as well. Shocking in my opinion. They should pump the water back from the delta to the source. Mel-Sterlands-Love-Child
  • Score: 0

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