Lanehouse Swing Bridge 189 to Booths Swing Bridge 195
Tilly was allowed out whilst we had breakfast and then we settled down for the weekly Geraghty Zoom. Todays topics bacon and egg sandwiches, play dates, Tillys climbing trees (one with bruises aged 5, the other an expert at the age of 4.75), thieving foxes and growing pineapples. Good to see everyone as ever and today we didn’t have to curtail the zoom due to rain.
Tilly came home soon after we’d finished chatting to everyone so we could move on. Just as we untied NB Elvira came past, Mrs Elvira walking the towpath said they’d hold the next swing bridge for us. We pushed out and followed, the first two bridges were open.
The third, Cowling Swing Bridge crossed us over into Bradford where the new lockdown measures were implemented yesterday. We thanked Mrs Elvira and leapfrogged them as we headed on towards Silsden.
New houses have been built along the canal since we were here last, we’d watched a chimney being flown onto the old mill which has been sandblasted on most sides other than that facing the canal. We just managed to pick out an original house on the towpath side which has also had a good clean up, the stone older and more detail to the roof line and chimneys than the new builds that surround it.
Silsden Hire base was full of boats, 3 narrowboats and 2 widebeams being cleaned and made ready for new guests to enjoy a weekend or week afloat. We carried on a short distance further to a stretch of armco before tying up just as it started to rain. Mick headed off with a brolly and mask to get our weekly newspaper and a loaf of bread from the Co-op.
Lunch and then onwards back out into the countryside to find a spot to moor. The gardens along the cut are so well presented in normal times and I suspect they’ve had extra attention during lockdown.
Brunthwaite Swing Bridge came into view. We have history me and this bridge and today it wasn’t going to be any different. A cyclist was taking a rest and offered to lend a hand as did a walker who crossed the bridge and pushed from the towpath side too. With three of us pushing we got the b**strd moving but not open to it’s furthest extent. The wind had caught Oleanna and pushed her right over to the off side of the cut, so Mick fought a battle, back and forth to get a better angle to approach the opening. This took sometime and sadly the cabin side of Oleanna had a tussle with a branch.
Getting the bridge back to where it had come from was also a work out in itself. The cyclist had stayed to help, he normally cyles to Skipton but just helping with the bridge had made up for stopping short. Once the bridge was locked up (a very short chain made this frustratingly hard) the cyclist made a quick move off avoiding having to help anyone else!
Then Holden Swing Bridge had aspirations to follow the example of Brunthwaite! A couple had stopped for a rest there also, so the chap was enlisted to assist. luckily the bridge has someway to go to match the stiffness of the one before it.
Now we hoped to moor near to the farm before the cow bridge (Lodge Hill Bridge). I remembered coming the other way that depth had been an issue for quite a distance, but we’d succeeded after several attempts to pull in. So I suggested we should try sooner rather than later. Without being able to see where we’d succeeded last time on my phone we’d already passed it so were doomed to fail.
Try and try again, two foot out was the best we could manage. So we gave up and carried onwards hoping to find enough depth further on before arriving at Bingley.
Now into the thick of Low Wood we made the same mental note as we always do, ‘we must come through here when the rhododendrons are in flower’! One day we’ll manage it.
Booths Swing Bridge opened nicely, but then the handcuff to lock it would not line up. How? It had been locked when we arrived. Try and try again, no chance.
Mick managed to pull Oleanna in just a short distance on, spikes came out and we could settle for the remainder of the day. He walked back to see if he had any more luck with the lock at the bridge, but didn’t succeed either.
Second outside of the day. Well what was there to find? Who was there to find? I had a good look round on the towpath, She came with me for a bit and ended up picking me up as a woofer walked past me. She didn’t appreciate my hissing and spitting at the woofer, neither did the woofers owner! Apparently I’m not meant to bully woofers!!
I found a route down the wall to where the grass was short. Here Toms wheeled bags around and hit balls until they fell into holes. I had to check out what was down there with my arm, nothing much a little damp if anything.
I managed to check out a few more holes before heading back inside for a snack. She closed the doors! But hang on I’d only inspected eleven holes and I believe there are eighteen!
0 locks, 3.53 miles, 6 swing bridges, 2 left open, 2 obstinate ones, 6 zoomers, 1 newspaper, 3 handy cyclists, 1 stuck hire boat, 1st bearBoat, 2 shallow, 11 out of 18.