Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Bingley Five Rise

We’re moored in Shipley today after descending the Bingley locks which consist of the Five Rise (or decent in our case), three and a two staircase. All but the two staircase are manned by CRT staff & volunteers. There were some boats coming up the locks so we had over an hours wait. Another boat joined us for the decent. It was tricky getting both the boats out of the lock as we were both 60 feet long. The other boat lifted their bow fender and we lifted our stern one. Just about all the top gates were very leaky. John had covered the engine & weed hatch covers with tarpaulin but the flow was SO strong his trainers were full of water & trousers soaked. Although we have a bilge pump there was still a good few inches of water that needed bailing & mopping out. This a 7 day mooring which is perfect as Edmund’s coming for a couple of days and to take us to Lance’s 1st birthday party. I guess the canal will be busy over the bank holiday weekend. We’ll head further towards Leeds on Tuesday.

The scenery up here in Yorkshire & Lancashire is stunning, even when the hill tops are covered in clouds. There are mill buildings some with their tall chimneys scattered everywhere.

We had a good few days when Louise & Paul came to stay, even though the weather was dreadful. We retraced our steps after dropping them back at their car at Salterforth to spend 8 more days in Skipton. I really hope we can get a similar mooring when we go back to Skipton next month for Yarndale. Our bird feeder was VERY busy and we had to buy more food. We’ve never seen so many sparrows and have never seen jackdaws on it before. The starlings spent all their time bickering with each other and we thought a pigeon wouldn’t be able to take off after scoffing a whole tray of peanuts. 

We had arranged to have Nikita & Magnus sleep over while Heather, Jason & Lance went camping, however, the forecast for heavy rain & gale force winds put the kibosh on that. So we had a massive sleepover with all of them on the boat. It was great, the two big kids on camping mats in the saloon, Lance on the floor at the bottom of our bed where Heather & Jason slept. We taught Heather & Jason how to play cribbage. Sunday was overcast & showery but we managed to stay dry during a visit to Skipton Castle where there was a Norman re-enactment weekend and a walk in Skipton Woods.


We’ve had quite a bit of a problem when the computer installed it’s anniversary update late one evening when the battery was low and it shut down before it had completed it's update. It seemed to interfere with John’s new GPS, after resetting the computer and reinstalling the update whilst the engine was running it’s now all sorted. And the lens on the camera’s broken. But we’ve got the little camera and the zoom lens is working OK.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Skipton - a hive of activity.

We were moored in Skipton on the 3 day moorings, which gave enough time to do a bit of sight seeing, go to launderette and stock up with provisions before retracing our steps to meet my sister Louise & Paul later this week.

After we left Blackburn we stayed at a very remote beautiful spot near Clayton le Moor (well we could just see the M65),
the photos just don't do justice to the amazing 360 degree views we had.
On the way there we went though an area at risk of serious chemical spillages. Thank goodness we didn't have to batton down the hatches!!!

We then moored on the offside at the CRT depot at Rose Grove, where I fell in love with the ironwork on the outside of the building.
While we were there we strolled to our nearest pub as all but a Green King eatery were closed down. The Gannow Wharf pub is a 'real' bikers pub. Run by a lad whose got family in Dunstable. It was very basic and reminded us of our beloved 'Two Brewers'. They have a mooring so that's a must in October when we're on our way back.

We had been recommended Burnley Wharf as a good place to moor, sister site to Blackburn. It was like the 'Marie Celeste' we were the only boat there. And it was one of the quietest places in a town we've ever moored. While we were there we decided to swap our 'smartish' new phones for old fashioned phonie phones as we were getting exasperated with them.

We paired with another boat to go up the 7 Barrowford locks heading towards Foulridge Tunnel. However, the boat ahead was a very novice hire boat crew who opened the TOP & BOTTOM paddles to empty the lock. So when the lady from the other boat waiting & I went to see why it was taking them so long we discover the pound above almost empty. So that took a bit of sorting out, she helped them into the lock while I let some water into the pound as their wide beam boat was grounded in the lock. We've been amazed at the number of wide beam hire boats up here.

The Foulridge Tunnel isn't too long, you can see through it and it has a traffic light system for entering. There was some amazing calcification on the walls and ceiling. John took great pleasure in hooting his 'honky' horn in the tunnel, which echoed wonderfully.

We moored at Salterforth right next to 'The Anchor' pub. This pub pre-dates the canal and because the road had to be built up for the canal the pub had to be extended upwards! The current bar was their bedrooms and the now cellar was the bar. At quiet times in the pub the landlady lets customers look at the rooms either side of the current cellar. One room has stalactites the thickness of spaghetti hanging all over the roof as it is now below the water table, quite an amazing sight. In the other room you can see where the fireplace, windows and doors were. They are not sure whether the old cellar has been in-filled or not. 

On Sunday 31st Heather, Jason and the children came over to celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary with us. It was a beautiful day and we were able to go for a walk along the canal to Greenberfield Locks. We all needed the loo and luckily we had a waterways key with us so we could used the facilities. In the loo & elsan disposal block there was a swallow's nest. It must've looked pretty funny us all standing in the loo, as people outside wouldn't know we were watching the birds.
We ended their visit with some drinks in the pub garden while Nikita & Magnus played on the climbing frame, Lance enjoyed crawling on the grass.

We've seen a bit of awful boat handling these last few weeks. While at Salterforth we saw a hire boat hit the bridge at a fair rate of knots and took a huge chuck of brick work off. Then another time, along with 4 other boats we were moored with were all hit really hard by a wide beam hire boat. We've never seen so many wide beam hire boats before.

Our next mooring was amazing on the moors, such a shame the weather was not so good, which gave me time to complete some craft projects. I'd started a rag rug 4-5 years ago, so I shredded my dad's old scarves to add into the rug in true canal folk style. One of his scarves is 62 years old which was given to him for his 21st birthday by his big sister, my Aunty Betty.
 I also finished spinning some sock yarn that my friend Maggie had asked me to test spin & knit 2-3 years ago. The canal at this spot meanders hugely meaning we were 2.5 miles and 1.5 miles each way from a road. John emptied out his solar dye jars. The yarn in the onion skins is an apricot colour and the weld a yellow.

 My little sister from Scotland was visiting Heather and they all wanted to pop to visit, which would've been difficult in the wilderness. As we were preparing to leave I could hear an odd 'fwap fwap' sound, it was Mr Farmer muck spreading just down the hill!!!

We moored at Gargrave with just enough time to give a sat-nav reference to Samantha and Heather before they started their journey.

We were lucky to meet up with a hire boat of lads to descend the locks and go through all the swing bridges on our way to Skipton. Our welcome to Skipton at just after midday was a group of young teenagers on the canal off side, all very drunk trying to pick up their semi-conscious friend. I retrieved their cider bottles out of the cut in afternoon. We've never been to Skipton before and it's a lovely market town.