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News article created on 4 September 2015

Look behind the scenes at Apperley Bridge workshops

Visitors will be able to step back in time when our smithy and workshops at Apperley Bridge on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal are opened to the public as part of the national Heritage Open Days weekend.

The free event offers the opportunity for people to see behind the scenes of historic buildings that are not normally open to the public.

The heritage buildings at Apperley Bridge are still used by our craftsmen for maintenance work and visitors will be able to see the skills needed to keep the 200 year old canal network in good working order.

The open day will be held on Sunday 13 September between 10.00am and 4.00pm and offers a fun day out for all the family with activities for children, traditional boaters’ games and wildlife walks throughout the day.

Carol Buchan from the Canal & River Trust said: “Visitors to the yard will get a real sense of history and we are pleased to be able to offer this opportunity as part of the Heritage Open Days.

“The smithy will be in action with the heat and smoke of the fire bringing alive the atmosphere of a bygone era. These workshops are still working today as they were designed to 200 years ago. Repairing and maintaining the Leeds & Liverpool Canal is a painstaking task which requires traditional materials and methods to be used to preserve this vital part of our industrial heritage.

“We have also arranged for wildlife walks throughout the day for visitors who would like to learn and understand more about the insects and animals that live along the canal and the work the Canal & River Trust does to look after the waterway.”

The warehouses at Apperley Bridge date from the early 1800s when they held merchandise that was transported along the 127 miles of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. Lock gates and swing bridges were made in the workshops, with an onsite blacksmith to make all the metal work needed.

The event takes place at Dobsons Lock, Apperley Lane, Apperley Bridge, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD10 0PY and there is no need to book. There is a limited amount of parking on Apperley Lane.