Thursday, 24 May 2018

Bingley Thursday 24 May 2018

Another fine day saw us depart at our normal time. we actually met about 6 boats today. I have always know bridges where the towpath changes sides as turn over bridges, this one is "Change Line Bridge"DSCN2756

There was no lock keeper at Dowley gap today so we were on ourDSCN2757own, she was working on the 5 Rise at Bingley. Just before the 3 rise we passed a moored wide beamed boat, more of that later.

We arrived at the bottom of the 3 rise and rang the lock keeper, he asked if I was the blue wide beam. For some reason you are not allowed to use the 3 locks without a look keeper and he had to walk down from the 5 to us. By the time he arrived the blue wide beam was behind us. As we were going up it was interesting to seeDSCN2760 the pigeons using the intermediate gates, as we left the 3 the lock keeper informed us that there was a boat coming down and we may need to wait.

I arrived at the bottom of the 5 just after the boat had left but was stopped from entering the empty chamber by the Volockies, I had to wait for the OK from the lock keeper before entering so I had to sit in the mouth until she turned up.DSCN2762

We slowly made our way to the top, by the time we were one chamber from the top the crew of the wide beam arrived and asked if it was OK to enter the bottom chamber, answer, NO, they had to wait until I was clear of the lock and the lock keeper could come down. This means that only one boat can do the 5 locks at a time, just think if Foxton worked like that?

When we came out of the top chamber there was Connie, Jane and Dave with a picnic so after filling with water at the services we moved across and moored on the tow path side and joined them. As we were going for dinner with them later that left what to do for the afternoon, answer go for a cruise. So we all set off up the canalDSCN2763

through 5 swing bridges to Riddlesden where we winded and came back through 4 swing bridges passing a terrapin on the way, heDSCF1241 was sat on a log the first time we passed but fell off with the wash, so on our return was sat in some floating reeds, winded again and reversed back through the last bridge and back to where we were moored for lunch at the top of the locks. It was then off down to The Brown Cow for dinner, they had 6 Timothy Taylor beers on and as they offered any three tasters for £3-30 I was able to try them all.

After a pleasant evening and meal we bid them farewell and walked back to the boat.

Today's Journey map 368½ 11 locks in 6¾ hours

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Shipley Wednesday 23 May 2018

Really quiet mooring last nigh, had to dodge the bikes to cook the BBQ but that's all. This morning we were away at half ten and there wasn't a breath of wind to start with. We passed a swing bridge that is almost permanently locked open, a farmer just uses it for access, buy CRT have installed three mooring bollards each side for boaters to use if by any chance they are there on the odd occasion that it is closed. I have never seen bollards like this before as they have the CRT logo on them, I wonder when they will replace them with the new logo.DSCF1219

A little further is another classic, a pile of puddle clay stopping a leak with a typed notice saying "Clay Obstruction please avoid", whey they didn't just stuff one of those road works arrows on it so you could see it I don't know. DSCF1220

We met this guy zooming down the down path on a battery powered Uniwheel, I have seen them around before but not travelling at this speed.DSCF1221

I don't ever remember seeing a sign on the tow path before saying that it is not a public right of way, people assume it is and that they have a right to be there.DSCF1225

Yesterday I posted about the unused ground paddles at the bottom end of the lock and thought it may have been a mistake, I was wrong as the bottom chamber of the next two staircase locks both have them with parts of the paddle gear still in situ.

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When ever I pass a canal side memorial it makes me not only a bit sad but also to wonder why its there, is that where they died, was it an accident or did they just want to be remembered near a canal they loved which is often a seat is set by a canal. There is no clue with this one only the chap first name. RickyDSCF1228

Only the second staircase locks had a Volockies on duty which eased us on our way and we actually met 6 boats on the move today, probably the most we have seen in a day since we were at Parbold on Bank Holiday Monday. It wasn't long before we were coming into Shipley with its overhanging warehouses. By now itDSCN2748was quite warm, we had considered mooring where we did on the way down but we had been recommended a pub at the other end of town so settled for a vacant spot just about in the centre. In the end we didn't fancy the pub, I am not into burgers for eating out so we will be eating onboard tonight as I expect we will be out tomorrow night with friends.

Today's Journeymap 34 6½ Miles, 5 Locks in 4½ hours.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Rodley 22 may 2018

We decided to set off at 9 am this morning as we planed to visit the Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills. We heard Steve leave just before 8 am heading down stream.

When we set off the weather was on the chilly side, our first stop was Leeds Lock and to say it was windy was an understatement. This is an unusual lock because its is effective two locks in one and may at one time have been 3. Coming up from the river youDSCF1195 pass through the outer gates which are normally open then ahead of you is the bottom gates of a second lock, but to your right the outer part of the lock goes the other side of the lock island where it is now blanked off.DSCF1197It can bee seen better from this Google Map satellite view.

Just as we left the lock one of the water taxis came out of Clarence Dock heading for town as well, I let him get well ahead hoping that he would clear the steps by the mouth of River Lock before I got there, that way I could drop Diana on the steps, the lock moorings are quite a bit further down stream and on the other side, so quite a walk, but it wasn't to be. On the way up the river section we passed this chap repairing the flood wall from a floating scaffolding.DSCF1201

I managed to nose into the lock landing close enough for Diana to scramble off the bow as it turned out to be very shallow and drag back out into the river. What I hadn't seen was the water Taxi Driver, Skipper had gone up and set the lock for us as he didn't think I would be able to drop crew off. As we worked up the lock two CRT chaps arrived, they were checking the basin and topping the level up. They asked how far we were going and then set off to sort the next lock out for us as they were running water through it, they actually had every lock up to Spring Garden Lock ready for us, at that lock we told them we were stopping at the Museum which was lucky, because they reminded us that we had to be at Newlay 3 Locks by 1630 if we wanted to get through tonight, which I had completely forgotten about.
It looks as if St Ann's Ings Lock once had ground paddles at the bottom as well as the top which would be unusual, maybe they were so use to building staircase lock chambers they got carried away and just built them in the stone work.DSCF1206
You can moor right outside the gate to the museum, there is a small gate in the towpath wall with steps leading up to the front of the museum, we didn't know that when we arrived so moored a little earlier on rings and walked along the road to it, but we returned along the tow path. With a dead line to hit we didn't spend as long in the museum as we may have done, it covers a tremendous area.DSCN2741

As you approach Kirkstall Lock you can see Kirkstall Abbey ruins over to the right across the river Aire.DSCF1211

At the Forge 3 Locks there was a lock keeper on duty and he had the staircase set up for a boat he was expecting to come down so we went into the bottom chamber and waited for it, passing them when the bottom and middle were on a level.DSCN2744

Leaving the lock the keeper contacted the keeper at Newlay 3 Locks to say we were on out way, so that flight was ready as well.

A short way above the flight we passed some long term moorings and one of the boats moored there is one of the Dunkirk Little Ships, DSCF1216I couldn't see her name but her Dunkirk number was P834.DSCF1215

I had to work Moss swing bridge as Diana couldn't move it on our way down, I don't mind admitting I struggled by my self.

We ended up moored just through Rodley on the same moorings as when we came down, if you walk out of the village along the tow path there are some interesting hand made bench seats.

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Once on the moorings it was out with the BBQ as we had some food that really needed eating up, although nice it was a shame in the way as Rodley has what looks to be a good Turkish Restaurant.

Today's Journey Map 337¾ miles, 14 Locks in 5¾ hours

Monday, 21 May 2018


Leeds (river) Monday 21 May 2018

Only a short trip today, we had a day out with a friend so didn't set off until nearly half four. Back out from the pontoon and then down to River Lock to drop onto the River Aire. The river comes in from the left just below the lock, it actually flows through some tunnels that run all the way under the railway station popping out under this building.DSCF1187

There are two free water taxis that run from just below the lock to Clarence Dock so the maximum wait you would have for one is 15 minutes.DSCN2731

As you go down the river you pass under two impressive bridges,

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Leeds Bridge and Crown Point Bridge before bearing right into theDSCN2735 lock Cut, ahead is Leeds Lock but to the right is the entrance to Clarence Dock where we hoped to more for the night,DSCN2736 no chance, all the 48 hr visitor moorings were taken, so it was about turn and back onto the river, turn right again and we were just in time to go into the lock with Steve who we had spent the past 4 or 5 days with.DSCF1192

This lock is fully automated with two control boxes, one for the top gates and paddles and one for the lower. Just insert your BWB key and press the buttons, unfortunately the indicator lights on the panels have long gone but its easy to see what's happening. About 200 yards below the lock there is a length of floating mooring where you can moor for 7 days, it has several water taps as well as refuse and recycling disposal, so here we are for the night.

Today's Journeymap 32 1¼ miles, 2 locks in 1 hour

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Leeds Sunday 20 May 2018

We set off an hour earlier today as I thought it would take about 5 hours to get to Leeds. We passed Barbara on her peace walk from Liverpool to Leeds at Rodley swing bridge, a boater had warned me this was very heavy bridge but luckily there were a group of fishermen there who helped Diana swing it.DSCF1168

There was a Volockie on at Newlays 3 locks who asked if we would like some help, not only did he help us through the locks he phoned down to Forge 3 Locks so that when we arrived the lock gates were open and waiting. After that we were on out own until we reached St Ann Ings lock where again the gates were open ready for us, this time it was because a volunteer was greasing the paddle gear and collars.DSCF1184

Barbara deposited one of her peace stones on a bench as she walked by, it made me wonder what her bag weighed when she left Liverpool.DSCF1169

Coming into Leeds there is a boat, well more of a raft really and the walls are covered in bits of pianos, one thing that really plays tricks with your eyes are the three mirrors mounted low down which reflect the water so you think you can see straight through it.DSCF1177

At Oddy Lock some has knitted woollen covers for the lock side bollards on the off side, just the bollards at each end, not the middle one.DSCF1181

One more lock and we were down into Leeds where we hope to moor, what we didn't expect was a basin with finger pontoons, the only down side is its right next to the railway station.DSCN2715

In the end our journey only took us 4¼ hours a bit shorter than the 5 we expected.

Today's Journey map 316¾ miles 12 locks in 4¼ hours

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