North East, Yorkshire & Humberside

Not a lot of positive news to report for obvious reasons, and all local waterways are very quiet. However, the local waterways are starting to attract walkers once more since the exercise rules were relaxed, but no boating, even if it was allowed, because of canal closures caused by low water levels.

Pocklington Canal. Covid-19 restrictions have meant that the Pocklington Canal Amenity Society (PCAS) has suffered a big setback in its fundraising efforts this year, with all of the planned events unfortunately having to be cancelled. It was expected that by this time PCAS should have started the major restoration work at Sandhill Lock, the next obstacle to seeing the canal fully navigable to Canal Head, but this is also on hold until the pandemic situation eases. The society has also had to cancel all this season’s ‘New Horizons’ trip-boat activities from Melbourne—a very popular attraction for visitors to the canal and a major regular contribution to fundraising.

Driffield Navigation. Some time ago, I mentioned that there were moves afoot to develop the old Mortimers Warehouse into a community project for the town, which would also help to attract boating to the upper reaches of the navigation. The warehouse stands in the terminal basin at Driffield, known locally as Riverhead, and had generously been offered to the community at a peppercorn rent. Investigations have been underway to try to come up with a firm plan for the development of the warehouse. but unfortunately, after much hard work by Driffield Town Council, no suitable plans have been forthcoming, so I’m afraid it’s back to the drawing board. Like Pocklington Canal, the Driffield Navigation Trust have had to put on hold any plans to offer their two trip-boats to the general public and the planned summer gala has also been cancelled.

Howard Anguish