Kirklees Top Lock to Crowther Bridge 16
The M62 wasn’t far away from our mooring and we were soon passing under it as people zoomed by over head. We left a wave for Bridget and Storm who would be crossing later in the day and carried on to Brighouse.
At the lock landing firemen were doing something with pipes and pumps. Was there a nearby fire that they were pumping water to? No aroma. Were they pumping out a flooded building? No arcs of water. They were actually trying out a brand new pump that had been a touch obstinate to get going, the river being a handy place to try it out.
Brighouse Bottom Lock had just been set for a boat coming down. Their boat a 60fter, I left them to it. We’ve been there with an over long boat, all fenders (Bow and Stern) lifted, sitting at a diagonal gradually lowering the water and tucking in under the lower gates walkway to avoid catching the cill at the back. The crew were well into the swing of the locks, a bow rope passed up to the top to help pull the bow out from behind the closed gate. Lillian was six inches shorter than the boat today, but she had a rounder/squarer stern. This boat was quite pointed which afforded them a few more inches, they’d been able to do all the locks from Sowerby Bridge forwards, we’d had to do the top two backwards and then only had an inch to spare.
Our turn next to go up. We took it steadily, avoiding the recess, but this put the drain hole for the well deck right in line with the water coming into the lock, the paddle only a couple of turns raised. The well deck got quite damp, as I noticed this I tried to drop the paddle to ease the flow, but the paddle didn’t want to close. Good job we always travel with the front doors closed, if the water had managed to get inside then she’d have started to sink!
Soon the flow calmed down and we carried on to the top, just as the firemen got their pump working sending huge plumes of water across the river.
Brighouse Top Lock was much easier. A boat was having a shampoo and set on the water point, we’d considered topping up the tank but carried on to moor at Sainsburys. Shopping list in hand we ventured forth, of course managing to leave any vouchers on board. Mick headed back for them which gave me time to peruse the cooking isle. Somehow a large 2lb bread tin made it into the trolley, this was soon followed by some new socks for Mick (well he will keep leaving them places!).
Last but by no means least was the wine isle. 3 of each. The wine cellar restocked. Just a shame that the trolley wouldn’t accompany us back to the boat, but we managed, just.
After lunch we pushed off, avoiding low flying cardboard tubes that the youngsters of Brighouse wanted us to wear. Plenty of people were out on the towpath, right busy it was.
I hopped off at Ganny Lock, from below it looked familiar, but it wasn’t on a river section so it couldn’t be that lock. From above though it was that lock. Which lock? Five years ago coming down hill, taking care at each lock, looking after our home we arrived at the lock at a similar time to a boat coming uphill. The lock was in our favour so we started to go down, one paddle slightly lifted until the bow could go under the walkway and the stern be kept off the cill. The lady from the other boat went to lift the other paddle, I asked her not to, quite politely, and explained why. ‘But my husband is struggling down there with the current on the river!’ She was quite rude. If she helped and things went wrong then he’d be struggling on the river for a lot longer! Today I realised that she’d lied, he was on a canal.
The only problem we had today was a plank of wood getting in the way. Onwards and upwards, another couple of locks to where we’d chosen to moor for the day. Surrounded by trees, good digging and friendly cover to pounce the rest of the afternoon away in. Except they stood there talking, looking past the trees, talking some more. COME ON!!! It’s great Mrs Tilly stamp of approval is on it’s way. They looked at me, talked some more. She came in and no matter how hard I tried to get her to stroke my head she wouldn’t open the door! Something about the fantastic trees only just hanging onto the banks of the river below, if I fell in then I’d only be able to get out on the other bank. How stupid! I’d never fall in!! She didn’t listen to reason and I stayed inside.
An Instagram acquaintance of mine who lives in Canada is looking for a narrowboat to rent from mid October for six weeks and/or for three months March to June somewhere in England or Wales. The usual channels of hiring a boat for so many weeks doesn’t work. So they are looking for a private hire, they are experienced boaters who have references as they have done this several times before. A boat they had booked has just fallen through as it has sold, so I said I’d give her a mention. Last year they moved far too fast for us to meet up, hopefully if they can find a boat then our paths may cross this year. Here is a link to Lucy’s advert if anyone is interested.
5 locks, 1 flood lock, 3.16 miles, 4 firemen, 1 long hose, 1 pump, 60ft, 6 boxes of cardbordeux, 2lb tin, 7 pairs socks, 2 carpet tubes, 2 fundraisers, 3 sets of gates not staying put, 1 river far too close for comfort, 1 narked cat, 950 and falling.