BBC Blue Peter star Barney makes new Huddersfield narrow canal lock gate

BBC Blue Peter star Barney makes new Huddersfield narrow canal lock gate

BBC Blue Peter star Barney makes new Huddersfield narrow canal lock gate

A Huddersfield Narrow Canal lock gate at Marsden in Yorkshire is the star attraction in a special feature filmed by the BBC children’s programme Blue Peter.

Presenter Barney Harwood rolled up his sleeves and got stuck into making a new lock gate and then fitting it during two full day filming sessions with Canal & River Trust staff from the Manchester & Pennine Waterway team and carpenters from the Trust’s Stanley Ferry Workshop, near Wakefield.

Lock 37 east was due to be replaced as part of the Trust’s routine winter maintenance programme. When Blue Peter producers heard what was involved, they thought it would make an ideal feature on the programme.

The first filming day was in September 2014 when Barney enjoyed a trip into nearby Standedge Tunnel, Britain’s highest, longest, deepest canal tunnel, helped Trust carpenters measure up on site and then make the new oak gate at the Stanley Ferry Workshop.

Trust construction and operations supervisors Mark Wigley and Nick Atkinson were on hand to act as his waterways guides and then carpenters Andrew Bayliss and apprentice Josh Hindson assisted with the making of the gates and carving the Blue Peter logo into the balance beam.

In February Barney and the Blue Peter filming team returned again to the Huddersfield Narrow Canal in Marsden to watch the old gate being craned out and the new Blue Peter lock gate being craned in and fitted, again under the expert guidance of construction supervisor Mark Wigley.

All the Canal & River Trust staff enjoyed being part of a film for such an iconic programme and were delighted to be awarded a coveted Blue Peter badge.

Mark said later: “We are all just big children at heart! It was great fun welcoming the Blue Peter team to the Huddersfield Narrow Canal and the Stanley Ferry Workshop. We were impressed Barney just got stuck in and threw himself into the job with real enthusiasm.

“Lots of children have no idea how the canal system works, so this is a great way to introduce them to the waterways and the work involved in caring for them.”

Visitors to Lock 37 E will now be able to spot the Blue Peter Lock by a special plaque and Blue Peter logo carved into the balance beam next to the towpath.

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