The Origins of Moonraking
Early in the 19th Century, the Huddersfield Narrow Canal was built through the middle of Slaithwaite. For a while, lots of canal boats plied their trade, and it was not long before some slightly dishonest citizens of the village started a profitable smuggling trade.
One day, Fred and his friends were off loading their barrels of booze when an excise man appeared over the lock at the far end of the stretch, so they quickly dumped the booze in the reeds.
Later that evening under a fitful sky with a strong wind and lots of clouds, they returned to retrieve their goods.
Just as they were raking out the barrels, two excise men saw them and asked “Nah then – wots tha dooin?” in the broad Yorkshire talk of the next village up the canal.
Our Fred was a quick witted man, and saw…
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