Bicentenary Events
Friends of Kennet
Brief History
Photo Gallery


Shipley Bridge 208

Latest Updates

11-Apr-2016 The Leeds & Liverpool Canal Society is pleased to announce that their Heritage Shortboat Kennet has been awarded Regional Flagship of the Year in this the Bicentenary Year of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. This award is particularly gratifying for us as it is the 1st time it has been awarded to a canal based craft and follows being awarded the Canal & River Trust, Learning & Education, Living Waterways Award 2015.

11-Mar-2016 All pages updated to include links to a short movie about the Societyís Living Waterways Education & Learning Award in 2015. Also update to the Bicentenary page
24-Feb-2016 All pages updated today to include new graphics and revised or corrected content as appropriate.
17-Feb-2016 Updates today include a new web page for the canalís Bicentenary plus archiving of our previous news here ...
11-Feb-2016 The Societyís newsletter - Clogs & Gansey - has been given a page of its own with an archive of back issues here ...
8-Feb-2016 Details of the 2016 Annual General Meeting - due 1pm Sat 5th March at Rose Grove Unity Social Club, Rossendale Road, Burnley BB11 5DL - plus the latest 200th Anniversary event schedule should be now arriving with members by post.
2-Feb-2016 The updated Membership / Friends of Kennet form is now available online.
18-Nov-2015 At the end of next year (2016) the Society is rounding off the 200th Celebrations with Kennet recreating the 1st Passage and formal opening of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. This will start in Leeds on 15th October 2016 and finish on 23rd October 2016. Attached is information sheet giving the background of the passage along with an outline timetable. This trip will be the culmination of Kennet's fullest season to date as we are also travelling to the Eldonian Basin (Liverpool) early in the season. The full program will be published early in December 2015. 2016 is a great opportunity for the Society to raise our profile along with the Canal. Why not join in during the season! Please contact us if you would like to become involved. Looking forwards to 2016.




For 178 years the Leeds and Liverpool Canal was a private company, leading an independent existence. But in 1948, together with the majority of the country's canals and railways, it was nationalised and by 1963 it was under the control of British Waterways. On 2 July 2012 all of British Waterways responsibilities for England and Wales' waterways were transferred to the Canal & River Trust. With a total length of 141 miles, including branches, the Leeds & Liverpool is the country's longest canal. More in a Brief History of the Canal and a Canal Chronology



In the recent past it cost British Waterways about £2.5 million per annum to keep the canal open. Almost £1 million of this were generated along the canal, comprising the income from boat licences, property leases, angling and water supply, while the rest was provided by the Government. This works out at £18,000 per mile, about double the cost of building the canal almost two hundred years ago. More about current operations are at the Canal & River Trust


Access & Use

Such expenditure can only be justified if the canal is used by many people. The Leeds & Liverpool Canal Society has been formed to help promote the canal and to encourage greater understanding and appreciation of the canal's history and environment. More about access and use at the Canal & River Trust



Historically, the canal had a great effect on the areas it passed through. It also had its own unique traditions. The Society will encourage the recording of these traditions, and the conservation and preservation of the canal's environment. Many canal side warehouses and lock-keepers cottages are listed buildings, and there are well over 100 other listed structures, such as bridges and wharfs, along the canal. The Society will work with those developing land and buildings along the canal, to ensure that the distinct traditions and heritage of the canal are continued.



As a result of many years of effort the Society has created a Floating Interactive Museum using the Heritage Short Boat Kennet to travel the 127 miles of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, taking heritage and learning to local communities in the same way as the cargoes of old enabled industry to develop these communities. The public engagement being achieved through storytelling, drama, heritage skills training and multimedia linked to the communities the canal passes through. This enables Kennet to be used as a learning resource for schools and organisations that are local to the canal.

In addition the Society has a wealth of information which can be utilised by members to give presentations about the history of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and the activities of the Society.



The L&LCS can only develop its objectives through an active and enthusiastic membership. To help promote awareness and ensure the survival of the unique traditions of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, please support these efforts by joining the Society


Please help earn a little money for the Leeds and Liverpool Canal Society by searching the Internet or shopping online, at no cost to yourself, via www.everyclick.com/leedsandliverpoolcanalsociety or www.giveasyoulive.com/join/leedsandliverpoolcanalsociety


Registered Charity Number 1156266