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Wednesday, 10 May 2017

A squeeze and a chance for a clean up.

True to their word C&RT were at the lock, ready for the off at 0815. We were in the lock, along with 'Blue Griffin' on the dot of 0830. 

We were penned down nice and slowly. It is a deep lock, maybe the deepest on the system, and they like to be in control of the lock. It suits me.

Directly from the lock you are lead in to a tunnel with a bend in it, and no tow path.

'Blue Griffin' pops out of the tunnel into the middle pound with the nice backdrop of the church.

After another another two lock we had completed the Rochdale Canal and were now on the Calder and Hebble. Sowerby Bridge has a lovely basin area with many of the old warehouses and buildings still in use. The large warehouse is the salt warehouse, named after one of the commodities that were handled. One of the arches is a covered dock and another is for wagons. The cargo is moved using 'cranes that are worked by manual work that drives a belt system. There is also a very varied collection of boats here too.

It wasn't long before we were arriving at the top of Salterhebble Locks. This is a flight of three locks on a bend. These are also the shortest locks on the Calder and Hebble! We stopped for water just at the top, and dumped our rubbish. When it was our turn to go down we found that we had to use the 'hand spike' but we had a hickory pick axe handle. Mind you I also used a mooring pin. We had a bit of trouble at the first two locks as the top gates are leaking very badly. As we had to go diagonally in the lock, to leave we had to get the bow clear of the bottom gate, but that meant getting the stern under the flow of the leaking gates. When we stopped I would be bailing out the engine hole. I was a little worried at one point as the water got to something hot as steam was rising from the engine hole for a short time.

This is looking from the top lock down to the middle lock.

Just to confirm where we are.

We have been accompanying the River Calder for quite a while, but here is our first glimpse of the other named water way, the Hebble, as it is crossed by an aqueduct just before the third lock. C&RT were working on the lock foot way so they very kindly gave us a hand with the lock.

The last lock has a guillotine  bottom gate that is quite slow, but at least it means there is more room at the stern for us.

We had to slow as we waited for a pontoon to be moved from under Elland Bridge that they had been using for painting it. This is the bridge that had been washed away in the winter floods and cut off the town other than with a long round trip. There is a nice little basin there and this lovely covered warehouse.

The Valley Mill at Elland had been used until 1969 and then became an engineers. It has now been converted to apartments but they will have a good view across the valley.

As we left Park Nook Lock we see 'Blue Griffin' heading of into a verdant valley. The chimney is that of the old Knowles Ash Grove Works that were perhaps the last producers of salt glazed sanitary pipes and chimney pots.

On the approaches to Brighouse there is another bridge that suffered during the floods.

At Brookfoot Lock is this lock workers house that has been restored. There have been a few similar buildings that are still standing. 

Just at the foot of the lock is this cut leading to an old lock that penned out into the Calder it's self.

Just on the outskirts of Brighouse is this old building that seems to be crying out for conversion.

This old mill had been converted to an outdoor, high climbing wall! You can just see a feller starting down from the top.

We moorted up next to Sainsbury's and I set about drying out the engine hole and other tasks, while Hedon went to have a look round the town. In the end I got round to washing the roof and port side. There was loads of dust on the boat, after two weeks of dry weather and a stop in Manchester. After I was finished I thought I deserved a drink so we headed to the local Weatherspoons. It is the Richard Ostler and is very close. It is a converted Methodist Chapel. They have been in it 17 years and before that it was an indoor market after the Chapel closed. The upstairs has been left, complete with pews and organ and it is a lovely building conversion. I had tow very nice pints too.

I was very impressed with this Dry cleaners. They are really selling themselves and the building too. I love the railings.

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