We are delighted that Channel 5 are running this new canal documentary with celebrities exploring the waterways and discovering the history along their journeys. Here are the summaries as provided by the RadioTimes
Episode 1 Bill Oddie, Jennie Bond, Anne Diamond and Pete Waterman travel along three of Britain’s most famous waterways. They begin on the Leeds and Liverpool canal, for a journey along the longest single canal in the UK. After getting to grips with their barges, they visit the model village at Saltaire and discover how a mill that was one the largest textile factory in the world has been reinvented as an art gallery and hi-tech production line.
Episode 2 Travelling along the Leeds and Liverpool canal, Bill Oddie, Jennie Bond, Anne Diamond and Pete Waterman eventually leave Yorkshire behind them and head into Lancashire. Pete and Anne discover a Polish war memorial and learn about the role canals played in the Second World War. Bill goes in search of an elusive kingfisher, while Jennie walks in Charlotte Brontë’s footsteps. Later, Anne samples a Fat Rascal, Pete tries to turn Bill into a steam engine nut and the entire quartet disappear into the dripping darkness of Foulridge Tunnel, where they find out about a famous cow who once swam it.
Episode 3 Bill Oddie, Jennie Bond, Anne Diamond and Pete Waterman cross Scotland from the west coast to the east on its oldest canal, the Forth and Clyde. On their way, they learn about the role Clydesdale horses played on the waterway and find out how pleasure boats began to use the canal in the late-1800s, transporting people out of the city to the countryside on day trips.
Episode 4 On the second part of the Scottish leg, Bill Oddie, Jennie Bond, Anne Diamond and Pete Waterman join the Glasgow and Edinburgh Union Canal, rising lock, stock and barge up the Falkirk wheel before heading east. Anne and Jennie encounter the ghost of William Burke – of Burke and Hare fame – as they travel through the Falkirk tunnel, which he helped build as an Irish navvy. Pete goes digging for industrial treasure at an old railway terminus and Bill gets to look down on the birds for once as the barges take to the air on the longest aqueduct in Scotland.
Where to Watch? You can watch this broadcast on Friday nights (8:30 or 9pm) on Channel 5, or catch up on My5
Whether or not you are a celebrity, you can have your own adventure discovering the history around the waterways. If you are new to narrow boating, or already know you love it, we’d be delighted to welcome you aboard with Long Term Narrowboat Hire and show you the ropes! Perhaps you can even make your own documentary along the way!