Thursday, October 01, 2015

Up, up out of Leeds.

We had a great day yesterday. Arthur and Wendy drove across from York and helped support the city’s finances by parking on the multi-story car-park near the Royal Armouries, then we three headed into the museum for a look around. Mags wasn’t interested so stayed on board with Meg.
The museum is well worth a visit, a fascinating insight into the development of ways in which we can kill and maim each other! And ways in which damage can be avoided…
It’s limited it’s exhibits to small arms, the largest item is probably the armoured coat designed for an elephant.
Throughout the day there are informal talks by staff members on various subjects.
And best of all it’s free!
I didn’t take any pictures, go and look at the website for a flavour.

We had free power too for most of our stay. Someone had kindly left 40p credit on the meter!

So, with a bit of a hike to do today we were on our way at half past nine.

A mortar menaces the entrance to Clarence Dock.IMG_7526

Out on the river again and under Crown Point BridgeIMG_7530

We’d just ¾ of a mile on the river before leaving it for the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

Leeds waterfront, Leeds Bridge in the distance.IMG_7534

Leeds Bridge carries the city coat of arms.

The sheep represents the wool trade, upon which the city was built. Three stars are from the coat of arms of Sir Thomas Danby, the first Mayor of Leeds; the three owls come from the coat of arms of Sir John Saville, the first Alderman. The Latin motto reads “For King and Law”

Victoria Bridge is the last crossing before the river is left behind, River Lock is visible beyond
The yellow boat is the water taxi which runs between Clarence Dock and River Lock. Twelve hours a day…

This area of the city, at the start (end?) of the canal is being developed at a rapid pace. New apartment blocks have appeared along the canal between River Lock and Office Lock, replacing the demolition and building site we saw when we last came this way.

At River Lock we also come across the first examples of the paddle gear typical of the L&L.

Gate paddle – “clough”

Vertical screw operated ground paddleIMG_7540One of the annoying handcuff locks can also be seen. 

Mags in Office Lock

The locks come steadily as the canal clings to the south bank of the Aire. We’ll be following the river valley almost all the way to the summit level, to the west of Gargrave.
We’re not going that far…

We’re starting to leave the city behind at Spring Garden LockIMG_7548

There’s a 2 mile pound above Spring Garden, ending at Kirkstall Lock. At Kirkstall village there are moorings for those who want to split the climb up to Rodley, but they’re a bit gloomy. A supermarket is just up the hill, though.

In fact we passed three today! It’s pretty quiet up here.

The remains of Kirkstall Abbey is just visible across the valley from Kirkstall LockIMG_7560
The Abbey became another victim of Henry VIII’s need for ready cash in 1539 during The Dissolution.

We’d already dealt with the two-rise staircase locks at Oddy’s, but now we had the pair of three-rise staircases of Forge and Newlay coming up.

Approaching Forge 3.IMG_7561
We were waved in by the lockie. Unsought and unasked for, but these two staircases are manned. I suppose there’s too much that can go wrong…

It’s a long way down… and quite wet if you’re going the other way.IMG_7563


Mags looked after the tiller on this set, but she was starting to feel the strain so I stayed aboard for Newlay 3.

Tiller-eye viewIMG_7567

Looking back

No more locks for a bit once we’d got up these, but now we start with the swing bridges…

Ross Mill Swing Bridge, the first of many.IMG_7572

The canal was built to a budget, so swing bridges were installed instead of more expensive fixed bridges. There’s a lot of them, too.

The Gnomes of Dulwich Rodley

Today’s journey’s end, Rodley Visitor Moorings.IMG_7574

Once again, a cool start has turned into a beautiful sunny day.

Just a short trip tomorrow, up to Apperley bridge.

Locks 13, miles 6

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