Monday, 22 September 2014

Marple....


We left Thomas Telford Basin at a leisurely 7.15am. Untied and pushed NB FireflyNZ out of the basin and did not fire the motor up until on the canal so as not to disturb Kevin and Vicky on NB Harry...
T'was a mild morning and we soon got into a routine back on the "Oh So Easy" single locks.

Between the second and third lock stands this....



Colourful apartment block with a kids day care centre on the ground floor.
And there was already youngsters there having breakfast. It amazes me why parents have kids then chuck them into daycare from, in NZ, 3months old and let some one else raise them why they chase the almighty dollar......

From locks 4 -5 the......



City of Manchester or Etihad Stadium is in view.
Built for the 2002 Commonwealth games then on a deal taken over by Manchester City as their home ground it was converted from an athletics track to a footy field at a cost of....22 million quid for the City council and Man City chipped in 20 mill,...

The sun had broken through the haze and....



Doing these locks was enjoyable......

Completed the flight in 4hrs and 15 mins, with a wait for two NBs coming down then topped up the water tank had a bit of tucker and carried on......

Not wanting to do the Standedge Tunnel... ever....



We turned right here at Dunkinfield Junction to head for Marple...

Had to cut the Revs, and come down off the plane when we ....



Encounted this lift bridge... Damm no traffic to queue up.....

Swapped the sunnies for the clear specs as we approached the....



Hyde Bank tunnel... on 308 yds long......

After the tunnel is this....


Walled section which leads onto.....


 
The Marple Aqueduct over the River Goyt.....100ft, above the river......

I've told you before....

 
Never look back.... you usually crash...

And beside the aqueduct is the....




Rail bridge.....

 



 
 Moored up by the Marple bottom  lock...
Tomorrow we smash 16 more.......

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Down the Rochdale....

  
After crossing the summit it was down hill toward Manchester. The weather was still turning on warm summer days and the locks keep coming. We passed by Littleborough and Rochdale. A bit grubby passing Rochdale, and I didn't sight a spot where one would stop for a picnic.
We moored at Slattocks for a night and as I was tying the NB to the rings a fella on a bike was giving me the eye, like wondering what was going on not like wanting to invite me to the Ambidextrous Batters Ball. Anyway I said Hows it going Mate. He said OK so we had a bit of a chat. He was doing a brick laying course at the local Tech and hoped for a job after that.  Then he asked where we'd come from so I explained the last couple of days schedule and how earlier in the day we'd passed through Rochdale which I went to some length to describe to him what a Shit hole it looked like both in the canal and the surroundings as well. He said 'I'm from Rochdale".......
 
Where the lock beam is obstructed by a wall or fence meaning the beam is not long enough to get enough leverage to open it....
 
 
A system borrowed from the torture chambers of the middle ages is used....
 
 
Locks have a small stream so the excess water in the canal can bypass the lock and rejoin the canal lower down usually and it's called a weir...
This exit under a bridge was more like a....


Mini Mt, Vesuvious...... no smoke though.....

The canal passes under the.....



M62 by Castleton and the passage is just a NB width wide so when you exit this side it's a sharp turn and with out the magic of a bow thruster it's not hard to give the concrete wall on the outside of the turn a good slapping...

A couple of other lock exits.....



 
Under a rail bridge on a diagonal.... 




And under a small arch bridge,  with a tree covering half the canal to make sure the paint job don't stay too flash, close to the lock then under this large arched bridge.....

We moored by Chadderton and that leaves a six mile and 19 lock run into Manchester best done in one go so the 'Bandits" don't get you.. Well that's the talk on the cut but in reality there was nothing to fear and the only guns we saw didn't appear to be loaded and the cross bows had blunt arrows....

Kevin and Vicky on NB Harry were moored in front of us also waiting to head into Manchester next morning. Although we passed them on the run to the summit this time we planned to leave at 7.30am and not do a "Dawn Raid" as before. But they weren't giving us the chance to head them and they slept with "one eye open" and at 6.12am we heard them leave. Dammm..

Tom and Jan from NB Waiouru had friends Paul and Christine, from Waterway Routes, arriving to help do the 19 locks so when we teamed up we made good time and caught up to NB Harry with about 12 locks to go so Leonie who was on the bike going ahead setting locks helped them for a few and we all kept moving forward....
It was good to catch up later and have a "Yak", bloody nice people......

This lift bridge was different in that it....


Had Hydraulic rams on four corners and lifted vertically.....

Tom's always looking for a bargain....



And he's collected some here.... freeing the propeller.......

At the second last lock....



Working the RH paddle is not for six footers......disappears under the bridge......

On Saturday Leonie and I decided to head to Cadwell Park raceway over by Louth, Skegness way. Our mates from down Oxford way were racing so we thought we'd hire a car and go for the day....

And this is a carbon copy of our hire car...



Fiat 500... more power than one needs so we could put to test the words from the Hirers Bible... Never Be Gentle With A Rental...  2.5 hrs each way... 284 miles completed....

The track is great for viewing and action as it's a "Technical Track".
Later in the day, 5.00pm the weather turned and the rain falling saw the last race .....



run in pretty gloomy conditions... A couple of accidents and the safety car being used cut the race short...

In an earlier race this was....



Self inflicted......repaired enough to race later........

From now on all the way back to Aynho is single locks... Yeah Haa.......

We moored on the Ashton Canal......



Thomas Telford Basin.....




NB FireflyNZ and NB Harry.........




 

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Call The Lock Keeper...



It rained overnight on Sunday but Monday was clear enough to make a move toward the immediate objective and that was to get over the summit on the Rochdale Canal and start heading down hill toward Manchester...
It was about 7.5 miles and 27 locks to work and the locks have been generally heavy to open /shut and some hard winding...

We set off and by about 1.30pm we had reached...



Todmordon ... Waiouru  needed water and so did the canal... Some of the pounds between locks were getting low and getting to the jetty here was not on....

Hire a NB and by early afternoon...



The first bottle of wine nearly gone adding to the enjoyment....

The town of Todmordon in the early days benefitted from the philanthropy of wealthy manufacturing residents the Fielden family...

Their choice of architecture can be seen in the town centre...

 


The Town Hall.....


The Library....




And the Unitarian Church.....

Another feature in the town is the ....



Great Wall of Tod.. A large Railway retaining wall that stops the railway falling in the cut...
Built with bricks and not the usual stone... 4 million of them.... A complete apprenticeship could have been completed on this one job......



Looking from one end it continues around the far bend....

A little farther on and...



Tom decided to set up a NB version of a NZ Police D. I. C. (drunk in charge) roadblock...
the hire boat never came along.......

A dozen or or so locks done...




Guaxholme Middle Lock with the Railway bridge behind...

Another 8 locks, that made 20 for the day, in five miles....



And it was time to moor up.....

We passed 2-3 NBs going the other way during the day and all said there was a shortage of water problem to get over the summit. One had waited two days for Canal and River workers to remedy the flow....
With this in mind Tom decided to go on a "Reccy", like check out the waterway ahead and see if any NBs were ahead of us..
Donning cammo gear and the standard nugget to dull the shine on the face he set off in the darkness walking the 5 mile return trip..
On return the debrief alerted us to the fact their were 10 NBs and at least 4-5 of those were in position to tackle the summit.
As Ex, Army Tom knows that surprise and stealth is the best weapon so the plan was to get past the waiting NBs and be first to make use of any available water...

So the alarms were set and....


We were up and ready to go before "Sparrow Fart"... in fact we had to wait 40 minutes for it to get light enough...

The plan worked. The enemy were still asleep, well they were until we used the water in the pound they were moored in two locks from the summit to fill our lock and it drained the pound with the result their NBs sat on the bottom and tipped over about 40 degrees.
Then as we exited the lock and passed them, marooned, heads appeared.
I shouted at one NBer, "Can't you sleep"? to which he gave me a "Tipping over Sign.
His sign language could have required the use of only two fingers.
As we passed the second NB the couple yelled out " you can't go up" and were quite insistent that you have to Call the Lock Keeper...
They had been waiting since the day before..

We made it into the second to top lock only to find, as we knew from the "Reccy"...



The above pound was too low to fill the lock.....

So there we were....



Ahead of the queue but stranded, at least we are sitting flat, as the water wasn't deep enough to exit the lock.
The post on the RH side marks the boundary line of Yorkshire and Lancashire.....

A couple of the NBers from below made their way up and were still talking "Call The Lock Keeper" so I did only to get shoveled on to different phones and eventually an answer phone. We knew what we were going to do from the start so we went up to the next lock and run water down from the above pound and eventually regulated the water flow to get us moving.
We made it to the summit and  then the Lock keepers turned up.. They did the same as we had at the next couple of down hill locks and we were well on our way....

About to exit the....

 


Top Lock.. 600 ft above sea level.....

A lock keeper uses measuring stick...



A tape measure to check the fall of the pound on the other side of the gate...

Four locks farther on and...


There's so much water it was over the grass...



And pours over the lock gate as we try to empty the lock to exit...
Mind you, it is now going down hill.....

We ended up doing 16 locks and three miles so it's been two big tiring days, 36 locks and 8 miles.
tomorrow a later start and easier day....

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Hebden bridge...


We left Coopers Bridge, passed through Brighouse and made the three locks at Salterhebble.

The first of the three has a guillotine gate...


 
 Exiting a road bridge to pass under the raised guillotine... Don't look up...
The gate was installed in the 1930s because of the adjacent road being widened...

In the lock..


Tom on Waiouru waves to some "fans" Leonie is ready to operate the electric gate and Jan is trying to earn some extra cash doing dog minding...

Slowly  Slowly....



And the Guillotine is nearly down..

Onto the second lock of the three but no room for two NBs...



Looking across to the third lock waiting for two hire boats to emerge. When you exit here and the other NBs pass on the RH side it makes for a tricky entry to the third lock...

Leaving the third, another done one NB  at a time even thought they're double locks....



Not concentrating I turned right  up the "no exit" Salterhebble branch. Leonie yelled out "OOIIYY where you going"?.
So I had to reverse back into the lock and turn left which was right...


There is some nice stretches...


And the tow path has come good....

Arrived at Sowerby Bridge and moored for the night.
Once a thriving canal town as the Rochdale canal ends here and with shorter locks from her on on the Calder & Hebble goods needed to be off loaded here onto the shorter NBs to continue...

The town didn't have any real stand out sights except for the local councils lack of a "pick up litter"regime and it was pretty messy even around the retail and food precinct .....



Canal basin area with converted warehouses....

Leonie lent a hand to help....



Jack O Locks and his Grandson open a lock....

In the misty  distance stands...

Wainhouse Tower... built 1875 as a 253 ft dye works chimney it was never used as such and converted to a viewing tower... Built with bricks.....

 
 Next day leaving the Sowerby 1st lock...




Then after the second...


Turn right and go through a tunnel to the side of the church....



Entering the tunnel...



It's got a turn to the left...



To exit and then enter the deepest lock on the canal network...



Waiouru leaves the tunnel to enter the lock...

Has to be booked to use and operated by lock keepers...



At 19 ft, 8.5 inches deep... you wouldn't want to get the NB hung up on that sill coming down.....

These gates must weigh about 5 ton...

 


No pushing them shut... they have a wind and push/pull arm  mechanism....




Leaving the deep lock...

Because it requires a lot of water to fill..



The next 2-3 miles of canal was seriously low on water.. keep to the centre or it was run aground....

Something new......

 
Well I hadn't seen it before.. pattern of  concrete side walls on canal... very aesthetic....

On to...
Edward Kilner lock were again only one NB at a time in the double lock..
Because...
 

The sides are moving... can't see the LF end on this side...



And using the sides of the NB as a straight edge... a bit of a turn in on the RH side...

A nice...


"Gentlemans Residence"...

And more...


Canal side mills... walls look a little "wonky".....

Passed this...


Aviary with no boundaries with Buderigar's singing "Sweet nothings"....

Passed beneath...


Halifax Road Bridge... another with a bend...

Moored in Hebden Bridge..
First night was by the town centre were stupid people feed the stupid Canadian Geese and other Geese and ducks that then  all sit on the concrete wharf and Crap everywhere but what's worse during the night they have a territory disagreement and two different breeds of geese plus ducks and chuck in a Swan or three make a bloody terrible racket that puts living next to your worst neighbor childs play...
So today we moved to the other side of the canal to were a hire boat came along and decided to do a cool reversing manoeuvre,  after he missed the landing to stop on the other side of the canal, and smashed into our boat.
So that was it. Decided to move once more and go through a lock to escape to a quitter mooring...

There  were plenty of people watching....



HaHa, aren't you the NB that just got hit and dosen't  like Geese??..

Moored up again...



Still painted bikes hanging around from the Tour d France passing through town...

Went for a "tiki tour" around town...



A row of ordinary homes have fine finishing detail...

Up a hill on a corner...



The tapered houses fit the site...

Downtown was....


Busy.. St George square.... "The Shoulder Of Mutton" pub in the rear.....


 
Another retail street...




The old council Chambers building... 1890s.......



The way in.....



The River Calder runs through town....



Cobblestone weir??..

The houses....



Rise from the town centre and leave in rows on the side of the hills...



Old mills converted to appartments...

Between rows of houses...



Cobblestone paving....

And the town has a genuine....



Old Movie theatre which was "Showing" ... and a "Real old school Milk Bar"... advertising milk shakes and ice creams....

Took a look at the....



Rail way station.. nice building, 1893... signal box opposite...

Those were the days...



No trouble to add some extra detail in the build....

In town there is a .......



Steel walkway between two buildings...not a usual sight...

And on the Arts Centre building was...



A sun dial that Leonie said was showing the time as 4.20pm... wrong I said looking at the phone as it was 5.17pm... WRONG ... allow for daylight saving .. sun dial was right....

Between two rows of houses...



These are the front gardens.....

And around the rear....


 
Hang out with the neighbours.....