Thursday, September 13, 2012

End of the line.

We stayed put in Boroughbridge yesterday. The weather wasn’t very inspiring, and our guests arrived about lunchtime. So we’ve now got the “colonials” aboard, Mags’ son Neil and his wife Val, from Canada. We had a lot of catching up to do, they’ve not been over for a couple of years.

Me, Mags, Neil and ValSAM_3223

The mooring at Boroughbridge turned a bit grotty with the rain, muddy and slippery, not good with the path being so narrow. It’s a shame, the town looks to be very pleasant.

Leaving BoroughbridgeSAM_3180 BBR moorings

I took Meg for a walk and a look at the weir this morning, after the rain it is running quite well, and it has taken on a red-brown tinge from the peat washing down the many small tributaries up in the hills.

Boroughbridge WeirSAM_3176 Boroughbridge Weir

Salmon ladder alongside for the spawning seasonSAM_3170 Boroughbridge Weir

Looking downstream from the bridgeSAM_3178 Boroughbridge Weir

The bridge was fought over in 1322, when rebel forces under the Duke of Lancaster met Edward II’s troops. Lancaster was the leader of a group of nobelmen frustrated by Edward’s weak, ineffectual rule. He was Edward’s cousin, and, as such, had a tenuous claim to the throne. Lancaster had planned to meet Edward’s forces further south at Burton on Trent, but, outflanked and outnumbered he retreated north after a minor skirmish. Pursued by the King he arrived at the River Ure crossing here at Boroughbridge, only to find it defended by one of the King’s men, Sir Andrew Harclay.
Harclay’s force consisted of a mixed bag of archers and pikemen, around 4,000 men who vastly outnumbered Lancaster’s 700 cavalry. After an attempt at negotiation for passage failed, and with Edward pressing from the rear, the Duke had no choice but to try and force a crossing.
The battle was short, Lancaster being defeated and captured. He was imprisoned in his own castle at Pontefract and executed 6 days after the battle. Thirty of his followers met the same fate.

We went across to make use of the services, then headed off, under the original (or at least the site of the original) Great North Road Bridge.

Under what used to be the Great North Road till the by-pass was built.SAM_3179  Old A1 Bridge

A little further on we passed under the second GNRd bridge, built when the village was by-passed, then the current one, built when the road was upgraded.

Great North Road BridgesSAM_3184 A1 Bridges

In fact these were both built at the same time, the “second” one replacing an earlier one.

It was a cool morning, but the sun made fitful appearances, brightening things up. Didn’t do much for the temperature though, it struggled up to about 15°, but that was about it.

Two miles from Boroughbridge we came across the last of the river locks, at Westwick.

Weswick Lock, Neil and Val strategically placedSAM_3189 Westwock Lock

Peat-flavoured water coming in through the ground sluiceSAM_3190  Westwock Lock

The locks get closer together as the waterway approaches Ripon, the next one is 1½ miles on and takes the navigation from natural channel to artificial cut.

Very pretty Oxclose LockSAM_3197 Oxclose Lock
Someone spends a lot of time keeping this nice.

The top gates have flaps in the walkways to go around the ground paddle stanchions when they are opened.
SAM_3198 Oxclose Lock
There are good moorings on the left above the lock, just a bit overhung with trees.

We’re now on the Ripon Canal, if you hadn’t realised before you would when you came to the next bridge, typically canal.

Rentons Bridge.SAM_3200 Canal Br (Rentons)

I didn’t take any pictures at Bell Furrows Lock, too busy talking to our local C&RT representative, Julie.

Rhodesfield Lock is the final one, and is within view of Bell Furrows. Neil took the boat into this one, under the watchful eye of Mags.

Into Rhodesfield LockSAM_3205 Rhodesfield Lock

SAM_3206 Rhodesfield LockThese locks are only just big enough for a boat of our length. With bow and stern buttons we’re probably 59 feet long.

SAM_3207 Rhodesfield Lock

SAM_3211 Lock Cottage
Just below the lock is Lock House, presumably the lock-keeper’s or lengthsman’s house when the canal was cut. It looks well looked after, smart in fresh paint.

Lock House

A little further on, the building housing the sanitary station has the same Neo-Gothic architecture, this time in miniature.
SAM_3213 Sani Stn
It must have been built for another function, sanitary facilities were un-thought of in 1773…. There are a pair of chimney stacks rising from the rear roof.

Under the by-pass bridge, which is remarkably free of graffiti, and there’s a couple of hundred yards to the terminus in Ripon Basin.

By-pass bridgeSAM_3216 By pass Br 
End of the line, Ripon BasinSAM_3218 Ripon Basin

We turned around and moored just behind the only other boat here, who promptly untied and left! That’s the second time that’s happened in three days!

Moored in RiponSAM_3219 Ripon Basin

I would have liked to have a look around the town this afternoon, but it started to rain as soon as we’d tied up and didn’t let up till nearly 5 o’clock. We took advantage of the proximity of the Chinese takeaway and chippie for tea, very good it was too.

All being well we’ll have a mooch around tomorrow morning, before heading back down the first two locks and into Ripon Racecourse Marina for the weekend.

Locks 4, miles 7


Carol said...

An EPIC journey indeed Geoff - well done to you both!

Lyraboat said...

Geoff, I'm jealous of your ability to get to Ripon. We're just too long.
I'm really writing to say good luck at The Great North Run.
Bob (Lyra)

Geoff and Mags said...

Thanks Bob and Carol
It's been an interesting and enjoyable trip. And thank you both for the sponsorship.

Mike, Mags, Poppy and Abbey said...

Geoff. Good luck on the run we will be looking out for you on TV.

We are moored in the Ripon Sanitary Station 48 hour mooring. I am told by a local that the sanitary station is built on the site of the original canal basin.

Mick n Mags