Another short day today, but unlike yesterday we made a deliberate attempt to leave late! I had a bit of shopping to do up in Shipley anyway, so it was nearly 11:00 by the time we untied and set off.
A short row of soot-stained cottages alongside the canal stand amid the modern office blocks on the edge of Shipley.
Saltaire is just a short distance away, the legacy of industrialist Titus Salt. A mill owner in Bradford initially, he recognised that the poor conditions of his workers’ lives should be improved, and had a new mill and village built out in the country, naming it Saltaire. It wasn’t all philanthropy, happy workers make better workers.
New Mill on the right, now more often known as Salt’s Mill.
Fine campanile tower
A cluster of boats under Saltaire Bridge
There are only short-stay visitor moorings at the mill, although between here and Hirst Mill Lock there are rough moorings on the towpath side. These boats are all trading, a cafe boat, trip boat and a trader selling painted canal ware.
Hirst Mill Lock is deep and usually busy with folk walking and visiting the nearby garden centre. There’s a swing bridge to negotiate just above, too.
There’s a wooded section now, ending at the aqueduct where the canal crosses the Aire, then the staircase pair of locks at Dowley Gap are reached.
The pound here was down by several inches, and I got a fuzzy shot of a squirrel rooting in the strand.
Dowley Gap Aqueduct
Dowley Gap Locks
Staircase locks always appear very deep, the actual rise here is around 18 feet.
Clough-type paddle gear on the top gates, sadly out of commission.
We usually moor just past the next bridge, and that was the plan today. We were amazed to see so many boats tied up in what is normally a quiet spot!
We got in just around the corner, though. A bit shallow but that’s common.
Tomorrow we’ll be heading up the 3- and 5-Rise Locks at Bingley.
Locks 3, miles 3