Words on Water praises the tireless work of volunteers after the Boxing Day floods last year and marks the Leeds & Liverpool bicentenary


Barnsley poet and friend of the canals Ian McMillan has performed his new work, Words on Water, celebrating the role played by the people of Yorkshire to make the county’s waterways enjoyable places to visit.

It was presented to the annual meeting of the CRT’s North East Waterway Partnership, who launched a ten-year strategy to improve Yorkshire’s waterways.


Verses refer to work already done and the more than 8,000 hours given by volunteers after the Boxing Day Floods, clearing debris, rebuilding walls and repairing towpaths.

McMillan marks the 200th anniversary of the Leeds & Liverpool, including a mention for the historic boat Kennet, which completed a special voyage to mark the occasion.

“The work of the Canal & River Trust goes from strength to strength and I hope that my poem can be part of the celebrations, illustrating the Trust’s voyage through the tunnel of history to the lock gate of the future,” said McMillan.

The Bard of Barnsley has expressed his love of the waterways in previous poems, Canal Life and verses for Super Slow Way: a Rhapsody to the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.


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