Waterways and Railways across the Northern Pennines

Mike Higginbottom

Notice Period:
Emergency (maybe less than one week's notice)
Architectural and social history
Paid: Dependent on size of audience and distance travelled from South Yorkshire
4th July 2018

The northern Pennines show the skill of civil engineers in conquering the challenges of forging routes for freight and passengers across the “backbone of England”, some with greater success than others.

Eighteenth-century canal engineers struggled to reconcile the conflicting costs of engineering works, water supply and speed of traffic: of the three trans-Pennine canals, the Leeds & Liverpool Canal takes a circuitous course; the Huddersfield Narrow Canal was hampered by the difficulty of driving a lengthy tunnel, and by incompetent surveying and hasty construction; the Rochdale Canal avoided building a tunnel but aggravated its water-supply difficulties by building wide rather than narrow locks.

The competing nineteenth-century railways between Leeds, Huddersfield and Manchester follow the same routes as the Rochdale and Huddersfield Narrow Canals, with greater confidence and elegance, while the Settle & Carlisle railway carves a superbly engineered route through challenging and beautiful landscape.

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About Mike Higginbottom

I am a freelance history lecturer specialising in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with a background in university extramural education.

I offer distinctive, life-enhancing insights into the past, particularly the recent past, for people who enjoy visiting places and recognising the human stories behind this historical heritage.

I lecture for the Arts Society (formerly the National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts Societies [NADFAS]) in the UK, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.

Whether lecturing, writing or guiding tours, I provide detailed information in a lucid and entertaining way.  My publications and lectures are copiously illustrated, as much as possible using my own photography.

Mike Higginbottom Interesting Times is the brand for my history education work – tours, lectures and publications. My blog is a fund of interesting, sometimes quirky insights into places, people and historical events.

I'm based in Sheffield and willing to travel anywhere in the UK or further afield.

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