It’s been a good day. Warm and sunny for the most part, but we’ve still been plagued by that cool wind.
The Selby Canal is an enjoyable cruise, a bit overgrown and shallow at the sides, but it’s not that busy so it isn’t a problem.
There are a few peculiarities about it’s construction; these pairs of stone built chambers that squeeze the canal into a chicane at intervals…
…and the sloping banks that seem to imply that the canal should be deeper.
I puzzled over these unusual features last time we came this way, and some research revealed the reasons behind them. I’m not going to go into it again now, if you’re interested head this way…
We met a bit of traffic coming the other way, several cruisers and a couple of narrowboats. So we were expecting the moorings at the basin to be fairly empty.
Passing Selby Boat Centre on the edge of the town.
With the River Ouse being up earlier in the week and still being a little higher than normal, passages up river to Naburn and York have been postponed. Our expectation of finding a mooring in the basin were therefore dashed, several boats are there waiting for an opportunity to go. That should arise tomorrow, first thing at least 4 craft are scheduled to head off. Meanwhile we’re moored just before the swing bridge, on a grassy bank but on pins.
It’s actually OK here, a bit of traffic noise, but it’s more open and sunny than in the basin. We might well stay here till Saturday now we’re settled. Our booking for penning down is at 06:45 on Sunday morning. We should be in Naburn by half past nine.
We’ll be spending a couple of nights in York, then making our way further up the Ouse to Ripon. We’ve got a berth organised in Ripon Racecourse Marina for 10 days, giving us a base from which to attend a friend’s wedding a week on Saturday, and then the Great North Run on the 13th.
We’ve been in this marina before, when we came here last time. It’s pleasant and handy for the town. Part of the British Waterways Marinas Ltd group, moorers here can use the facilities at other sites around the country. They’re even opening a new one over near Leigh on the Leeds and Liverpool later in the year. It’s about time someone made use of that water space alongside Plank Lane Bridge…
(Picture from July 2011.)
The Bickershaw Colliery occupied the site until closure in 1992. It had operated here for 160 years, taking advantage of the canal to move it’s product. It’s all cleared at this time (2011) ready for redevelopment.
After our stay in Ripon we’ll be heading back towards the Midlands. Having negotiated the Trent twice already this year it’s unlikely we’ll be going back that way. That leaves three alternatives. We need to cross the Pennines, so can use either the Leeds and Liverpool, Rochdale or Huddersfield Canals. There was a bit of a problem in Standedge yesterday affecting Halfie’s trip (thanks KevinToo for the tip-off) but that should be sorted by now. Then there’s the on-going issue in Manchester, with the Bridgewater closure between Water’s Meeting and Castlefield. Using either the Rochdale or Huddersfield would involve a diversion onto the Peak Forest and the Macclesfield rather than the more direct route using the Bridgewater and Trent and Mersey. But that’s not such a bad thing. On the other hand the L&L will bring us onto the Bridgewater clear of the stoppage, and we’ve not been up there for a while. Decisions, decisions.
Hi Tom, Jan. I got Mags to hang about in the lock entrance while I shut the gates, then she moved across to pick me up at the end of the pontoon. Still not easy, though.
Alf, You’re right, Kellingley is due to close in December. The other UK Coal-owned deep pit, Thoresby in Notts, closed in July. There’s now only one deep pit still operational in the country, Hatfield in South Yorkshire, run by a worker’s trust.
These collieries are not worked-out, they’re just uneconomic in the face of cheaper imports. Although around 28% of UK electricity production is coal-fired, only 4% of the fuel was supplied by UK Coal.
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