Up And Over. 25th April

Lock 31 to 1st Below West Summit Lock 38

Tilly’s friend with her friend

With the forecast bad for this afternoon and the fact that we’d be crossing over into Lancashire increasing the odds for rain we pushed off a touch earlier than normal. Last night we planned our descent to Manchester into what we hope will be manageable chunks, stopping at sensible places and avoiding the worst of the weather that we know about.

Cut off beams that you have to wind
Very neat and tidy

Lock 31 has had it’s lower gate beams reduced in length so instead of pushing them you wind them with your windlass, quite tedious and repetitive to open the gate then the same all over again to close it! At least whilst recovering I got chance to admire the very neat garden of the house above. You feel as if you are passing through the water feature in their garden.

Rebuilding the bank

We worked our way up the locks. One pound seemingly a touch low which was a bit strange as the one below had been over flowing. But as we rounded a bend slowly we could see the reason. There was a chap wearing waders in the canal, with use of a digger large stones were being positioned building back the canal side. The large stone was lowered carefully into position, then removed to have a bit of a tweak making it fit better. The lock gate was open waiting for us so we wouldn’t have to pull in where they were working.

Yorkshire on the left, border centre, Lancashire right

Warland Upper Lock 35 was to be our last Yorkshire lock, the border is just after it and before the swing bridge.


We’ve been in Yorkshire almost twelve weeks and as Oleanna crossed the line we both were a little bit sad. Yorkshire is still most definitely home. Once up the lock, with the lock gate open I swung the bridge out of the way. We were now in Lancashire.

Last uphill

Longlees Lock 36 was our last uphill lock until we reach the Trent and Mersey. The canal sits in the bottom of the valley as it crosses the summit, the A6033 following on the other side, the trains now rumbling their way under the hills for a couple of miles.

The summit

Nearly three quarters of a mile long the summit pound was full, not what we were expecting as we’ve seen it very shallow in the past.

Starting our descent

West Summit Lock was to be our last of the day and as we dropped down the black clouds arrived and it started to rain. We pulled in on the visitor moorings below just managing to avoid getting wet. We’d dressed for rain this morning, but had been a touch too warm until now.

All quiet on the western front

We pottered away the afternoon, Tilly explored her new surroundings making friends whilst I ordered some yarn for a sock commission. Feed back from my panto sketches came through late afternoon, so tomorrow I will need to get the drawing board out and start with some plans, a few basic measurements are needed before we head down one particular route. I’m hoping to get cracking on the model as Storm Hannah does her worst.

Brown legged cheeky chappy

This evening we walked over to The Summit Inn and met up with Alan from Todmorden for some food a few drinks and a proper catch up. It was good to be able to see him properly, maybe next time will be down south as he may be working on some films later in the year at Pinewood Studios, fingers crossed everything falls into place.

7 locks, 1.86 miles by boat, 2.4 miles walked, 62 ft 7 inches rise, 352 ft 6 inches since Sowerby Bridge, 12 ft 9 inches down, 339 ft 9 inches above Sowerby, 1 swing bridge, 0 held up, 1 border, 2 counties, 0 Look North, 2 odd socks, O version, 2 pies, 1 chicken breast, 2 hours catching up, 1 bowl of sour dough pizza dough ready for tomorrow.