Lock Spotting. 9th January


1.63m up by 8cm from yesterday

The alarm went off early and Mick was up and on his way to the bus stop at 7am. The bus this morning was packed, standing room only, presumably overnight workers from East Midlands Airport. Picking up a van from Enterprise he then called in at Wickes. Here he bought several bags of coal as our stocks are starting to run low.

The parking at the mooring isn’t the easiest. Fulltime moorers have access through a gate, but Mick pulled in as close to the hedge as he could so as not to be in the way. As he off loaded the coal onto the roof he was handed items to head to Huddersfield, all the giant sized props, materials I wouldn’t be needing on the boat etc.

Skips heading to somewhere else by road

As we passed by the Clock Warehouse we could see that the skip boats were being craned out onto lorries in the pub car park. The narrowboat that had been by the pub had moved over to the water point, by the end of the day they had moved back across once the skips had been taken away.


The journey northwards was pretty horrid with almost constant rain and spray on the roads. A quick pull in to get something for lunch and we were soon pulling up close to the Piazza in Huddersfield where Dark Horse rehearse.

4E of the Huddersfield Narrow is just round the corner

I stayed to do costume fittings whilst Mick drove to Sewerby Bridge. Close to Tuel Lane Lock is a company called JC Joel. They provide and make drapes and fabrics for the entertainment industry. Mick was here to pick up a roll of dance floor which is suitable for painting with the right additives in the paint. The existing flooring for #unit21 was cheap vinyl (I had a limited budget) and had already torn before it was laid last year, it certainly wouldn’t survive a tour to five venues.

Lunchtime conversation

Back in Huddersfield I tried overalls on two of the actors. Down Syndrome people tend to have short limbs so there was a lot of pinning up and a few nips and tucks on shoulders to do, the overalls are meant for builders not 4ft actors after all.

After lunch Amy (Director) and I went through the props I’d brought with me and those that had been delivered. The giant mug had it’s handle added and was immediately tried out by Amy for weight. Then Alice was called over to check she could easily lift it on her own to take a swig of tea. All worked well. The remaining covering will get added on another visit in a couple of weeks time.

The Piazza was a shopping centre and has been ear marked for sometime to be redeveloped. The shops have gradually been moving out and the empty units have been used temporarily by art groups like Dark Horse. One large unit runs an art workspace for children, their windows always have something fun to look at. Another window showed off a giant cardboard sculpture of Bob Marley, brilliant.

Temporary Contemporary shop was the Chemists, Dark Horse behind the orange doors on the right

I took a little time to work out which shop had been used for the chemists in Happy Valley. Now a gallery with anaglypta on its walls. As the scene moved away from the shop you can see animal heads in the window of the children’s workspace, I think the scene was filmed around February last year as I have photos of the animal heads.

Last years display

Mick returned with the van and flooring. Two of the actors came out to look after the van whilst Mick and I struggled to move the large roll. A lovely chap offered to assist, then Amy came out to help too. We managed to get it into the unit, I’ll be needing some assistance to move it about when I cut it to length in a few weeks time.

The lower deck of the M1 going over the Sheffield and Tinsley Locks

A pause in Sheffield to visit Hobbycraft for a few bits then we headed for the Co-op in Castle Donnington to see what they had to offer before returning to the boat. Costume returns were organised, parcelled up and labelled for the morning.

Quite a busy day in Yorkshire.

0 locks, 6 locks spotted, 0 miles, 1 van, 191 miles, 2 overalls to shrink, 1 spare pair to make bigger, 3 braces tabs, 1 big swig of tea, 3 £1 books, £600 worth of floor, 2 near hernias, 1 new sandwich flavour, 1 location, 3 pairs trainers, 1 pair cycling shorts, 1 cat pleased to see us home, 12 sad git sausages, 2 sad git punnets of blueberries, 1 sad git gluten free loaf, 1 emptier boat.