Godd manners are to make a comeback - at least in part of Huddersfield.
In a bid to stop “towpath rage”, the Canal & River Trust is calling for the reintroduction of old-fashioned manners.
They are aware of problems on busy stretches, with walkers, anglers, cyclist and joggers all jostling for space.
Now a popular stretch of the waterway at Marsden has been signposted as a “Good Manners Zone”, with pleas for people to respect others.
There have been incidents on towpaths around the country.
During 2015, more than 20 million visits were made to Canal & River Trust’s towpaths in the Manchester and Pennines region prompting the charity to call on visitors in Huddersfield help protect the special atmosphere which has made these spaces so popular.
They have set up a special zone for people to embrace good old-fashioned manners in Marsden, to remind people to be courteous and friendly towards one another.
Messages have been sprayed along the towpath to encourage people to ‘smile and say hi as you go by’ and to remember that they are entering ‘a hat tipping zone’, a nod to times past when people tipped their hats or doffed their caps as a sign of respect or merely as a greeting.
Visitors will also be able to read verses from Canal Laureate Luke Kennard who has penned a poem to help tackle towpath troubles.
Gillian Renshaw, Development & Engagement Manager at Canal & River Trust, said: “For many people our towpaths are among their most precious green spaces, antidotes to the pace and stress of the modern world and places to relax and unwind.
“They are ‘super slow ways’, providing a slice of peace and calm through the centres of our busiest cities.
“As we move away from towpaths of old, we also seem to be moving further away from remembering our manners – we want to remind our visitors to the towpaths in Huddersfield that old fashioned manners still have a place on our modern towpaths.
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“Whether cycling, running, walking, mooring your boat or fishing, please help by being considerate of others, slowing down and remembering we are all there to enjoy the space. If you’re in a rush, the towpath is not the best place for you so please choose a different route.”
The first verse of Luke Kennard’s poem reads:
New traveller of the shining towpath,
Please be mindful as you roam.
It’s not that you can’t speak, eat, laugh,
But this is everyone’s home.
Let others too enjoy its use,
Be like the duck and not the goose.