Saturday, 19 May 2018

Rodley Saturday 19 May 2018

The 24 hour moorings in Shipley may be small, only 70 foot ish but they are very handy with access via a locked gate and a small enclosed area with seating. Not only that its the access to the long term moorings so people are around to keep an eye out.

This morning it was the normal 10 am start with a forecast that promised even better weather. It wasn't long before we were at the junction of the now filled in Bradford Canal running off to our right.DSCF1156
The signs thanking people for slowing down are about as useful as the ones telling them to slow down and give way, but maybe people thing the adults and children walking should give way as they are the largest on the sign, the bike is only small.DSCF1158

After several swing bridges of different design including one where Diana couldn't move it so I had to do it we arrived at Field 3 locks, a staircase of three locks with the single hander boat we saw yesterday still working his way down. There was no Volockie at this flight to help us on our way unlike yesterday, so I have to do my share.DSCN2685

Once they were taken care of even more swing bridges and then into the Dobson 2 staircase. We helped the single hander on his way from the bottom chamber and set to filling the top one.DSCN2689

I was talking to Steve , the boater we are sharing with about single handing and pulling the boat out of the lock on a rope, all these locks have a bridge across the tail which of course fouls the rope when pulling. The boater ahead kneels down to get hold of the centre rope as it passes under the bridge. I showed Steve how to swing the rope and catch it on the other side, no kneeling down with 2 knee replacements.DSCN2690

The whole canal side is railed from the lock to the next swing bridge with only small gaps for boaters to alight from their boats to work the locks and bridge.DSCF1162Just as I was about to leave the bottom chamber I notices a round hole, about 6" in diameter in the stone work below the cill, does anyone have any idea what its for, not something you would cut in a stone because you were bored. It is probably between 2 and 3 feet below the cill.DSCF1161

We decided to moor for the night just above Owl Swing Bridge in case there were no moorings in Rodley before wandering down into the village, getting an ice cream from the hut on the way. Once in the village we found there were plenty of mooring on the 7 day moorings, but we will be fine here for the night. On the way we walked under the A6120 and spotted this notice on the bridge wall. Clicking it will enlarge it to full screen.DSCN2695

When we returned to the boat we found we had just missed Barbara on her peace walk  from Liverpool to Leeds, we knew we had missed here when we saw this on the hatch. A Peace Stone.DSCN2696

Today's Journeymap 30 6 miles, 5 locks in 3¾ hours

Friday, 18 May 2018

Shipley Friday 18 May 2018

Last night just before we went to bed I looked out and took this photo of the moon and a planet, I don't know which one it was.DSCF1144

A good start to the day, we were both off together, still travelling with Steve and his dog with a steady run down to the Bingley 5. Here we found one boat waiting for one to come up, I went to the services but there was a hire boat having breakfast, he did apologise and took my rope, saying the tank filled faster than expected.

Eventually a boat emerged out of the top and Steve who was ahead of us and the other single hander set off down the flight, I gave bit of a hand as they like to space the boats by a chamber, it stops the water running down their necks it tops the gate. The second Volockie a lady carried on down the flight with them while we entered the top.DSCN2664 A smooth run down to the bottom and then on to the 3 rise passing the Damart mill. DSCF1152

The lady Volockie was at the three waiting for us and as Steve had gone down first he stopped to lend a hand.DSCN2673

One of the notices that keep popping up on the towpath around here is this one, I am not sure anyone reads it, or if they do they ignore it.DSCF1149

Again we come across yet another type of paddle gear, I have lost count of how many we have encountered now.DSCN2665

At Dowley Gap staircase there was yet another young lady Volockie, she had her own welfare pod.DSCF1153 These were designed at great and built at great expense to the Trust to fit in the hold of a narrow work boat to be taken out to work sites around the system, I have seen two so far this trip being used as huts beside locks.

With a 57 foot boat there is not a great deal of space behind you when you open the bottom gates of the lock so when there is a good deluge coming over the cill like this you ship a fare amount onto the back deck, if you forget to close the doors its a wet bum and side bed.DSCN2674

As you come into Saltaire there is a long run of very good moorings in front of the converted mill, but you are nor allowed toDSCN2679 moor overnight, just beyond this a large number of mooring rings have been installed, but the canal is only a food deep, with the boat parallel to the bank I wasn't even going to try jumping, I only just made it with the bow as close as it would go. Looking back afterwards there is room to get three boats in before it gets too shallow. The upshot of this was we had to carry on through the town passed the 7 day moorings as two boats were already there to the one day moorings by Gallows Foot Bridge, these are just 70 foot long so Steve went in first with his dog on board and we are on the outside.DSCN2682

We have been out for a very good meal this evening, The two of us including a bottle of red just under £50 at the Shipley Tapas Tree. I found out afterwards I could have printed a 10% off voucher from the internet, O well next time.

Today's Journey map 29 6¼ miles, 11 Locks in 5½ hours.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Riddlesden Thursday 17 May 2018

A very quiet night last night in Skipton, the best for about 4 nights I think.
This morning was more tourist activity around town with a walk up the Springs Branch. DSCN2650
I am not sure how far you would get by boat but it is completely blocked by the castle where there has been a large rock fall at some time in the last 150 years, just a blink in the life of the castle, but it is now very close to the edge.DSCN2652

While we were up there we bought our pies from Stanforth the butchers, some were the hot chilies ones with a skull and cross bones stamped into the pastry.
We noticed that some of the shops in the town are painting their windows we were not sure if this was left over from the Festival of Window Painting or the Tour de Yorkshire as most included bicycles and sheep.DSCN2656

We had arranged with the boat we were travelling with yesterday to set off at 1pm, I set off a few minutes before to fill with water just before Brewery Swing Bridge. It was a bit cooler once we left the town.

When we arrived at Silsden we found they were resurfacing the tow path and not only had they closed the tow path but alsoDSCF1134suspended all mooring between bridge 191A and Bridge 194 probably just over a mile. One of the barriers across the towpath just before the swing bridge moorings stuck out over the canal byDSCF1138about 3 feet, and another, a low barrier was between the bridge moorings and the actual bridge.

By now the weather was improving as we carried on to our overnight mooring at Riddlesden just past Bar Lane swing bridge. Looking back towards the swing bridge there's what looks to be a semaphore signal mounted on the wall of the building next to theDSCF1143bridge. Would this have been used by the bridge keeper to let the barges know the bridge was open ready for them?

Once moored we went for diner at the Marquis of Granby which is just by the next swing bridge, on our return there was a tap on the boat, the boater who we had been travelling with presented us with a bottle of wine for all the help we had given him over the past couple of days, I tried hard to refuse but could see I wasn't going to win so thanked him warmly. It had been no more work for us, we would have had to operated the bridges had he not been there, but it was a great help to him, but we really appreciate the thanks received.

Today's Journey map 2810½ miles in 4¼ hours

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Skipton Wednesday 16 May 2018

Over night the water level in the pound rose a little bit so by the early hours we were actually afloat and the ropes were slack, this meant from time to time the boat would bang against submerged rocks.

Today the weather had missed summer and gone to autumn, it was slightly below chilly and required both fleece and jacket, strange as last night in bed we were boiling. The boat we shared with yesterday wandered up and asked when we would be setting off and could he join us again, we agreed of course and said we would set off at 10am.

10am and I push off while Diana walks down to set the lock giving said boater a wave as she passed, I chugged slowly down to the lock, both top gates already open and Diana waiting but our friend still moored up, Diana walked back and gave him a knock, he hadn't seen me or realised the time, but he was soon in beside me.

An approaching walker kindly opened the top gates at the next lock for us, you don't need a windlass with these cloughs,as she passed Diana noticed she was wearing a top with a hire company logo on it.

The second lock has poetry engraved on the bottom gate lock beams but on this lock it has been picked out in gold.DSCF1121

We met a group of walkers who got talking to Diana and one of them gave this stone to her, its a Peace Stone.DSCF1126It turned out that the lady in green is walking from Liverpool to Leeds along the canal on a walk for peace. Barbara has a Facebook page about the walk with photographs and she had set off on the 6 May the same day as us and that we had passed each other on the way and now we were to arrive at Skipton together. Out of the group I think she was the only one walking all the way, but others were joining her for a day hear and there.

By now there was quite a strong breeze blowing across the canal and it caused a few problems getting off the lee bank. Next time we passed the group 2 ladies had left but they had gained another man and a dog. It was suggested that a hot cup of tea or coffeeDSCF1122 wouldn't go a miss so we moored on the Niffany bridge moorings and Diana made tea and coffees all round, I worked the bridge for an approaching boat as we were hogging the bridge moorings.

Once we were off again it wasn't far to Skipton. I have see many Offshore lifeboats on the inland waterways but I have never seen one that looks as if it was ether vinyl wrapped or painted.DSCF1123We soon passed the walkers once more , but they caught up as we did the last swing bridge, this was the heaviest so far and I had to get off and give Diana a hand to open it but she struggled to close it while people stood waiting to cross, never considering a push would speed things up a bit. We both moored on the bollards between Gawflat and Brewers swing bridge.

During the afternoon we did a bit of  exploring and visited the castle. This not only is one of the best preserved castles in the country, it also houses one of only two DSCN2640shell grottoes of the period designed by Isaac de Caus remaining in the UK today, the other is at Woburn Abbey.

Today's Journey map 275 miles, 3 locks in 3 hours.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Gargrave Tuesday 15 May 2018

Last nights BBQ went well again and thankfully it didn't get so cold last night. Made our normal 10am start and it wasn't long before we were on the Leeds and Liverpool version of the Wormleighton bends, it even has a mast but not as tall as the Wormleighton one. (map from Waterways Routes)map bends

After a couple of miles wiggling about we came to the Bank Newton flight of locks, which were of course against us.DSCN2622

One lock of note, well the name not the lock ,its the same as the rest is the Mike Clarke lock. Mike has done a great deal for the canal from web sites to writing books.DSCF1113

Half way down the flight we met a wide beam boat coming up, being assisted by a volunteer, he gave a hand with the lock we were in and also left the gates open on the below for us.

A short way below the locks I spotted a company marker stone in the field on the offside, This was to indicate how much of the land the canal company owned.DSCF1114

After the 6 Bank Newton locks its not far to the Gargrave Locks, again there are 6, 3 above the village and 3 below but they are much more widely spaced. One of the locks the handle on the balance beam is of a different design to all the others I have seen and not just an inverted U drilled through the beam.DSCN2626

One thing I have learnt with these locks is that you have to make sure the back doors are closed as you descend in the lock or it may be a back cabin full of water as the boat moves back to open the gates.DSCN2629

The weather as been great again, I didn't quite get round to shorts but it tee shirt once more. Just look at that sky.DSCN2628

Once through the third lock we planned to moor on the 3 day visitor moorings, so did everyone else it seems, so we went as far as lock 4 and filled with water before reversing back passed everyone and mooring just above the visitor moorings, luckily we were able to get the bows on the end of the moorings, no rings butDSCF1117 a hard piled edge covered in plastic grating which doesn't feel to secure. It could do with support on the outside edge.

Today's Journeymap 26 4¼ Miles, 9 locks in 3¾ hours.

Monday, 14 May 2018

East Martin Monday 14 May 2018

It may have been a cracking day yesterday but last night the outside temperature fell to below 1°C but by this morning things were warming nicely.
This morning the boat moored on the offside went up the flight while we were having breakfast so we decided to visit Pendle Heritage Centre, being oldies it cost less than a fiver for both of us, DSCN2601better than the National Crust. As well as the house, which is the first stone house to be built in Barrowford they information on the Pendle Witches and also have a Cruck Barn in the grounds.DSCN2596

We returned to the boat at about mid day and set off up the locks, as I made my way to the first lock an other Narrowboat arrived so was able to join us, I was a single hander who was quite new to boating but he was happy to do his share of the work and we made good progress with Diana setting the lock ahead. We met two boats at the 4th. lock up and a Volockie who turned round and assisted DSCN2604us up the next three, which were all empty and had the bottom gates open ready, still it helped.

At the top of the locks we stopped for a quick bite of lunch before heading off to Foulridge Tunnel arriving dead on 2-30 pm just as the lights changed from red to green in our favour, they are onlyDSCN2611green for 10 minutes and then on the hour the south bound traffic gets a green light for 10 minutes. I think I saw some bats in the tunnel but Diana thinks they could have been birds flitting about.

The tunnel is on the summit level so it will be all down hill from here.
A short way after the end of the tunnel is an establishment called Cafe Cargo in an old canal side warehouse and it is reputed to serve a first class breakfast.DSCN2613

A little further along three workers were injecting foam into the embankment to stop it leaking. First they drill a 7 foot deep hole in the towpath through all the rocks using a large battery drill, then they feed down the long probe you can see the chap holding and when its fully inserted the chap nearest pumps a resin mixture into the ground as a liquid, this expands into a foam when it comes in contact with water.DSCN2615 There are several companies that specialise in this sort of work, here is one to give an idea what they do.

I have seen what they do when cruise ships cross the equator, I am not sure if we should have done something similar.DSCF1104

This canal has more bridge rollers than I think I have seen anywhere, as a rule all thats left are the fixings in the bridge. I thought this was rather a nice example, they were used when a bridge was on a bend, most of the seem to be. When the horse was towing the barge and it walked through the bridge and followed round the bend, instead of the rope dragging round the stone work, wearing both rope and bridge it ran on the roller so much less friction for the poor old horse.DSCF1105

Water is pumped into the summit pound just above Greenburfield top lock. There are three locks dropping down with yet anotherDSCF1108 variation on the lock gear, this works on a rack and pinion and requires a chain to stop it winding down. We had just filled the bottom lock when another boat arrived below so they assisted us on our way which was very good of them. We had hoped to moor just below the locks but all the moorings were full so we had to push on, I tried several time to get against the back to moor but it was just far to rocky and shallow, I did manage to get a 13,5 tog quilt around the prop thought. It must have been a full mile before I could find a spot to pull in just before the double Arched BridgeDSCN2619

at East Martin.

Today's Journey map 259¼ miles, 10locks in 5½ hours