Monday, 31 August 2009

Pushing our luck.

We had a lovely weekend, in which Pamela, Nathan and Archie came to visit us while we were moored at Hapton.On Saturday we walked along the canal to bridge 119(Shuttleworth Hall Bridge)where we found a very nice Farm Shop.
This morning we set off through Clayton-le-Moors,to a place called Church,where we passed a sign telling us we were half way across the Leeds Liverpool Canal. A friend of our Stephens was going to meet us with his grandson,for a short ride ,however the little boy wasn't too well so they didn't come. Stopping for lunch half way between Rishton and Blackburn,we then decided to push our luck and go through Blackburn before mooring for the night. In Blackburn we descended six locks a total of 54ft 8ins.
The weather had been kind until around 5-o-clock when the heavens opened yet again. We carried on till 6-30 when soaked we moored for the night. That will teach us to quit while we are ahead.Todays pictures are the mooring at Hapton and the view across the hills,just before the cloud came down and hid them.

Friday, 28 August 2009

In to Lancashire.

Since Monday we have had no Internet connection, no mobile phone signal and very little television.
So to bring you upto date. Tuesday we moved to Salterforth,Calling at Barnoldsworth on the way. It is a nice little town with a good collection of shops. Somewhere we passed into Lancashire but we were unsure exactly where.At Salterforth we found a nice mooring,next to the Anchor Inn.In the evening we walked round the village,then played Scrabble. On Wednesday we then found out we were next to a wasps nest. That explained why I had been swatting alot,however,we stayed another night. We had voice mails from Gill and Pamela and no signal on Marlenes phone and no credit on mine. When we walked to a pay phone in the village it only took phone cards. In the end we walked to the village of Earby,(just over the hill)to get credit on my phone. Arriving at the shop Marlene suddenly found she had a signal,the wonders of technology.
Thursday we went to Foulridge where we met up with Gill and Duncan for the day.on our way we passed a sign welcoming us to Lancashire,which was strange because Barnoldsworth and Salterforth are in Lancashire.There are very few shops in Foulridge,though it has a lovely cafe/bar on the wharf.
This morning we set off toward Foulridge Tunnel in pouring rain. The lights that control entry to the tunnel were at red. Unfortunately there is no notice to explain how the system worked. We waited,at 10 o clock they changed to green,we were on our way through.The tunnel is 1,640yds long and took us about 20mins.We continued in rain down seven locks,dropping 69ft 3ins.We shared the work with another couple,who moored up at the bottom while we carried on.Doing our shopping in Nelson we then had lunch before continuing on through Burnley to Hapton where we stopped for the night.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Back to the Locks.

On Saturday night we sampled the delights of the Anchor Inn. We had a nice meal and a few drinks.On Sunday we had a quiet day on the boat.
This morning we left Gargrave at 08-45 we had three locks left of the Gargrave flight,then on to Bank Newton and its six locks. We had help through the first lock by the Anchor from a British Waterways worker,he asked me if I'd been a doctor. I said no and explained the reason for the boats name.
The bank Newton flight are all close together so I could set the next lock while waiting for the one to fill up.On the second to last lock we met a hire boat coming down so that lock was set for us, however,the last lock in the flight which should have been set for us had half filled due to leaks in the top gate. There are notices on all the gates telling you not to waste water but more water must be wasted through leaks than any thing else. So come on British Waterways fix some of these leaks.
We had done nine locks but traveled only about a mile by 11 0 clock when we stopped for coffee. I had not been on the boat all morning with the locks being so close together.After coffee we carried on with the canal twisting and turning till we reached East Marton where we stopped to top up the water and have lunch.
With lunch finished the rain came yet again, so we decided to stay the night at East Marton, on the seven day visitor moorings.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Gargrave Show.

For once we were in the right place at the right time,today was Gargrave Show. After breakfast we walked into the village and asked directions to the show which was held in the grounds of Eshton Hall. If we'd have asked the night before we could have walked down the canal two locks then turned right up to the show ground,saving ourselves a walk to the village.The show had all the usual attractions of a agricultural show,cattle Heavy horses,Vintage Tractors and Cars,plus Falconry,fancy dress for the children and craft stalls and Refreshments. The weather stayed warm and sunny,we had a very nice day out.Unfortunately we have no photo's from the show as I forgot to take the camera. Gargrave it's self is a lovely village spoilt only by the A65 running through it. It's history goes right back to the Roman occupation. British Waterways allow us 72hrs at the mooring which are very picturesque with the hills in the back ground.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Nine Little Visitors.

After a walk round town we returned to Doublefracture, just ready to cast off when the heavens opened. This was to be the pattern for the day.At lunch time we moored up in another down pour,with thunder this time. Four swing bridges out from Skipton then the first lock since leaving Bingley Five Rise. True to form another shower. I could become paranoid that some one switches on the rain every time we come to a lock. Three locks and we moored at Gargrave, just below Anchor Lock and the Anchor Inn. A short walk along the tow path then back for tea. As I tried to position the satellite dish we were visited by nine ducklings and mum. They came very close to the boat and didn't seem nervous, or perhaps it because was Marlene feeding them. Now we are moored for the night the showers have stopped, Typical.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Memorial to Polish Airmen.

Moving on we moored at Kildwick and Farnhill last night. Called at Silsdon Boats for Diesel on the way, they had stopped selling it. Thanks to the new tax on red diesel nobody wants to have anything to do with it,well done Mr Brown.
This morning we set off for Skipton. At the second swing bridge there was a memorial to seven Polish Airmen killed on 23rd September 1943. They were in a Wellington Bomber serial number HZ251,on a training flight from 6(c) training unit Silloth Cumberland. The crash happened at 12-50pm at a place called Winfreds Cafe. One Airman had a small memorial on his own, his name was Jan Czyzewski age 23yrs.
Our luck was in today we found a Boat yard that sold diesel,this was Snaygill Boats at bridge 181.
We arrived in Skipton just before lunch,had a quick walk round town then had lunch.
Skipton has a very well preserved castle which we had a look round this afternoon. This is Louise and Megan's last day with us, Gill is coming to collect them tomorrow.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Puffer Parts.

Leaving the locks behind we started a lock free stretch which will take us to Skipton. Although it's lock free there are quite a number of swing bridges. The first was open,then at the second the key appeared stuck in the control box. The BW emergency line was phoned,then a man living in a house over looking the bridge came and suggested that the barriers may not be fully locked back,this proved to be the case and we were on our way again, after phoning the emergency line again.The weather was sun and showers, some heavy.We moored near Puffer Parts Chancellery where we Bought some things we needed. After lunch we walked into Keithley about a half hour walk. We then went two swing bridges further on and moored for the night in a rocky and wooded area(see pictures).

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Bingley 3&5 Rise Locks.

Our Richard and Gill came today with Louise,Megan,Aaron and Duncan.Then after lunch Mali Heath and Charlie arrived.They came to watch us go up the 3&5 rise locks at Bingley,although Louise and Megan are stopping for a few days. First was the 3 rise taking us up 29ft 11ins.We had a slight delay while the lock keeper helped a man who had fallen off his bike. Paramedics came and took him to hospital.Next were the 5 Rise, these would take us up another 60ft. The 5 rise attract alot of people watching the boats going up and down. It took about one and a half hours to complete the whole operation, by then it was time for our visitors to return home and for us to moor for the night. Marlene and I took the two girls on a short walk and collected some blackberries. Apple and blackberry crumble tomorrow.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Sir Titus Salt.

Morning arrived bright and sunny. We were heading for Apperley Bridge. Passing through two swing bridges we were in wooded country side. Marlene did a big wash while we were moving(the washer only works with the engine running). The next swing bridge was on a road(the others were on tracks) so the barriers were put across the road stopping the traffic,the operation was all electrically controlled.Doublefracture passed through followed by another boat, stopping the traffic for longer.
After the bridge we went up Dobson 2 locks. At the top we topped our water up then carried on till lunch. In the afternoon we did Field 3 locks rising 25ft,we then moored up to dry the washing.There were woods opposite our mooring and in the evening we could here the natives shouting and being merry, but we never saw them and they didn't attack.
This morning after a short walk we went into Shipley were we did our shopping,then on to Saltaire the Utopian dream of sir Titus Salt the wealthy Victorian mill owner. Walking up Shipley glen(the Tramway wasn't working)we returned by another track part of the Millenium Way.
Finally we pushed our luck and carried on to Bingley, getting soaked in a sudden downpour while passing up Dowley gap 2 locks. Tonight we are moored just below Bingley 3 rise locks, next to a main road and the railway. Big day tomorrow with the 3 rise and the 5 rise locks.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Leeds Liverpool Canal.

Yesterday we entered he Leeds Liverpool Canal at 08-30hrs. The lock off the river looked more like the entrance to a dry dock than a major canal. We were on our way on our second crossing of the Pennines, this time from east to west.Our aim for today was to get as far as Rodley before lunch. Stiff lock gates and paddles made progress slow,our first double lock came at locks 4&5, then Spring Garden Lock.
Once through here we could not stop till we reached the top of Newlay 3 Locks,this we were told was bandit country. On a sunny morning this seemed a bit dramatic,the people we past were friendly and the area was quiet and peaceful.Passing the abbey at Kirkstall Lock we carried on to the first set of 3 locks, Forge 3 Locks rise 23ft
6ins. As we arrived a hire boat was just coming to the bottom of the three.
We entered the bottom lock as they left and another hire boat entered the top lock, with us rising and them falling we passed in the middle chamber.
The second set of 3 was Newlay which rise 26ft 11ins. There are lock keepers on both these sets making life much easier.
Having mentioned that my life belt had disappeared while moored in Clarence Dock, the lock keeper at Newlay gave me a replacement and would take nothing for it.
By the time we arrived at Rodley it was 2pm, so we had a late lunch.
We stayed the night at the visitor moorings,this morning we are going to walk round the nature reserve. Being a pleasant mooring we will spend a second night here, then onward and upward.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Clarence Dock Leeds.

Last evening my sister Jennifer and her husband Malcolm came to see us before we left the area.
This morning we topped up the water at the bottom of Woodlesford Lock then went up through the lock on the start of our trip into was decided that we would stop on our way at Thwaite Mills Industrial Museum,however, when we got there it said No Mooring along the full length of there mooring,strange. At Knostrop Fall Lock we met a couple who live in the same village as my mother, Allerton bywater. We also locked up with them at Leeds Lock, then we both pulled into Clarence dock, us for the night, them for just a visit to the Armouries.Before lunch we walked into Leeds shopping centre and had a look round the market. This area of Leeds is very much as I remember it. The afternoon was spent relaxing and cooking dinner,a Lancashire hotpot. Tomorrow we will enter the Leeds Liverpool Canal for our return trip over the Pennines.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Royal Armouries.

This morning Stephen and the boys went home.we took them up the canal and moored near Woodlesford station so they could catch a train into Leeds. Before we made the trip up the canal Domanic went fishing and caught four Perch.
Yesterday we went into Leeds to the Royal Armouries. I was surprised to at how big it was,it was also a shock to see how much Leeds had changed since I went to live in Cambridgeshire. We had a great day, which included a Tudor horse riding skills show.The show was three riders showing hunting and fighting skills. After the show we went round to the stable area to see the horses and talk to the riders,they also kept some lovely birds of prey for the falconry displays. Sunday tomorrow so we will stay at this mooring and have a relaxing day, Monday we will visit mother before we head in to Leeds on Tuesday.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Up, Up And going nowhere.

On Wednesday we spent a quiet morning at the boat. Then we went over to Richard and Gills,Then Marlene,Richard and me went down to Pamela's. The reason,Thursday Marlene and me were going Hot Air Ballooning at Grimsthorpe Castle. At 11pm we phoned the Flight line to see if the flight was on,it was. So off we went to bed ready for an early start Thursday morning.
We had a 5am alarm for a 6am meeting in the car park,then a short trip to the launch site in the castle grounds.The basket was put in place, the balloon was connected and the fans started,after a short safety talk. Unfortunately that was when the heavens opened and the thunder rumbled. Everyone took shelter in the vans till the rain stopped, however, it was decided in the interest of safety to cancel the flight. So we packed it all away,had a glass of Champagne and went back home.Now I will have to go on the Internet and arrange another date.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

The Great Maggot Escape.

Today we were on the move again, we were also joined by my sister Jennifer,her daughter Mali and her son Charlie. On a trip to Town Stephen bought a fishing rod for the boys to try fishing (well I think it was for the boys).
We all went up river to Lemonroyd lock where we had a picnic lunch. It was here where Stephen caught his fish(see picture).Later we went up to Woodlesford so Jennifer, Mali and Charlie could catch there train back home. While waiting on the station Marlene phoned to say all the maggots had got out of there tub and were dropping through the roof vents. This did not please Marlene. We returned to Lemonroyd lock to moor for the night.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Night Visitors.

This is the first time we have had people camping next to the boat,Stephen and Max slept well in a cheap two man tent from Argos. I was woken up at three in the morning by the sound of someone walking on the roof. By the time I put my head out to see what was going on one of the drunks had fallen in the canal. He's just having a swim one of the others told me before I had chance to speak. He dragged himself from the water accusing the others of pushing him in, then they all ran to their car and drove off.
This morning we went to the swimming pool ,where we met up with Richard, Gill and the kids.After a good swim we all came back to the boat for lunch. In the afternoon we took Stephen and his three to see my mother. This evening Greame came to see Stephen. Moored just past us is a 1913 Barge which has been converted.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

A spot of bird watching.

Before I sart todays posting I must state that the Weasel in yesterdays posting may have been a small Stoat.I'm not really sure.
Better weather today, no rain. Our eldest son Stephen and his three sons came to visit us from Thatcham in Berkshire,we haven't seen them since March so it was great seeing them again.They are in Yorkshire for a week so we will see more of them.We took them to do a spot of bird watching over on Fairburn ings, the local nature reserve. From the hide we saw a number of Canada geese,two greylag Geese And a Barnacle goose. Also in the area were swans,Heron Coots and lots of ducks.When we got back to the boat Richard,Gill and the kids arrived so we had quite a gathering.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Wild life on the Tow path.

On Friday we had a bright start to the day,although it looked like rain quite alot it held of until late evening. While looking out of the front of the boat Marlene spotted a small animal skipping up the tow path. Shouting for me to take a look. To my surprise I saw it was a Weasel,as it approached it seemed unaware we were watching it,so I grabbed the camera and took a picture,at which point it saw me and shot into the bracken at the side of the path.
Mid afternoon we decided to move to Kings Road lock for the Night so we had less traveling on Saturday morning.At Birkwood lock we locked through with a boat from Langley Mill on the Erewash. He was heading to Keadby and a trip down the tidal Trent, once again I was told it was easier than doing the Wigan Flight on the Leeds and Liverpool.
This morning we dropped down into Castleford so we can shop and pay mother another visit. Once again it was raining.Arriving at Castleford we found the flood lock closed, so I had to get off and operate the lock instead of going straight through.