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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Last of the narrow locks for a while.

After a bit of a walk into Milnsbridge to see what we could see we set off around 1100 again. The weather looked set to be dry for the day and definitely wasn't as damp. Following a day of over 20 locks followed by a day of 13 locks todays 9 would flash past, we hoped. The gates seemed heavier though and some of the paddles were as tough going as the Rochdale 9!

After a couple of locks we came to Britanni Mills and just to show that they are all neither derelict of converted into flats this one was still weaving.

At Lock 5E the canal crosses the River Colne again just before the lock and then just after it it passes under the railway viaduct. It is a very high line of stone arches and iron spans that was designed by Sir John Hawkesworth in 1850. The sharp bend to pass under it didn't phase Helen on the helm through.

There is a newly constructed section of canal that is very narrow. It leads up to Kirklees College. There is no tow path after 3E so you have to get back on the boat to the next lock or wander about the streets. You then have to get back on after 2E as there is a tunnel with no towpath again as the canal was moved west to pass under Bates Spinners factory.

After the tunnel the canal passes part of the Huddersfield University site and you have a bunch of fast moving gongozzlers.

The last narrow lock for a while, 1E.

After the lock we passed in front of the University and quickly came Aspley Basin. This was the terminus of the Huddersfield Broad Canal or Sir John Ramsden's Canal, as it was he who promoted it heavily, until the Narrow Canal was completed. We took water at the services and then moved over to the Marina to get some fuel. It was 86/134p a litre so not too bad. We then moved a little way further down the cut and moored on a 3 day mooring. We had a lunch of soap and toast and then went off to explore Huddersfield, the centre of which is an easy walk away.

There was a lovely indoor market with the open market next door. It was built in 1887/88 and designed by the Borough Surveyor a Richard Dugdale. In Singapore the old markets like this are real tourist hot spots, here in Huddersfield I suspect it doesn't get a second glance.

I had to put my foot down over the new pet. The feeding bill would be too  much and life on the boat would get a bit complicated!

St George's Square was developed by the Ramsden Family too and was supposed to represent a Renaissance Italian Palazzi. The station is said to be like a stately home with trains running through it. The statue of Harold Wilson, Prime Minister twice in the 1960's and 70's, and Huddersfield born and bred, was erected in 1999. The building behind is the George Hotel and this was where the split of Rugby League was made from Rugby Union in 1895.

We wandered round the shopping area and found the place was worth a visit with lots of interesting buildings and in fact Huddersfield has more listed buildings than any but two other places in the UK. After getting back to the boat we lit the fire and then wandered to the other side of the tow path and did a shop at Sainsbury's as it wasn't hard to carry it back.

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