JOVIAL narrowboat owner John Lund has weighed anchor and handed over the command of his distinctive craft to a new skipper after 27 years.
John has been a familiar face to locals and visitors on board the Pennine Moonraker, the only narrow boat operating on the Uppermill section of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal.
But now he has sold the 70-ft long craft to local Mark Halliwell who will be launching his first travel cruises on Good Friday, March 31 from at Saddleworth Museum.
Mark, 64, already owns another smaller barge, the 52-ft long Meditation, which appropriately mirrors his professional career as bridge player, host and teacher.
And he promised: “The Pennine Moonraker will definitely remain here in Uppermill. It’s part of the village’s fabric and I’m looking forward to being part of the thriving community.”
The barge, which can accommodate 50 passengers, is licensed to sell beers and wines as well as teas and coffees.
It will operate day trips along the picturesque tree-lined route, taking in two locks, and returning from Brownhill to the Museum mooring.
John said: “I’d like to thank all of my customers over the past 27 years for all their help and support. It’s been a wonderful journey. I’ve met a lot of people and had some really good times.
“I will still be involved with the canal as marina manager at Frenches wharf in Greenfield.
“However, I hope to some travelling on the canals on my other boat Dizzy as well as pursuing some European travel with my other passion for motorcycles.”
For more information on canal trips in Pennine Moonraker contact Mark Halliwell: 07811 803857 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org