Wednesday, October 03, 2012

A full set…

…I think. Today we’ve seen the rest of the regular barge traffic on this section of the South Yorkshire Navigations. Battlestone passed us twice, once loaded heading for Whitwood, then later unladen, going back to Besthorpe.

Battlestone looking the business with a load of gravel.SAM_3581 Battlestone
SAM_3582 Battlestone

Later, one I’d forgotten went past loaded with sand.

Heather Rose HSAM_3584 Heather Rose H

We decided not to move today. I’d a few jobs to get on with, and the river above Castleford Lock had risen back into the red zone overnight. I reckon this is going to be an on-going problem now. With the recent wet weather all the fields are thoroughly saturated, so the river levels are going to hover at the top of the amber. Even a small amount of rain will push them up into the red.

We’re planning to head south on the Huddersfield Canals, and this involves the very long and pretty tight Standedge Tunnel. We may need to clear most of the roof including removing the top box, so I needed to look for alternative storage for most of the contents. Also with the tunnel in mind I wanted to cut the last of the logs on the roof, and we’ll not be foraging for more till we’re on the downhill side heading for Manchester.
The solid fuel will stay on the roof until we get to the gauging thingy at the tunnel. I’ll move it into the cratch if necessary.

Another boat past this afternoon was the tug Wheldale. Built in 1959 to haul compartment boats (Tom Puddings), she worked between the South Yorkshire collieries and Goole Docks.

Motor Tug WheldaleSAM_3586 Tug Wheldale
Attached to the bow is a jebus, an artificial bow more usually chained to the front of a train of compartment boats being driven by a push tug.

JebusSAM_3587 Tug Wheldale
And talking of compartment boats…. there’s three of them hanging behind the tug.

Tom PuddingsSAM_3588 Tug Wheldale
The tug is no longer in service, she’s preserved as an example of the fleet of tugs that used to work in the docks. She took part in the Queens Jubilee Pageant.

This afternoon, still without the forecasted rain, Meg and I took a walk around Fairburn Ings, an RSPB reserve just beyond Bulholme Lock. An area of low mounds and shallow lakes, it owes it’s topography to coal mining. The hills are reclaimed spoil heaps and the pools or flashes caused by subsidence.

Fairburn IngsSAM_3592 Fairburn Ings SAM_3596 Fairburn Ings

The area alongside the river was home to several pits, and there are still two loading basins a little downstream from the lock.

There’s a disused railway bridge crossing the river, built in the mid 19thC. It’s gently decaying, but still has tracks running over the span.
SAM_3593 Fairburn Ings
SAM_3600 Fairburn Ings

The rain has finally arrived, but all being well we’ll be on our way tomorrow.

Locks 0, miles 0

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