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Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Why the Went worked well.

As we were drinking out tea in bed this morning we decided that we would stay put today and en joy the sunshine. We both had some jobs to do so that would justify us staying put in my mind!?

Before we get to work there was a throbbing noise. Funnily enough there was no surge of the boat as we have experienced in the past, but by poking our head out of the side hatch we saw the 'Exol Pride' crossing the Went aqueduct. This photograph sort of gives you an idea of the difference of size of the 'Exol Pride' and the 'Holderness'.

She gave a blast on her whistle as she approached the junction with the Knottingly- Goole Canal. In fact it was a bit like a loud f..t really. She put the power on to get round the corner. The trade to Rotherham restarted started again in May 2016.

The 'Exol Pride' is the old Humber Pride she is 200' long, with a beam of around 20'. She has a loaded draft of about 7'6" when she is carrying around 500t of lubricating oil. She runs from King George Dock in Hull to Rotherham in about 10 or 12 hours. As we speak she is on the way down the Ouse passing Swinefleet. They say that each trip saves up to 18 road tankers and the green footprint is 25% less.

 One of my jobs was a bit of a touch up of the paintwork. We maybe shouldn't have had the boat painted and then passed over the Rochdale and Calder and Hebble Canals!

Just down from the junction is the Went Aqueduct of the New Junction Canal. The river was part of the reason that the Aire and Calder Navigation built the Ferrybridge to Goole Canal. The Directors were a little reticent in spending loads of money on a big new canal, until they heard of two proposed new canals. The first was for the Aire and Don canal that would run from Knottingley to Newbridge which is on the tidal River Don/Dutch River a bit to the west of the M62 bridge today. But there was another proposed canal also to run from Cold Hiendley on the Barnsley Canal then using the River Went to the Dutch River near Newbridge. This is looking to the west and looks as though it would be quite easily have been canalised.

Looking east towards the Dutch River it also looks like the route would have been easy to use. These bids stirred the Aire and Calder to get going on their plans. They would have liked to have had the junction with the River Ouse further down river, clear of the 90 deg bend at Goole and the Swinefleet shallows but the Dutch River and the River Went prevented this happening easily.

This is looking north from the footbridge by the Went Aqueduct to the junction with the Aire and Calder. There are two watercourses bridge here, and you can see 'Holderness' in the distance top left, just before the Southfield Reservoir.

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