Lake District


North Yorkshire

North Wales



About Summiteer

~Halifax to Sowerby Bridge~

26th March 2022


Salterhebble Locks

Todmorden Railway Station Halifax Railway Station

On the Rails

The Friday walking club meets again and this time we have chosen a walk from Halifax Railway Station (above right) to Sowerby Bridge Railway Station, mainly along the route of the Calder & Hebble Navigation. We started our adventure at Todmorden Railway Station (above left). It's a beautiful Spring day with sunny skies and little in the way of wind.

On our Way

Leaving the concourse at Halifax station, we head down a road to gain access to this footbridge over the long-forgotten sidings etc. A footpath goes under the railway lines and drops down to river level. Sadly these narrow lanes and underpasses are plagued by the modern nuisance of excessive littering and plenty of broken glass. I chose to gather Molly up at one point and carry her over the dangerous footway.


We are looking for the route of an abandoned canal branch which would have serviced some of the mills in this valley.

Shaw Lane

Foggy, Compo & Clegg

Three mature cyclists make their way up Shaw Lane observing, as we did, that "Fly-Tipping Will Not Be Tolerated" in this area. It must be ok somewhere else then....

disused canal Siddal
Disused Canal
Siddal Bottoms

Little evidence remains of the "old" canal, but the bridge (above left) is a wonderful remnant and reminder of times past.




A "Premier Inn" sits alongside the old wharfe as we reach canal waters. This is as far as the Halifax Arm of the Calder & Hebble Naviagation goes. We are soon to reach the locks on the C&H.

Peter takes a call and Molly chews a stick. It's good 'ere, just short of a refreshment facility, but it has private utilities for boaters on the canals.

Salterhebble Basin

Salterhebble Middle Lock

We are heading up the slope behind Molly to join the Calder & Hebble and head for Sowerby Bridge. It wasn't long before we began to see signs for a missing dog...

Missing Gwen

Missing Gwen

No dates were revealed on the poster and no location details, but the poster looked new. I have removed the phone number for reasons which will become clear, later.

Calder Hebble Naviagation

The Calder & Hebble Navigation


We are going to look for Copley, where there used to be a huge mill, a "model" village and there remains a large church.

Copley Copley Village
Copley Village
St.Stephen's Terrace, Copley

The mill and model village was built by Colonel Edward Akroyd. The mill has long gone, but the houses are fine examples of the lengths some Victorian millowners went to in order to keep a loyal and healthy workforce. The church is now closed, but The Churches Conservation Trust looks after this and many others.

St.Stepehens Church

St.Stephens Church

Just here, we met a lady with a dog and it came to light that Carron was looking for Gwen, the missing dog on the posters. She persuaded me to take her number in case we should see the dog. Carron lives in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and returns to this area as often as possible. What are the chances of finding a dog 12 weeks after it has run off? We promise to keep our eyes open.

Copley Viaduct

Copley Viaduct

We'll soon be back on the canal towpath.

To Sowerby Bridge

To Sowerby Bridge

Peter and Molly

Peter and Molly

Molly and I have been here before, when she was less than one year old...

Young Molly

13th December 2014

Navigation Inn

The Navigation

The first pub we saw upon reaching Sowerby Bridge was The Navigation. So in we went for drinks and a sandwich, dogs welcome.

Sowerby Bridge Wharfe

Sowerby Bridge Wharfe

Sowerby Bridge Railway Station

Sowerby Bridge Railway Station

Walkers: Peter, Molly and Me.

Time taken: A steady walk along interesting routes needs no timetable. About 5 miles. It's great to be back on the local rail links which help to facilitate linear walks in the local areas.

Refreshments: The Navigation in Sowerby Bridge is a fine pub with good food. Plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.

Happy Ending: On the very next day, Gwen the Border Collie was found in Pateley Bridge. Appeals on Facebook for anyone missing a dog resulted with Carron and Gwen being reunited, 12 weeks after the dog ran off.

Carron and Gwen

Lost Dog Trapping Team Search and Rescue Network appeal for donations via t'internet and Facebook

The story as reported on the BBC website.

Last time Molly n' me walked through Copley.

Weather and conditions: Sunny and warm.

Photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2022 ©

Take me back to the start ....

Take me home....