Thursday, 1 October 2009

Diesel Rip Off

6 Locks, 4 Miles. Now moored at Brighouse.

We pulled the pins at Mirfield this morning at about 9am with the intention of perhaps making Sowerby Bridge. When we got to Battyeford lock we were still on our own but by the time Dot had the lock set a hire boat that had been moored behind us last night appeared on the horizon. Naturally we waited for them to catch up so we could lock through together.

Brighouse 004 Another pair of railway bridges over the Calder & Hebble. The nearest one is not in use.

It transpired that they had only been on the boat for 3 days and it was their first boating experience. Initially the husband was doing everything as the wife was petrified of being on water but by the time we had reached the fourth lock of the day I had her driving and hopefully improved her confidence. By the time we reached Brighouse they wanted to stop for lunch and a visit to Sainsbury’s so we pulled into Sagar Marine for water and diesel.

Well there was no surprise here as the 60/40 split was the only option, but the price was a killer at 78.8p per litre for domestic and £1.24 for propulsion. With so many yards here in the North not now selling diesel and the rest sticking to the 60/40 regime it’s becoming a real rip off. The people in the yards I have spoken to all say that it’s what Customs & Excise require but I think it’s them making it easy for themselves with Tax returns. Not one of them will even contemplate self declaration.

Brighouse 001 This is where Gypsy Rover was built and launched in March 2004, the buildings are still there but Heron Boats have long gone.

After some discussion with another boater it was decided that we would stay here in Brighouse and press on tomorrow. We had a look around the Mill Royd Mill complex (mill conversion to apartments) that was just being started in 2004 and found that the ground floor apartments were still incomplete. We got chatting to a guy who must have been one of the actual developers and he told us that they ground floor apartments had not been finished due to a ruling on the level of a 100 year flood.

The experts claimed that due to climate change a 100 year flood would reach the top of the door frames on the ground floor apartments. The developer has spent the best part of the last year fighting this and they have now revised the estimations so that if the developer raises the flooring in these apartments by a foot he can finish the block. By raising the floor a foot is still a good 6 feet lower than the original flood level estimations so somebody got their maths wrong.

Brighouse 008-1 Spotted in a truck dealers yard. Eurocargo with a NZ Fern and the words “All Blacks” underneath. UK sponsors perhaps?

The developers have now raised all the floors in these bottom apartments and are busy finishing them off. When the apartment conversion was first advertised, while still in the early stages of development, all the apartments were sold on the first day which pleased the developer immensely.

The other hassle that the developer had was putting the overhanging balconies out over the canal. This is deemed British Waterways air space and negotiations had to take place to allow them to go ahead, at a price mind you. Now I thought BW’s domain was canals, towpaths and buildings but airspace, what next?

1863 locks, 3772  miles, 68 tunnels, 127 swing bridges and 53 lift bridges since Nov 2006

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