Thursday, August 16, 2007

Away this morning just before 10 o’clock, in a blustery morning with the odd spot of rain. The weather stayed the same all day, with just the occasional sunny spell to brighten things up. The rain became heavier in the afternoon, and the blustery wind gave Mags some problems holding the boat on station while waiting for me to open the bridges.

3 swing bridges took us to Shipley, then on to Saltaire and Hirst Lock. Through a heavy shower to the 2 rise locks at Dowley Gap, then another 25 minutes to the bottom of Bingley 3 rise, the little brother of the famous 5 rise. These are situated in the shadow of the Damart Mill.

Saltaire Mills
Damart from below Bingley 3 Rise
We had a bit of a wait here, the L&L short boat SEVERN was coming down, and then the lockie was in need of lunch.

Short boat SEVERN, built on the Weaver in 1936
Into the locks just after 14:00, and then at the 5 rise by 10 to 3. No delays here, straight in and out at the top an hour later. Mags said she felt like a goldfish in a bowl, with all the gongoozlers looking down at her in the lock.

In Bingley 5 Rise
My paranoia kicked in again, as the next 4 swing bridges carry busy roads, and the rush hour was upon us, so we pulled over (it had started raining again anyway) and waited till just after 6 when the rain and the traffic abated. The last 45 minutes of the day took us to the visitor moorings in Riddlesden.

Shipley and Bingley are very pleasant from the water, with lots of redevelopment going on, but the buildings in Saltaire are something else again. Titus Salt, the mill owner who was responsible for building the town, certainly knew how to inspire. I am always delighted to see the embellishments on Victorian buildings, even the utilitarian ones like the mills.

Locks 9, miles 8, bridges 9.

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