Atop: Narrowboats with Things on Top

“Hebden Bridge: The Fourth Funkiest Town in the World”,

was the description of this West Yorkshire market town in an edition of a British Airways in-flight magazine.

Houseboat canal narrowboat Hebden Bridge atop

Houseboat ©HelenBushe

If there are three places funkier than Hebden Bridge, then I’d love to see them. (Apparently they are: Daylesford in Australia,  Tiradentes in Brazil and Burlington in Vermont).

On one of our visits there last year, we’d hoped to take really striking photographs;  we’d imagined reflections on the canal of brightly coloured narrowboats, framed by blue sky and and all that.  A veritable photographer’s paradise.

However, it was raining, the water in the Rochdale Canal was greenish grey and the sky even greyer. None of this was at all unexpected or out of the ordinary as we are talking about a west-facing town high in the Pennine Hills in the North of England.

After a wander around the trendy shops and a lunch stop, the rain had lessened enough for a walk along the towpath.

I became fascinated with all the different things that people put on top of their narrowboats, never thinking that these photographs would ever appear in a post.


Everything from Bambi to a Bicycle:

Bambi on Board narrowboat canal houseboat Hebden Bridge atop

Bambi on Board ©HelenBushe


Bike on board narrowboat canal Hebden Bridge

Bike on board ©HelenBushe 

From a Gro-Bag and a Duck to a Couple of Deckchairs and a Buddha:

Grow bag canal Hebden Bridge narrowboat houseboat atop

Roof Garden ©HelenBushe


deckchairs canal houseboat narrowboat Canal Hebden Bridge

Roof Terrace ©HelenBushe


As well as Pot-Plants and Firewood:

Plants garden front boat narrowboat houseboat canal Hebden bridge

The Front Garden ©HelenBushe


Logs atop narrowboat Canal Hebden Bridge

The Log Store ©HelenBushe

It’s snowing in the Pennine Hills today so Hebden Bridge will no doubt be shrouded in such low cloud that it disappears. Hopefully the ducks will have found a sheltered spot for themselves.

As soon as the weather perks up and realises that IT IS SPRINGTIME, we’ll have another day in Hebden Bridge. It’s less than an hour’s drive away.

Perhaps I’ll get the pictures I was hoping for last year…..

…….or perhaps I’ll just enjoy looking for quirky things and leave the classic calendar-type scenes to the professionals.



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