We had a quiet night in Granary Wharf, well, quiet-ish, punctuated by the trains coming into Leeds Station not far away. But it was a fine night when Meg and I went out for a pre-bedtime stroll. I took the camera with me…
By nine-fifteen we were reversing out from our pontoon mooring between the Hilton Doubletree and Candle House, and heading to Office Lock. We had a 10 minutes wait before I could set the lock, a CRT chap was raking all the weed away that had collected overnight around the top gates. The canal is very weedy this year.
We cleared the lock at a quarter to ten, so not so bad.
Leaving Office Lock.
The cream stone building on the right was the navigation authority’s local office hence the name of the lock.
Soot-stained stonework and modern apartment blocks
The locks come steadily as the canal climbs up out of Leeds, following the Aire Valley. St Anne’s Ing Lock is a single chamber, but Oddy’s is a 2 rise staircase. There are several staircase locks this side of the summit, the most notable of course at Bingley.
Oddy’s Locks alongside Castleton and Canal Mills.
Spring Garden Lock follows, just a single, this, then there’s a pause of a couple of miles before the next at Kirkstall.
I do like the design of this railway bridge near Armley…
…it’s a lot wider than it looks, too! Lots of rivets!
Built in 1846 it’s a basic truss design, but with the addition of fabricated formers supporting the track bed.
Kirkstall Lock seems to be out in the country but it’s an illusion. The tentacles of Leeds suburbs stretch out further than this but are hidden from the canal.
The remains of Kirkstall Abbey are visible above the trees on the other side of the river valley, another victim of Henry VIII’s campaign to smash Papel power in England.
Two triple staircases come next, Forge Three then Newlay. We met lock-keepers at both, although off-season you’ll be lucky to see one. They’re not complicated anyway.
Mags in Forge Locks
And in Newlay
Carved stonework acts as a channel to carry surplus water down the flight.
The lockie here, Craig, was accompanied by another guy, not in CRT uniform, so I assumed it was a friend keeping him company. Not so. There’s been a fair bit of bother from gangs of local kids here through the summer from a nearby “sink estate”.
They’ve been interfering with the locks and harassing walkers, joggers and cyclists. So CRT have engaged a security company to keep an eye on things. And there was me thinking that things up here were getting better…
Leaving the top of Newlay Three, Craig on the right, the "minder" on the left. He’s got a large dog in the van, too…
The locks done for today, now we’ve three swing bridges, the L&L is known for them.
First L&L swing bridge, at Rose Mill
I remembered that the next, Moss Swing Bridge, is very heavy. It hasn’t improved in the intervening period… The next, in Rodley, is however opened by just a gentle push.
We pulled in on the 7 day moorings next to the main road bridge the other side of Rodley.
Not the best spot for a peaceful night, but ideal for our Tesco delivery due first thing in the morning.
After a heavy day today we’ll just do a short one tomorrow. Up to Apperley Bridge for diesel, I reckon.
Locks 12, miles 6½