Saturday, October 22, 2016

Happy Birthday…

…to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal!
It was a long and sometimes painful gestation period of 50 years, but finally, on the 22th of October 1816, the 127¼-mile navigation opened from Leeds to Liverpool. The first boats to make the crossing left Leeds on this date, arriving in Liverpool just five days later. Now that’s some trip!

Our trip back to Leeds is taking somewhat longer. In the last five days we’ve come from above Dobsons Locks, the other side of Apperley Bridge. A total of 2¾ miles and two locks!

Last Wednesday we dropped down Dobsons after filling with water at the very slow water tap at the top. We timed it well; Andy from Bear Boating was bringing a crew up under training so we were able to swap between the two chambers and the trainees did most of the work for us.

Leaky gates…

Swapping chambers in the two-rise locks.
The lass training on the tiller looked terrified! 

Another stroke of good luck met us when we’d dropped down the locks and headed towards Millman Swing Bridge. A boat was just coming through so they held the bridge open for us.
We pulled in at Apperley Bridge Marina for a tank full of diesel and a chat with Rob, the manager. He looks after the marina while his wife looks after the café. They look to be making a go of it.

Apperley Bridge Marina.

After leaving the marina we set off towards Rodley but didn’t go all the way, stopping short just past Calverley Lodge Swing Bridge for the night. On Thursday we moved the short distance to the moorings near the main road bridge, in time to meet our Tesco grocery delivery. It’s handy here, with easy access from the main road and parking right alongside the boat.

Yesterday we took advantage of our situation again, Arthur and Wendy coming across from York to see us for the afternoon. They’ve been intending to come over for a few days but one of their dogs, Scamp, has been suffering from sickness and diarrhoea and wasn’t fit to travel. He’s improving now since they found out he’d been grazing on a house plant on the windowsill! Scamp by name, scamp by nature.

Do you think he and mate Cassie are just a bit spoiled…?

A good afternoon. All being well we’ll see them again as we head south out of Leeds next week.

We’ll stay here tomorrow, then make the long run down into the city on Monday.

Locks 2, miles 2¾

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