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News article created on 12 April 2016

Canal historian honoured with lock naming ceremony

Mike Clarke, founder and president of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal Society, has had a lock named after him near Gargrave in North Yorkshire

Mike Clarke Mike Clarke

Bank Newton Lock no 38 was re-named the Mike Clarke Lock in tribute to his tremendous contribution to the Leeds & Liverpool Canal – a close association which spans nearly five decades.

At the event, Mike, 67, also launched a new enlarged edition of his popular book ‘The Leeds & Liverpool Canal, a history’.

In 1997 Mike became the driving force behind the founding of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal Society, with the aim of encouraging better public knowledge and understanding of our waterway heritage. He now serves as its president, having seen the society grow into a flourishing group with more than 170 members.

We decided the canal’s 200th anniversary year would be a fitting moment to create a lasting tribute to his achievements by re-naming a lock in his honour.

Mr Leeds & Liverpool

Chantelle Seaborn, North West waterway manager for the Trust said: “Mike Clarke is ‘Mr Leeds & Liverpool’. More than anyone else, he has promoted this wonderful waterway to the public. His energy and enthusiasm have inspired hundreds of adults and children over the decades. He has generously shared his time, expertise, knowledge and resources with countless individuals and organisations, including the Trust.

“I cannot think of a more fitting tribute to this remarkable man than to leave a permanent reminder of his wonderful contribution on a lock of the canal that has become part of his DNA.”

When invited to choose a lock, Mike decided on Bank Newton overlooking the Yorkshire Dales National Park because of its beautiful countryside.

He said: “I have visited canals over much of the world and have rarely found anywhere that compares with the awe-inspiring view over the Dales offered by the Leeds & Liverpool Canal at Bank Newton in Yorkshire.

“To have a lock named after you is a great honour and I very much appreciate the gesture from the Canal & River Trust.”