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Sunday, 7 May 2017

Down hill all the way.

The blue sky greeted me as I poked my head out of the hatch this morning so all was set for a good day.

Our first obstacle this morning was a swing bridge, the other side of which was the boundary between Yorkshire and Lancashire, actually I think it is Greater Manchester!

First lock down and now in the Motherland. And I make no apologies for the scenic photos today.

Above our first pound were the crags and the air shafts/construction shafts (by the right hand pylon) that helped to construct the railway tunnel that was the longest in the world when it was completed in 1839.

The 'Yorkshireness' of the scene soon is apparent and it is good to be back. Mind you coming from Hull, where they have to go to a railway bridge to practice a hill start, Helen is a little claustrophobic hemmed in by this hills. 

As we approached Walsden we passed an Australian couple heading upwards. They thought they may wind at, or near the top and come back down to Yorkshire. Understandable, but not the the spirit od adventure one may have expected.

The sun makes everything look better in the sunshine, even in Walsden.

We had been getting reports from cyclists and walkers that there was a dry section of canal ahead of us. You never know how dry they mean until you get there. Ar Lock lock No. 27 we tied up and Helen went to buy the paper and some milk while I had a look further down the cut. As you can see dry was a good description of the canal pound between No. 26 and No.25. I called C&RT as there were only small popunds from which to run water down. They told me it would be about an hour as they were currently filling the canal with water at Lock No.69 in Lancashire! As it turns out they were a bit over 90 minutes but when Billie and friend arrived they soon had us on the move again.

By the dru pound I was surprised to see these 'prefab' homes still there. They were built as temporary homes afdter the devastation of housing following WWII. I thought they had all been replaced but obviously not, and still with tin roofs!

At Gauxholme the railway swaps banks of the canal twice in a short distance. The first is perhaps not the finest structure but the surrounds are pretty special.

It is at Gauxholme that there is this lovely old warehouse with a covered mooring that is now a private home.

The second railway crossing of the Rochdale Canal is very different to the first. This beautiful bridge adds to the scene and just wouldn't be built today with it's towers and crenelations. 

I'm not sure whether the Great Wall of Tod can be seen from space but it certainly does what it says on the tin and stops the railway ending up in the canal, or has done so far.. I have added 'Holderness' and Helen for scale!

Library or Todmorden Lock have reminders of  Slaithwaite on the Huddersfield. The difference is that this guillotine gate is electrically operate, or atleast the gate is, not the paddle.

Once through the lock I had been promised a pint, but first we had to finally get rid of bags of rubbish that we had collected on the way up and over. It was disappointing to find that there were no skips, just four normal dustbins, and no recycling!!. We filled up with water too, and as a Shire Boats Hire went through the lock we moved up to the extreme end of the jetty for the night. 

We very quickly abandoned ship and headed for Weatherspoon's were my pint was calling, as was our tea! The Todmorden Town Hall was built between 1866 and 1875 and straddled the boundary between Lancashire and Yorkshire until 1888 when the boundary was moved. The Greek Revival building has a semi circular finish at the far end and this end has the pediment that depicts the trades of Lancashire and Yorkshire. To the left is the cotton spinning and weaving of Lancashire and to the right, wool and engineering and agriculture.

When we got back to the boat, after a further pint at the 'Polished Knob' we were quite shocked to see another two boats on the visitor moorings, both heading in our direction. There are other boats heading in our direction!


  1. Hi both.
    Good to read and catch up on your news
    We are back after a fab week on Skye in the camper.
    Wonder if you are going to see this ?

    1. Hi Sue, you couldn't have been luckier with the weather for Skye. Your pictures are lovely so your appetite, and hopefully Neal's too will have been wetted.

  2. Yup. Can't wait for the next adventure.
    Really got a routine going with the van and it all worked a treat as we moved around Skye to four different sites.
    Think Northumbria will be our next stop. Soon