Friday, 2 October 2009

How Embarrassing?

13 Locks, 9 Miles, 1 Tunnel. Now moored at Luddenden Foot Bridge 6 Rochdale Canal.

It was a cool but fine day as we set off from Brighouse along with Stuart and Yvonne on the hire boat.

Sowerby Bridge 004Mill Royd Mill apartment conversion nearly complete after 5 years. It contains it's own Gym and swimming pool.

Sowerby Bridge 036 Reminiscent of the Fens with water pouring through the gates.  Who needs paddles anyway?

Everything was going well until we got to Elland Lock where we found the BW dredger actually in the lock coming down. Once the water had drained out of the lock they opened the gates,unfortunately neither gate would open fully and they couldn’t get the dredger out. Only thing for it but to refill the lock and put the dredger to work and clear what ever was stopping the gates opening fully. Because of the size of the dredger they have very little room to manoeuvre. The BW guys suggested we had a coffee break as it would take about 15 – 20 minutes. Eventually they extricated the dredger from the lock and we were able to carry on.

Sowerby Bridge 030 Look who's got stuck in the lock!Sowerby Bridge 035 Another converted Mill at Elland saved from the bulldozers.

After a lunch break at Elland we pressed on towards Sowerby Bridge as the TV on the hire boat had packed up and Stuart had arranged to pick up a replacement. The hire company met us at lock 1 on the Rochdale Canal but caused us some delay in trying to tell Stuart how to do a lock after they had already been on the boat for 4 days. Stuart and Yvonne had been doing quite nicely prior to this so the lecture was unnecessary. Anyway the hire company boss finished up with egg on his face so to speak because the replacement TV wouldn’t work and he had to go and get another one.

Sowerby Bridge 045 Righto you 2 ,in you come. Even the sluices are hydraulic. Salterhebble Guillotine lock.Sowerby Bridge 061Salterhebble top lock keepers cottage.

By this stage it was getting late and we had to be through Tuel Tunnel lock by 4pm. As Stuart knows the area well he went to see the lock keeper who was assisting 2 boats down, so we were instructed to wait in the pound prior to the Tuel Lane Tunnel for his arrival. The reason behind the lock keeper is that Tuel Tunnel lock is the deepest in the country replacing what used to be locks 3 & 4 and it’s 19’ 9” deep and requires 140,000 gallons of water so it requires careful use. We finally got through the lock by about 4.30pm.

Sowerby Bridge 072 Nearly ready for the big lift.

The lock keeper advised us that this pound was long and shallow so mooring would be difficult except for a few places. Needless to say we had to travel further than we would have liked before finally mooring at bridge 6 just before 6pm (9 hours, our longest day ever). As it was late and neither of us felt like cooking it was across the road for Indian takeaways, Lamb and Chicken Korma’s followed by Raspberries and ice cream. Well after the long hard day we had just done we deserved it.

Sowerby Bridge 077 Rich Mill owner Wainhouse had this tower built as a chimney for a Dye works but was never used. Open on bank holidays, it's 420 steps to the top.

1876 locks, 3781  miles, 69 tunnels, 127 swing bridges and 53 lift bridges since Nov 2006

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