Thursday, November 19, 2015

Rainbows over Greenberfield.

After spending the last few days sashaying between Barnoldswick, Foulridge and Salterforth we decided to head back towards Gargrave for a change.

Yesterday we just hit a one-hour window of fine weather, long enough for us to move from our mooring outside the Anchor Inn, turn around, and cruise in to “Barlick”, mooring up opposite Silent Night’s truck park.

Salterforth Bridge pontoon moorings

Salterforth Bridge and the Anchor Inn.IMG_7956

Unusual for a canal side pub, this one pre-dates the navigation…20151109_182742

Moored up, just before the heavens opened again.IMG_7962

This morning we tried, and failed, to avoid the rain again, although we didn’t do too badly…

Off at 10:40, again the early rain cleared, we passed the site of the now-plugged leak that affected the water levels for the last week or so.

Tidy job 
We weren’t here while they did the work, but the normal procedure is to dig out the bank behind the copings to a depth lower than the canal, then tamp a plug of puddle clay into the hole, sealing the leak. It’s effective, puddle clay, to a depth of one or two feet, is what the channel is lined with after all.

Heap of clay ready for use last week.20151114_123944

This wasn’t the only leak, it appears. Further along, near Bridge 154a, they’ve used another method, lifting the cobbles from the surface of the old wharf and piling “crinkley tin” across the breach.IMG_7964
The steelwork will presumably be cut off below ground level and the cobbles relaid.

We were filling with water at the top of Greenberfield Locks when a heavy, half-hour shower blew over, but by the time we’d done it had mostly cleared to the east, just a couple of drizzly spells dogged us as we dropped down the three locks.

A feeder from Winterburn Reservoir flows into the canal above the locksIMG_7966

Greenberfield Top LockIMG_7970

A mason’s mark is exposed as the middle lock empties IMG_7972

The drizzly spells were annoying, but they did give us some spectacular rainbows…IMG_7975

There’s a double one here, just a faint echo off to the right of the main one.IMG_7978

When the canal was constructed Greenberfield Locks were actually just off to the north, a triple staircase. A bridge which crosses the abandoned line can be seen at the lower end of the picnic area.

The old line below the locks can also still be seen.IMG_7971
The locks were replaced to save water on the summit pound, Staircase locks, although fast to pass, are notoriously wasteful.
A proposal to construct a branch NNE to Settle from the top lock never came to fruition. It would have carried limestone from the quarries there.

After the locks we toddled on, the weather steadily improving to leave us with long sunny spells. The canal twists and turns around the rounded hillocks.IMG_7980

Blue skies, but the grey clouds are lurking…IMG_7986


Must be East Marton…IMG_7995

More doglegs the other side of East Marton took us to our mooring for the night, a regular stop up here.IMG_8001


Tomorrow we’ll aim for another gap in the weather to tackle the 6 locks at Bank Newton.

Following Mo’s sad death, Ness has reluctantly decided to put Balmaha on the market. It’s a beautiful boat, well looked after. If you’re interested have a look…

Thanks for the comments, Ade, Chas and Carol. It’s still working….Be right back
Hi Mike. Thanks for putting me right. He did well then, didn’t he. Escaping with his harem!

Locks 3, miles 8½

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