Six Years. 23rd July

Greenberfield Bottom Lock to Keld Well Bend, the Curly Wurlys.

A damp day sadly but we hadn’t planned to go far and it was all on the flat. We pushed off just gone 10 with our post breakfast cuppas in insulated mugs, meaning we’d get going sooner.

Green and very pleasant

The farmers were still out turning the grass and raking it up ready for collection. NB Whistle Down The Wind showed off its steam chimney and water gushed into the canal on a bend, obviously being pumped from somewhere.

After a couple of miles we reached East Marton and the Double Arched Bridge. This is where we moored on our second night whilst on our first hire boat together, not quite managing to reach a mooring where we could walk across the fields to Thornton-in-Craven to a friends house for a meal. A lift had to be provided and we were glad of it after 12 locks and 5 swing bridges that day.

Double Arched Bridge

The Cross Keys pub at East Marton also has memories for me. This is where my best friends Grandad, Grandpa Lee used to bring us to celebrate his birthdays. A long table would be laid out for his 15 to 20 guests for Sunday lunch all ending with Grandpa Lee telling us a shaggy dog story and nearly always getting the punch line wrong having to be corrected by his grandchildren who’d heard it numerous times before. I always give a wave to him as we pass.

The Cross Keys pub up on the hill

We pulled in at the water point just a little further on to top up the tank. I had a walk back to take some more photos of the bridge. I’m considering turning my illustration/painting skills to capturing scenes from our canal journeys to add to my Etsy shop which could do with a bit of a boost. Hopefully if popular this would give us a touch of pocket money whilst income from theatre is none existent.

Maybe a suitable photo

With the tank full we pushed onwards, not much further, with our fingers crossed. We hoped that we could find space at our favourite mooring on the curly wurlys.

Good TV signal round here

The canal sticks to it’s contour and winds round Langber TV mast, first it’s on that side then ahead then the other side, but soon you forget it is even there as the views open up around you.


We could see that there were boats. One along the last straight before the canal ties itself in knots. A cruiser on the end of the bend. A grey boat sat where we thought we’d like to be, we pulled just past it, maybe a touch too close to the bend. I walked round to see what space there might be on the other side. Two boats but a length just in front of them which seemed to be just a touch further from the bend than where we’d pulled up. We pulled round and moored up, hoping we were leaving enough space in front of the first boat so they still had a view from their cratch.

Just part of the view

When asked by people which is our favourite canal we say the Leeds Liverpool. When asked which is our favourite bit, we say the curly wurlys. Last time we came through we didn’t manage to climb the locks early enough in the day to reach here as it was dark.

Time to see what Tilly made of it. Well she had a good sniff around and then jumped on the wall. Yep not bad. NOt bad!!! She just wanted to get her head down and find friends.

Not bad

The afternoon stayed damp. My starter stayed flat. I’m running out of brown rice flour and am getting a touch disillusioned with it. I fed it one last time and decided to use the discard to make some crackers. A good amount of fresh rosemary and thyme went into the mix along with a scattering of sea salt. The result was really quite tasty and certainly crunchy. I may be making more of these!

I’d found a pack of gluten free pizza dough in the drawer the other day, so that was used instead of a sourdough base. It was okay, but lacked much taste and was only a vehicle for the ham, caramelised red onion and goats cheese topping.


We also finished watching the second half of Amadeus from the National Theatre. Salieri and Mozart were great performances. It was enjoyable but I really wished I’d been sat in the theatre as there were obviously things happening just out of shot that I’d like to have seen.

Three boats came past. Two hire boats who we thought had managed the bend well, so we looked away. Then a big bang followed by a 58ft 6inch scraping noise all the way along our rubbing strakes. The boat in front of us was a touch more peeved than we were, shouting out their hatch as the scraping noise continued for another 50 odd foot before the tiller was pushed over, as the hire boat ended up facing into the off side bank. They were being followed by another boat who had been managing to hold their course well until they had to slow down. Mick offered tiller advise which helped. They were both just heading to wind, but luckily they returned with out making contact.

Today there has been a flurry of emails regarding Chippy Panto. So far there is no news. The government have only given the entertainment industry aspirational dates for reopening to full houses. Under current guidance Chippy would only be able to have 40 to 75 in the audience, not enough to cover the cost of opening the building for the day and all the additional cleaning required between performances. Along with audience safety there is also the safety of the acting company and creative staff both on stage and off in such a building. It may be that all entrances have to be from SL and all exits SR and no audience participation! Not quite panto.

The doors currently remain firmly closed to help preserve the theatres future for years to come. The Governments rescue package still has no guidelines as to how it will be distributed and whether it could be used to guarantee the show. We all carry on waiting.

Houdini our original second mate

On a much lighter note, the title of todays blog. Six Years ago today we climbed into our Peugeot 207SW dropped keys off to our house with the rental agency in Scarborough and headed to Sowerby Bridge where NB Lillyanne (Lillian) our bright yellow boat had been waiting for us. Houdini our second mate did not know what was happening and found a shelf in the wardrobe very comforting for the first few days. So six years ago we set out for a year afloat and we’re still here, on our favourite mooring. Not a bad way to celebrate, well we’ll postpone the celebrations till tomorrow when hopefully the weather will have improved.

Our mooring here on the 3rd September 2014

0 locks, 3.78 miles, 1 double bridge, 1 full water tank, 1 wave, 1 damp day, 0 sourdough pizza, 1 boring doves pizza, 32 tasty crackers, 0 news about 0 news, 1 woofer stand off, 360 degree views, 6 years.

6 thoughts on “Six Years. 23rd July

  1. adrian2013

    Nice spot another you have shown me to visit, well done on the 6 years. The Esty photo idea has legs, missing a trick with no link to you’re shop on your blog? Well least I can’t see one!

    1. pipandmick Post author

      Thanks Ade, I just haven’t got round to putting a link on the blog yet. If I get myself together I might even add a page to the blog. Just a bit too busy boating at the moment for such things.

  2. Dave (Scouts)

    The Etsy photo idea could have legs. Another blog i followed until he “retired” was Guide dog Oakley (with NB Sola Gratia) and they did photos, calendars and Jigsaws of canals and Oakley.
    Worth a look.

    1. pipandmick Post author

      Oakley occasionally posts from his retirement now on facebook.
      Sola Gratia, his old floaty boat home is now a trading boat, The Doggie Boat with Tim and Tracey and their new dog Ozzie, we last saw them at Titford Pump House I think the day they picked up Ozzie.

Comments are closed.