Monday, 30 June 2014

As we had passed through Gargrave, I saw a boat name that seemed familiar.  It turned out to be the same name as was on the mooring that we borrowed in Leeds Armouries. Anway, this woman shouts out “ are you a Weed boat?” “yes, and do you have a mooring in Leeds?” “yes, and we moor at the Weed basin on the Grand Union” “, ok, and we borrowed your mooring in Leeds for 2 nights”. All this being said as we drifted further and further away down the canal.. She said “your welcome” and we laughed and wished each other a happy cruise.  Nice.

Thought we had yet another problem on the boat.  After showering, I couldn’t get the pump to remove the water from the bottom of the half bath. Oh no now what, I shouted Mick that we had a problem with the pump. He gave his inspection, and then said……
……………”try removing the plug, it might help “… OOOPS !!!!!

We have buddied up with another boat to “do” the lancs side of the Ll&L, primarily the locks etc. which are in dodgy areas.  The lady boat owner used to work as a mental health nurse…… and her boat is called……………………..Doolally. !!!! great.
Did a few locks with another couple on Tranquility. And now we are all at Hapton, waiting for Doolally to have an engineer to take a look at their engine.  Tomorrow, a long day down the Blackburn locks, and hopefully a meal at the Top Lock pub for …………………….my birthday. !!!

We still have some lovely scenery in the distance, and although this side of the L&L is not as “geared up” as t’other side, the one thing that can be said is that the canal water is so clear. We have even seen a grebe here. How unusual.

 Last Lock in God's Own Country. !   hope you like that,Mikey


Friday, 27 June 2014

Tuesday and Wednesday we spent in lovely Skipton.  They are really geared up for this old bike race. All the shop windows are being painted up with hunched up cyclists, and cycles decorated up with flowers.  All anyone is really going to see is Bradley Wiggins Bum. !!!! oh well, if that’s what interests, so be it.

We have a new aeriel, which some other boaters told us about.  Its great. Small and compact and picks up a signal in amazing places.  So we are well pleased with that.  Or rather Mick is, as its Football, cricket, football, golf.  It’s a mans world. ! And now, when I career into a bridge, I wont shatter the aeriel, as its so compact and its magnetized and very hard to shift. !

Thursday we left Skipton and have made our way through Bank Newton Locks, to what is perhaps the best mooring spot on the WHOLE WATERWAY network.  Its wonderful.  Close to the Pennine way, so I have had some great walking( all be it in the wrong direction. Meant to walk to East Marton and ended up in Gargrave. I turned left at a flock of sheep when I should have turned right ).
I am now on the look- out for an OS map, so that future walking takes me the right way.  To the pub. Who said that ?????

So tomorrow, a fuel up at Barnoldswick . which I understand is Lancs. Am I correct ???  and will be hot footing it down the Lancashire side of the L and L. I hate rushing canals, but the good and numpty free moorings on this side are few and far between.  Also it has been great catching up with Chris and Mike.  Thank you both for running us about.  See you in the autumn. Get that bedroom cleared out, Chris !!!!!  

 we watched the bloke painting this.


 Me walking on the Pennine Way

 Wildflower Mooring

 Pennine Way

 The view from Wildflower Mooring.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Wednesday, and Chris and Mike took us to Eccleshall and the Industrial Museum. Brill. Some of the beam engines were working away, looked upstairs at the weaving sheds .Then there was a big part on printing, a section of old motor cars and vans, including a “Jowett sociable 3 wheeler”. That was a hoot as it had 2 wheels at the back and one on the front right hand side, and nowt on the front left hand side.  However, is was all very fascinating and I know of a few chums who would love to see all that stuff.

Thursday, and we watched  the England team try and play football,  on C and M’s big screenTV !!!!

Friday, we moved a little way along the canal to Saltaire, found a great mooring looking over a cricket pitch, and have ear marked it for a week-end stay-over next time we are this way.

Bit of walking and Finlay is playing us up by refusing to eat or drink. I think he is just being Finlay.

Saturday and C and M joined us for the trip up the Bingley three-rise and Bingley five-rise locks. Then we had to visit a boatyard, as we were leaking a bit of oil after Mick had done an oil and filter change. It turned out that when he took the old filter off, the rubber ring had stayed in place, so the fit was not quite right.

The bloke at the boatyard gave him a load of friendly Yorkshire stick about it, and suggested that maybe he ought to “stick to messin’ about  wi’ that looooovely garden you ‘ ave on top of boat”.

We moved up to Micklethwaite swing bridge for the night, where C and M were collecting us to go out to the Shama restaurant in Bingley.  Scrummy, yummy and possibly the best indian food ever. !

Micklethwaite Swing bridge . Years ago we had problems with this  bridge. It is on quite a busy small road, its an electric swing bridge that has a mind of its own, and drives the locals and boaters mad.

So, approach the control panel, and place key in slot and turn. Sirens start up, lights start flashing, but its down to the boater to physically close the 2 gates. These are heavy, and you must make sure that they click into place. Walk back to control panel and count to 10, then press button to open swing bridge. By this, time there are cars starting to arrive at the closed gates. Press the button to open, nothing happens. Quickly check that you have done it in the correct order. Nothing happens. More cars have turned up.  Ok, open the gates, let them go. Once you have a clear road, you can now start this palaver all over again.

Yesterday, we watched this poor old chap open and close the gates 4 times.  In the end Mick went to help, I went to help AFTER I had removed my hair rollers !  I approached the old chap’s wife, only to find that she was . in fact, an old lady passing by on her way to feed the ducks.  She had been inveigled in to holding his boat for him, whilst he attempted to get through the swing ridge. She thought it all quite exciting, holding boats, helping to close the gates, she was a tiny little thing and had to reach up to push the gates closed.  She had a marvellous sence of humour however, and we both got the giggles, as by this time this poor old bloke was al most on his knees. This blessed swing bridge would NOT open.  Then a bloke in the house nearby came out, and him and mick decided  there must be a slightly loose connection somewhere, and eventually they got lucky by just pressing and pressing different buttons. Eventually, the swingbridge SWUNG. !!!!   whey hey.  We got theold chap back on his boat( a birchwood plastic cruiser), closed  down the swingbridge and re-opened the gates for the umpteenth time.  Little old woman, went on her way to feed the ducks. We went back to Trundle. After a few minutes, we heard a feeble cry, and saw the old chap and his boat opposite us on the canal…………………….He had conked out. !!!!!

Anyway, he was drifting along gently and said he would throw us his rope , however  he was so knackered, Mick said it would be better if we lassoed him as he drifted past Trundle. We pulled him behind us, so that he could get off his boat. By which time, little old lady had returned and said “ oooh for gods’ sake, whatever is the matter now?”. I said that I thought  she was about to be put to use again, and indeed she was. Old chap asked her if she would help him pull his wee boat along to boatyard( they are very light, thankfully). I told her to hang out for a meal with wine as thanks for her help, wHich she seemed to find quite agreeable. Although she said she would go and get him some fish and chips if he was hungry. !!!  what a gal. !  I wander if love has blossomed ????

Sat night and we had an excellent meal at the Shama in Bingley with Chris and Mike. Leftovers for the next day.

Sunday am we realised that we could make the village of Bradley and its superb pub The Slaters Arms.  This is EVERYTHING a good village pub should be. Wonderful setting, very pretty and old fashioned pub inside. Friendly “Mine hosts”. Pricy beer at £3.55 a pint. Wine £4.60( large glass !!!). but the food is great and not expensive.  Twill be a visit every time we are this way, for sure.  Love it.

Monday and today we are moored in the heart of Skipton for a few days.  We will push off on Wednesday towards  Gargrave, and yet again we will miss the Ag. Show with ite Terrier Racing. Its not on until 14th August.  Grhhhhhh.  

 View from our mooring at Saltaire. 

 Bradley and that great pub. 

 The Aire Valley

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Just after going to bed at Castleford, we heard a boat go sputtering by, all lights blazing, and lots of singing. Hmm. Ok night night.

Next morning on our way to Leeds along the River Aire, who did we come across ???  one battered old boat, 5 blokes and a small lad looking a bit sheepish. They said that they got stuck on a mudbank, I established that they had been there all night, !!!!!  so we attached a rope and pulled them off. Loads of thanks, that we were life savers, etc etc. What did they owe us???  They said summat about a bottle of scotch, which made Mick’s ears prick up, but as always, we said, just pass this on, and help another boater. The owner said, that his boat was a bit of a wreck ( yes) and need a lot ( yes) doing to it,but at least they were boating.  They left it in the Armouries, amongst all the rather nice boats, and cleared off to work, I assume. !  Oh well, they seemed harmless enough.

Had a nice time in Leeds, and then it was off towards Rodley and a BIG catch up with Chris and Mike.

Just got into pub at Rodley for farewell beers with John and Diana, when the phone went and Chris said "where are ya ???"  " in the pub, where are you?"  " by side of boat ".   whey hey, thats how close we are.

A place called Kirkstall, has always had a bad rep, and boaters told to pass through early in the morning, due to numpties and nobs drinking too much in the midday sun and then wanting to hammer seven bells out of anyone who looks at them a bit strange.  Now, during the summer hols, they have security guards with rottweilers patrolling and generally looking after the lockies who help at the locks.  Apparently, the kids from the estates, aged 2 to 20years, like to swim in the locks. They have no fear of rat’s urine and all the other unsavoury stuff in the water, but are terrified of weeds. !!!! Anyway, boats going “down” the locks and taking the water away( emptying the locks) get a hard time, as do the lockies.  Its just one or three that get absolutely sozzled and then they want to fight their own shadow and everyone else.  So, as is normal, these locks to be done early in the morning,  and no problem should ensue.

Tuesday and Mick has his BOLT CUTTERS . YEAH.  Purchased from Tool Station.   Great job. Chris and Mike collected us and took us for a spin around Bradford and various shops.

Moving up to Apperley tomorrow for 2 nights. That’s even closer to them. Sat night is big night out at Shama at Shipley !!!!  We will be having a sound curry. !

 Blind Bella the Bedlington..  This dog stole our hearts. Blind since birth, no-one wanted her, but the folks on this narrowboat did. !!  She has to jump up at you to have a sniff, and get to know, you.  She was just sooooo sweet. and her fur sooo soft. They fear that one of her eyes will have to be removed, as she knocks it, then it gets infected. 

  No, they haven't fallen out.......yet.  Diana was talking to Mike and John was talking to Mick. !!!

 These two have fallen asleep, as the landlord has been giving them bonios, crisps etc.   I wonder if they have had a slurp or two. in the Railway Inn, Rodley. Very nice.

Friday, 13 June 2014

The Trials of Toby – Highland fighting dog.   Mick and I reckon he’s losing it, however, he loves his owner John to a distraction. John leaves the boat, so does Toby, except the boat had moved away, so we watched as he disappeared into the water, lo and behold he re-appeared t’other side of canal amongst the long reeds, wagging his tail and having a shake  . I gave him a home made biccy

Next, just as we are to start the first of the weird locks, where one uses a Hand spike to move the paddle gear.  Toby, had been tied on by a short leash to keep him on the boat.  John gets off, so does Toby, except this time he is tethered and starts to get strangled. Diana yelled and yelled for John to do something, but John and I were setting the lock, so Diana had to get off the boat( she got a bit wet !) to rescue Poor Toby. I gave him a home made biccy.

I hope there isn’t a third. The poor old boy has been through enough, I reckon.

We enjoyed the Calder and Hebble Canal. Todmorden was the best, Hebden Bridge, Sowerby Bridge, Brighouse were all nice towns.

 But really looking forward to the L&L.

We arrived at a lock, and sadly, floating in the lock was a beautiful young fox.  Not bloated, so I think he may have gone in that morning.  As I opened the paddles, the force of water dragged him into the murky depths, and I watched as his little black paws disappeard into the gloom.

Now at Castleford, so today when we left the Calder and Hebble Navigation we joined the Aire and Calder navigation.  Big and wide. 2 years ago when we were on it, it still had commercial traffic e.g gas  barges, and gravel barges.  Now they are all finished . Quite sad.  Anyhow, this big wide waterway gives us a chance to give Trundle’s engine a change of pace. Se we did a bit of narrowboat “racing” with our temporary companions.  Lot of fun. We managed to get about 5 to 6 mph. !!!!

Tomorrow it is the River Aire to Leeds and the armouries, where we will stay for a few days.  . Once through Office Lock in  Leeds, we will then be on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, and making our way up t’top o Pennines. VERY VERY SLOWLY. 

Note to Melva.   NOTHING will ever compare to Fontilles. !!!!!!!  

 Calder and Hebble Hand spike

 Brighouse- has a great basin

 Phew !!!!

 Aire and Calder Races 

 and cor again.  This floats our boat

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Couldn't stop dancing to this lot. !!!!
Left Todmorden on Sunday morning.

 And with the help of John’s sister Christine, who between them lock-wheeled the locks.( that means going on ahead  by bycycle and prepping the lock ready for us to enter) we were at Hebden Bridge 2 hours later.  And after a shower, we were ready to watch the Hand made Parade.  Asolutely brilliant.  Different sets of of adults and kids  in hand made garb depicting animals and flowers and whatever( all very hippy-ish ), accompanied by music and the most amazing drummers I have ever heard( with the exception of the Moors and Christians Fiesta in Spain ).

Hebden Bridge is a nice place.  Noted for its Lesbian community. Beer was too expensive at £3.65 a pint, shops quite nice.  Overall, we preferred Todmorden.  But enjoyed our 2 night stay in HB, especially with the parade going on.

So after fueling up at Sowerby Bridge and buying our Rochdale Canal plaque. ( we have now finished with this canal). We would do it again, coming from Manchester up to Yorkshire, but only with another boat. It would be very hard all on your tod.

Today( Tuesday), and we are now on the Calder and Hebble navigation. Moored at Salterhebble, and unfortunately, right next to the local sewage outfit. !!!!! 

 Last night in Tod

 Hebden Bridge

 Shortly after this was taken, I rammed into a low slung branch, and slightly smashed Micks greenhouse. !!!!

Yes, Melva, this is your sort of area !!!!   Very arty. !  Will attem pt to put on a video of the Drummers. 

Sunday, 8 June 2014

We Love Todmorden !!!!!!!

It’s a bit of a hippy town.  The people are lovely and friendly. The pubs are great and the beer is better. Really enjoying Thwaites  ales at the moment. Light and lemony and hoppy. Mmmmm.
A good music scene here as well, except we can never seem to stay up to hear it.  However last night I went to sleep listening to the sounds of a  70’s Disco.   Whey hey, my era. Smokey robinson and the miracles “ going to a go-go” !!!!  except, I wasn’t .
I think it’s a heavy metal tribute band tonight at “The Polished Knob”. May pass, unless there is an Alice Cooper – a –like. !

They have a thing going on here called Incredible Edible.  Around the town,  large containers have been set up with fruit trees, bushes, herbs etc. Along the towpath are all edibles and aromatics.  Don’t pick at the bottom !!!!
There is a bit of wasteground that has been set up temporarily with veg, herbs and fruit bushes, and even has a bee hive in it.. !!!   Temporarily, is until the Calderdale Council decided to put yet another bloody supermarket on it.   Had a walk t’other end of town, and in front of some houses, ground had been set up with leafy veggies etc.  I understand that you may help yourself, but remember to plant something as a thank you.  I absolutely love it.

Visited a few hairdressers in the hope of a haircut, but all fully booked. Then I found one called “ Fredas”.  Aha, methinks. “Fredas” will be too old fashioned for all the youngsters, so there is bound to be a free appointment. “fredas” granddaughter Amy runs it now.  Anyway, she said “I have 10 mins before my next lady( elderly), I can do yer a dry cut for £7.50”   DONE. She was a lovely lass, and very chatty.
Visited a clothing repair shop, as I had ripped my jacket getting off Trundle( nearly went in for an early bath, too ), said I was on a narrowboat and that we were off tomorrow.  “  Leave it with me,love. Come back at 4. I will ‘ave it done by then. “ charge £8.  What service.
Also, due to some sort of bike race passing through, the town is festooned with lovely whicker and reed sculptures of ………………………bikes.

Oooh I forgot to mention that yesterday, just before we arrived, we had stopped at a lock for lunch.

What a lunch………………………..GRANDMA POLLARDS CHIP ‘OLE> !!!  Fish, chips, scallops, scraps all done in beef dripping, plus mushy peas.   Ooooooo  It were grand. !

 The summit

 Ma Pollards chip 'ole

 Terrific Todmorden

The story of the "Highland Fighting Dog", told in a wolverhampton accent. !!!

John was walking Toby one evening, and came across a group of 15 year olds with a staffy.  They started following John and Toby, and shouting " eh mate, cum on and lets get the dogs to 'ave a fight" John ignored them , and kept walking but started yanking on Toby's lead to try and get him to look mean. ! apparently, he just looked up at John as if to say " have you lost your marbles ????". so these idiots kept on and on  and on, eventually John arrived at a nicer area, and turned around and said "   now then lads, listen up and listen carefully, see this 'ere dog ?"   " Yeah", " well , he is a Highland Fighting Dog, and see this ruff ?"  " yeah, so what ?"  " well, that ruff is his armour, when another dog grabs him, all the hair comes off and sticks in the other dogs throat and chokes him" 
" Oh, ok mate, no problem " and they quickly cleared off dragging their poor staffy with them. !!!