After a few days taking it easy above Dobson’s Locks we toddled onward today, to moor above Field Locks. From here on there’ll be none of these enforced long stays, the way ahead is clear. Well, almost.
Last Wednesday a boat arrived from Shipley way and moored in front of us. He told me he’d arrived at Dock Swing Bridge (Not due to re-open till Monday…) and asked if he could go through. No problem they said and swung it for him.
So today, after mooring above Field Locks and slicing up the latest batch of logs I mounted John Sage and pedalled down to the the bridge to have a word. The foreman, Roger, was very obliging, and consequently we’re to go through at around half-ten in the morning. We may have to wait 10 or 15 minutes though, but that’s much better than 3 days!
We were thinking of coming up here yesterday but the weather put paid to that idea. It was pretty grim, wet and windy most of the day. Today’s been much better little wind and no rain although it’s been overcast.
We left after topping up the water tank at the services, passing through the two swing bridges to arrive at the bottom of the Field triple staircase locks.
Looking back at the maintenance yard for the last time this trip!
Through Mitchell Swing Bridge
We had a brew at the bottom of the locks, then motored in to the bottom chamber to wait for NB Jessica Boo. Jessica Boo is the Bear Boating hire boat based at Apperley Bridge Marina, and is often used for helmsman training.
Yesterday and today was one of their 2 day courses and they were coming up Dobson’s when we were ready to leave. I told the trainer we’d wait for them at Field, and he agreed as it would give his trainees experience of sharing locks. He did say that they would be a while, though.
It gave me a chance to brasso the tiller bar and tiller pins…
…and clean and lubricate the hatch slides.
Well, 90 minutes after we arrived they did, and it was another 25 before we were both in the bottom chamber. The trainer is certainly thorough. But it did mean that Mags was able to stay inside as the trainees did all the running around and I stayed on the tiller!
Seyella tucked in the bottom chamber waiting to be joined by Jessica Boo.
We’re booked to go up the Bingley Locks on Sunday, so that means we’ve two short days or one longer one to Dowley Gap, our stopping point on Saturday night. We’ll have a look at the mooring situation in Shipley with a view to stopping there tomorrow.
It’s grand to be able to get going again!
Hi Jackie, Tony. Yes, Swiftcraft is still here, but they don't seem to be doing much. The moorings look a bit run down.
Thanks, Sue and Ken for pointing out our picture on the cover of April's Waterways World!
Still in the old blue and red livery, taken in September 2009 on the Aire in Leeds.
Locks 3, miles 1¼