Home + About me + E-mail me + Trips index + Canal game

Leeds and Liverpool, spring 1992

another swing bridge
Plenty of these to come

A 2-week trip from Snaygill Boats near Skipton on the Leeds and Liverpool canal towards Blackburn and to Leeds, and on the Aire and Calder Navigation and the Calder and Hebble Navigation towards Wakefield. Total 164 miles and 126 locks, plus 75 moving bridges.

Diary extracts:

Sat 1992-04-25
To Snaygill, three cars, starting from various parts of the country. Away about 15h30. They checked us at the first swing bridge and again at the first lock. Eve to the Anchor at Gargrave, now a "Brewer's Fayre" with all tables set for eating, not as friendly as before - avoid in future except for eating. The boat is "Applemint" as before, warm, autochange gas with 4 bottles, 4 big batteries, smooth, quiet 4-cyl BMC engine. Moor just above lock 32, after failing after lock 30. 3.5h 6.25mi 3 locks 6 swing bridges.
Sun 1992-04-26
Wind. Sound of heavy rain on roof at 4h, then around 6h a howling wind. Canal looked like the sea, waves with white frothy heads. Leisurely start, at 9h, by which time the wind was slightly lessened, but still enough to make walking into it difficult. Lunch at Cross Keys at E Marton 11h45..13h15, where there is a new water point. A little sunshine between showers from lunchtime. Stop after br 147 at 16h15. To New Inn for only one round as all knackered, and it's still windy with rain. Tunnel now has traffic lights, and can start from this end at xxh00 to xxh10 only. 5.75h 10mi 12 locks.
Mon 1992-04-27
Start at 7h50, going straight through into tunnel. Colder than yesterday, little sunshine and still wind. Through the 7 locks and moor on the Burnley embankment at 12h. Pizzas for lunch in Burnley, followed by a brief shopping period. Away 14h20. Wind very strong at times and stuck to the side a couple of times. End at br 114b (just beyond) at Clayton-le-Moors at 18h. A quick one at "Narrow Boat", but tipped it down after dinner, so we stayed on the boat. Water at BWB yard in Burnley. At least the boat is warm and comfortable. 7h50m 18mi 7 locks 1 swing bridge.
Tue 1992-04-28
Start 8h45. Have decided not to go right into Blackburn to turn, so turn 9h30 at just before br 113, in old junction entrance, just missing a plastic boat moored opposite. Back to Burnley, moor at Weaver's Triangle museum by br 130b at 12h. To pub in Burnley town (Red Lion), then a little shopping and visit the museum. Calm at last this morning, could see reflections in the water and feel no breeze, Even a little sunshine. Off again at 14h20. Potter along to moor at br 137 for Brierfield at 16h30. Into town (or in that direction) for 'Railway Tavern' - complete with resident drunk. 'Leeds and Liverpool' opposite looked really spit and sawdust. Water in Burnley yard. Applemint is 58 feet. 5.25h 13.75mi 0l 3 sw br.
Wed 1992-04-29
Start 8h45. Water at top of Barrowford locks. Only a 2 min wait for the traffic lights on the tunnel (11h30 phase). Lunch stop at Salterforth 12h30..15h00, lunch at the Anchor. Aft, stop at E Marton, before br 161, at 17h15. Double-arch bridge has been widened by extensions at top. Eve to 'Cross Keys'. 6h 11mi 10 locks.
Thu 1992-04-30
Rain all day. Start 9h, then water just other side of br 161. 'Flasby' didn't want to share locks with us, but Bank Newton lock-keeper told us to wait for them - they took ages as they took on water. Lunch at Gargrave, just beyond br 169a, at pub near church ('Mason's Arms'). Start again 14h30, which was just when the rain really got going. Moor in Skipton, beyond br 177, at 16h50. Raining still, and on into the night, so we stayed on board. 5.75h 8.75mi 12 locks 5 sw bridges.
Fri 1992-05-01
Start 10h30, after shopping in Skipton. Almost an hour in boatyard, for pumpout, more gas, water and a new bilge pump. Also take on handspike and anchor. Can't get Aire and Calder guide at our boatyard or the one at Silsden. Kildwick for lunch, moor before br 185, 'White Lion'. Off again 14h20. moor above 5-rise at Bingley, before br 200 at 17h45. Eve Royal Hotel, Bingley. 5h cruising, 12mi, 0 locks, 17 sw bridges (excl 1 already swung).
Sat 1992-05-02
Start 9h, straight through the five-rise as lock-keeper was ready. Lunch between br 207b and 207c, convenient for centre of Shipley, but awful town centre pub ("Sun Hotel") that didn't even want to take our food order ("chef's busy with a buffet"). 11h50..13h45. Water at BWB Apperley Bridge yard, and moor at br 216a in Rodley at 17h15. This is latest 'safe' mooring before Leeds, according to lock-keepers and our boatyard. Bought Aire and Calder and Calder and Hebble Guide at Rodley Boatyard, at last after failing at Snaygill, Silsden and Shipley. Sometimes almost warm in the afternoon. Some swingbridges have barriers and flashing red and amber lights, operated by a sanitary station key. Can't tell with each bridge what combination of swing-bridge key, sanitary station key or windlass it will require. Eve to 'Rodley Barge' (Bass) - one of 3 in this outskirt of Leeds. Football hooligans passing along the towpath eve, tossed a couple of stones but no damage. 6h20m, 10mi, 16l, 10swbr.
Sun 1992-05-03
Start 8h50. Sunny and hot all day. Lots of activity in Leeds, to do with parading some football cup around in an open-top bus. Lunch on the go, straight through Leeds and on to the river. Through all of the mechanised locks and Castleford junction, to moor just before Kings Road lock on the Calder and Hebble Navigation at 17h20. Water at office lock in Leeds. Eve along the footpath above the lock to Horse and Jockey (Altofts). Face suffering from sunburn after being out in it all day. On returning from the pub in the evening, the canal was reflecting the deep blue sky and looking phosphorescent. 8.5h 18+1/2 mi, 20l (6 mechanised) 3 sw brs.
Mon 1992-05-04
Bank holiday. Start 8h35, straight into Kings Road lock. Out of mechanised locks at Wakefield and into climbing down ladders onto the boat. Stop for 40 mins at Wakefield to sort out where to go, then on upstream to just below Broad Cut Top Lock, turning in about mid-pound and reversing to moor at the 'Navigation Inn'. Water at Broad Cut Bottom Lock (above) on way up. Lunch 12h30..14h00. Return to below Kings Road Lock, at same mooring as this morning, at 16h45. Overcast (hazily) but warm in the afternoon, lots of gongoozlers at the pub and around the locks. Eve to Horse and Jockey again. Used the handspike once, on a top gate paddle at Thornes lock. 6h 13mi, 10l (4 mechanised).
Tue 1992-05-05
Start 8h. Passed an empty set of 3 coal compartment tubs on the Calder, a full one and a dredger below Kippax lock, and a sand/gravel barge on the Aire and Calder canal section. Moor above office lock for water and excursion to craft shop plus a quick lunch on board, 12h30..14h30. Aft mooring at Rodley, as Sat eve, at 18h40. To Owl Hotel to eat and drink, listenening to a jazz band with singer. Grumpy lock-keeper at the 2 triples today, and they're very wet, pouring water over the front of the boat. 8h40m, 18+1/2 mi, 20l (6 mechanised) 3 swbrs.
Wed 1992-05-06
Start 09h20, water at Apperley Bridge yard, moor in Shipley for shopping, banks, and fish and chips 13h20..15h20. Managed to do a 3-rise all by ourselves at Field Locks. Eve moor above Dowley gap 2 locks at 16h30. Saw one other moving boat AM and one PM, one private, one hired. Yesterday saw only working boats moving. Eve to 'Fishermans', adjacent. Bass. Moored on lock bollard, as instructed by lock-keeper. Lots of dining/trip boats through eve. 5h10m, 8+1/2 mi, 8l, 8 swbr.
Thu 1992-05-07
Start 09h10, Through Bingley 3- and 5-rise. Water at top of 5-rise. Party of schoolchildren watching at the 5-rise. Stop for lunch 12h30..13h45 before swing bridge 197a, Stockbridge, to canal-side Marquis of Granby. PM in high wind to moor at Silsden, beyond br 191a, at 15h40. Eve to 'Bridge Inn' at br 191a. Triple-locks have bottom chamber larger, so need extra water through top paddles to get interchange level correct - must be less than 30cm below overflows - else ground paddle sluices appear above the water-line, which can be dangerous. In these locks, a little opposite ground paddle is used first, until boat is up far enough to use the swirl from the same side paddle. 5+1/4 h, 8 mi, 8 l, 10 sw br.
Fri 1992-05-08
Start 08h45, drop one crew member at boatyard (he has to get back today) 10h45..10h55, turn in Springs branch and moor in Skipton just before br 179a at 11h45. Lunch at 'Fleece Inn' near the bridge, then shopping, and looking over the castle. Eve to Indian, just beyond the lunchtime pub on the other side of the road, set back in an alley. Good. 2h50m, 6mi, 0l, 8 sw br (189 counted on way out, was open on way back).
Sat 1992-05-09
Start 07h15, arrive at boatyard 0800. Bought a swing-bridge key as a souvenir. 3/4 h, 1+1/2 mi, 0l, 1 sw br.
Day	Date	Hours	Miles	Locks	Sw Br	morn	aft	Water
Sat	920425	3.5	6.25	3	6	-	Nigel	-
Sun	920426	5.75	10	12	-	Chas	Kath	East Marton
Mon	920427	7.83	18	7	1	Cath	Ron	Burnley yard
Tue	920428	5.25	13.75	-	3	Sue	Nigel	Burnley yard
Wed	920429	6	11	10	-	Chas	Kath	Barrowford lks
Thu	920430	5.75	8.75	12	5	Ron	Cath	East Marton
Fri	920501	5	12	-	17	Nigel	Nigel	Boatyard
Sat	920502	6.33	10	16	10	Sue	Kath	Apperley Br.
Sun	920503	8.5	18.5	20	3	Ron	Nigel	Leeds
Mon	920504	6	13	10	-	Cath	Chas	Broad Cut lks
Tue	920505	8.67	18.5	20	3	Kath	Sue	Leeds
Wed	920506	5.17	8.5	8	8	Ron	Chas	Apperley Br.
Thu	920507	5.25	8	8	10	Sue	Cath	Bingley 5-rise
Fri	920508	2.83	6	-	8	Kath	-	-
Sat	920509	0.75	1.5	-	1	Nigel	-	-
Totals		82.5	164	126	75*
				(* one was open one way, closed the other)

Day	Lunch				Evening
Sat	-				Gargrave 'Anchor'
Sun	East Marton 'Cross Keys'	Foulridge 'New Inn'
Mon	Burnley 'Pizza Hut'		Clayton le Moors (on boat)
Tue	Burnley 'Red Lion'		Brierfield 'Railway Tavern'
Wed	Salterforth 'Anchor'		East Marton 'Cross Keys'
Thu	Gargrave 'Mason's Arms'		Skipton (on boat)
Fri	Kildwick 'White Lion'		Bingley 'Royal Hotel'
Sat	Shipley 'Sun Hotel'		Rodley 'Rodley Barge'
Sun	on the move			Altofts 'Horse and Jockey'
Mon	Horbury 'Navigation Inn'	Altofts 'Horse and Jockey'
Tue	Leeds (on boat)			Rodley 'Owl Hotel'
Wed	Shipley (on boat)		Dowley Gap Locks 'Fishermans'
Thu	Stockbridge 'Marquis of Granby'	Silsden 'Bridge Inn'
Fri	Skipton 'Fleece Inn'		Skipton (Indian restaurant)
Sat	-				-

©nib 2003-03-22..2005-12-07

Home + About me + E-mail me + Trips index + Canal game