Monday, October 12, 2015

Brrr – first frost of the Autumn!

Out temperature sensor on the roof recorded 0.3°C in the early hours. Easily low enough for a ground frost. But we had a beautiful start to the morning.IMG_7699



By the time we were prepared to move off, the blue skies had started to cloud over, the wind had picked up and it was quite chilly. I really will have to think about swapping my shorts for long trousers soon!

We had to cruise through Silsden before getting out into the countryside again.
The town’s origins are in agriculture, but with the coming of the canal industry started to appear.
None of the mills and warehouses still perform their original function, now housing light industry, offices or apartments.

The wharf is home to Silsden Boats’ hire fleet.IMG_7706


We were looking at passing 10 swing bridges today between Silsden and Skipton, the first just on the edge of the town. We were lucky, meeting a boat coming the other way who already had it open and was waving us through.


The next two were even easier, chained back in the open position.

Lanehouse Swing Bridge, the second of the open ones.IMG_7712

Looking up the Aire valley

The river is a little smaller this far up compared to down in Leeds!IMG_7715

Bridges came and went, some mechanised, some semi-mechanised but most manually operated.

Warehouse Swing Bridge at Kildwick

The busy A629 Keighley to Skipton turnpike runs alongside the canal most of the way to Skipton, the canal only moving away to perform a loop towards the village of Low Bradley. It was still following the contour, but it brought industry here too.

Low Bradley Mill, built as a spinning mill but now redeveloped into apartmentsIMG_7726

Just before the village, at Hamblethorpe Swing Bridge, is a memorial to seven Polish aircrew who died when their Wellington bomber crashed near here in 1943.IMG_7724


The accident occurred when the aircraft, on a routine training flight and returning to base in Cumbria, suffered a catastrophic airframe failure. There was nothing the crew could do. The oldest was 31, an instructor, the youngest just 21.

After the mechanised Bradley Swing Bridge the canal links up with the road again, passing through a pretty wooded section before reaching Skipton.

Into SkiptonIMG_7728 

Craven Hall, alongside Pinder Bridge, is typical of the Victorian buildings in the town, built when prosperity from the wool trade was at it’s height.IMG_7730

We topped off the water ands emptied the loos at the sanitary station, then passed the end of the Springs Branch, mooring up around the corner.

Springs Branch on the right.IMG_7732
The branch was built to collect limestone from the quarry up on the hill beyond the castle. It’s only navigable by small craft.

We’ll probably stay put tomorrow.

Locks 0, miles 7½

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