Thursday, 3 July 2014

More maintenance please.

We left Leeds at 08-50,the weed on the stretch above Office Lock was quite bad. At the double Oddy locks we arrived as another boat was leaving the top lock,he said they would wait for us at Kirkstall lock. At the next lock which was Spring Garden lock they had gone up the lock then emptied it ready for us,surely it would have been better to wait for us to go up with them and saved a lock full of water. They were waiting at Kirkstall lock as they said and we went up together. The next two sets of three locks each(a rise of 50ft 5ins)had lock keepers to help us. On the fist set the lock keeper had to leave us to rescue some ducklings who had got stuck in the overflow channel. He told me if he didn't get them out the crows would get them. He also told us that there were no moorings left in Skipton because people had been leaving there boats moored ready for the Tour de France and nobody were moving them on. It's fair to say he was not a fan of Le Tour. The Leeds and Liverpool has more than it's fair share of swing bridges. At Moss swing bridge we could not open it try as we may. A licence checker who was passing phoned it in, so we had lunch while we waited. After lunch the couple on the other boat had been told the knack of opening it,this involved a scaffolding pole being inserted in the strategic spot and pressure applied. We moored at Rodley for the night while they continued on. Yesterday we carried on to Apperley Bridge where at the millman swing bridge a man passing on the towpath operated the bridge( which was electric)for us. Up the two lock staircase was no problem,though hard work. Our next set of locks, a three lock staircase I expected to be manned,however,the lock keeper had been replaced by a notice explaining how to do it. Just down the canal and low and behold Buck Hill swing Bridge would not open even with the help of a passing lady. It finally opened when we got more help from a man who was passing. I feel that the Trust should maintain these bridges a little more. We moored at Shipley for last night. This morning it was 8.45 before we surfaced. The last two days had been hard work.

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