Five Floating

Sykehouse Junction to Bramwith Junction

She’s not so shiny now

Five years ago today, really quite early, in fact a touch too early, Oleanna was craned into the canal at Finesse and Jonathan Wilson’s boatyard. I say too early as she was the first boat to be moved that day and sadly we missed her being craned in by about twenty minutes! Here are a few photos from the day and a Link to the blog post. At the time I had a broken ankle and couldn’t get on board Oleanna, so a fork lift and a pallet were brought to assist.

Today in 2022 would not be quite so exciting. Today we would head southwards along the New Junction Canal, how far dependant on a new pair of glasses for me.


First though was breakfast whilst Tilly had a couple of hours exploring, Exol Pride had moved off, most probably at first light so the way ahead was clear for us. Pushing off at almost midday we pootled past a couple of chaps in high vis who had been looking at a generator that is chained to the Went Aqueduct.

Went Aqueduct

The lift and swing bridges today gave me a few vehicles to hold up including a bin wagon, a car on a trailer. Not the most we’ve stopped along this stretch before but better than a couple of weeks ago.

Open for us

The light at Sykehouse Lock was amber, but as we came through the first bridge it changed to green, someone on duty. Approaching the bottom gates were open, the swing bridge still across the chamber, but this was moved before we got there. Once in the lock we were ushered above the swing bridge so that it could be brought back into position. The Lock Keeper shouted down to us to keep towards the bridge, the currents created by the paddles towards the top gates can have you going all over the shop.

Looking back through the swing bridge

Two C&RT chaps were sorting things on a small digger boat, maybe this would be heading towards Thorne Lock to assist with the works there next month?

On one of the longer stretches between bridges I gave the Opticians a call. My new glasses had been ordered in Scarborough and last Tuesday they rang me to check where I’d like them sending to, they suggested that they should arrive in a day or two, but I’d not heard a thing.

Close but not too close to the bridge

The line just rang and rang as it had done yesterday. No automated lady giving me options, it just rang. Mick suggested we both try calling at the same time, a possible faulty circuit meaning my call would never be heard at the other end. My phone rang, but a lady answered Micks call, an old 1970’s Post Office trick had worked.

Unfortunately my new glasses had not arrived with them, so I tried the Scarborough store, the lady there said she would look into it and to leave it with her.

At the last swing bridge I thought I was about to hold up a couple of C&RT vans, but they pulled in as the barriers lowered. Good job they arrived when they did. One chap was saying that the barrier on their side hadn’t been working earlier on. They removed the cover and peeked inside, Mick brought Oleanna through, then I pressed the close button. The bridge swung shut, returned to be level with the road, the sirens sounded, the chaps stood back from the barrier.

Leaving them to sort the problem

On my side the barrier rose upwards, on their side the barrier tried, rising only a couple of feet before dropping back down. The chaps encouraged it to lift and also had to give it an encouraging final umph back into it’s upright position. If they hadn’t been there to see to it, I’d have had to call them out.

Don Doors

Under the Don Doors and over the River Don we arrived at Bramwith Junction. This would do us for the day. The wind making it hard to moor again. Mick had to cling onto the centre line whilst I wrapped chains round the steel and tied our ropes. My right hand grip really does not like clinging on to ropes in the cold, hopefully as the temperatures rise this will ease.

Those dry mole hills are great for digging in!

The afternoon was spent knitting, towpath exploring and a touch of planning. On the Trent-link group suitable tides have been worked out for those considering heading round Trent Falls. Mick had identified one of them as a possible for us, so at least his calculations are correct.

The fourth pair of socks was completed, then the next two had yarns auditioned and the fifth pair was cast on and knitted up to the gusset before bedtime. Ooo errr!

1 lock, 5.4 miles, 3 swing bridges, 3 lift bridges, 13 held up, 1 dodgy barrier, 3 C&RT chaps, 0 glasses, 1 boat not in a hurry, 1 possible tide, 4 grey paws, 2 glasses of wine to toast Oleanna.

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