THE search is on for youngsters who made a little bit of history.
Canal enthusiasts planning for a 200-year birthday party want to find them.
They would also like to do so before their annual trip down Memory Lane by “legging” a boat through the Standedge Tunnel above Marsden.
The Tunnel celebrates its 200th anniversary next year.
The youngsters were passengers on a boat which made the trip through the Marsden tunnel in September 1944 – one of the last trips through the tunnel before it closed.
Now Sue Day, chairman of the Horseboating Society, wants to know if any of the people who made that trip are still alive.
Photos appeared in the former magazine Picture Post showing the children from several local youth clubs.
“They look to be about 13 or 14 at the time so we presume they could be in their late 70s or 80s now,” said Sue (pictured).
“They were all on the boat which was legged through in 1944 and we would love to hear from any of them who want to be there again as we prepare to celebrate the bicentenary of the Tunnel.”
The Tunnel was opened in 1811 so it will be 200 years old next year.
It was one of the engineering wonders of the UK, becoming the longest and the highest canal tunnel in the country.
In places it is 220 feet below the rugged Pennine moors and took 17 years to construct, at a cost of £123,000.
The boats that made the trip through the tunnel did so under human power, with the leggers flat on their backs on top of the boats, “walking” through with their feet against the roof of the tunnel.
The tunnel was closed for many years but re-opened when the Huddersfield Narrow Canal was successfully restored.
One of the last leggers was Marsden’s Ronnie Barnes, who began his career on the canal in the 1940s.
He celebrated his 90th birthday last year with a party at the canal.
This year, boats will be legged through the tunnel on Sunday, April 25 and again on Monday, May 3. Traditional legging will be recreated by Sue and her team who are using a horse-drawn narrowboat.
For details of the event contact Sue Day on 01457 834863 or 07711121056.