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Saturday, 1 July 2017

Back to the Beck.

Just as the top gates are no standard by any stretch of the imagination for the bottom gates of Hempholme or Struncheon Lock are 'normal'.

 The gate paddles are very noisy as they don't seem to have received any oil or grease since they were installed, which was in 1982. There is a sign on it stating they were built by Brigham's Ship Repairers Ltd from Hull. It seems to be weird to actually work a normal lock gate as it is ages since we had done. Other than when we came up of course!

We moored up on the lower lock landing and had some soup for lunch. We had helped out the reeds that had become stuck in the lock.

Macy the Cat decided she would have a wander round to stretch her legs. She didn't seem to be too impressed as she was soon back aboard.

We managed to get a better photo of Linley Hill Farm. The barn conversion seems to be really nicely done and must be a great place to live.

As we passed down the River Hull it was so still and quiet that the bird song was almost deafening at times. It seemed to me that we had reached HW at Struncheon Lock just as we left at a little after 1300 but the ebb wasn't very strong at all at first

After passing Tophill Low Water Works and Nature Reserve there were many swans that were swimming ahead of us most of the way. As we passed Aike, where the actually jurisdiction of the Driffield Navigation started, we could see that there were several flying about. A little further down we passed Eske where there is a Manor House and the lands of the Jackson family from the early 1500's. There is also a large pond that had many swans on it. I wonder if this is the place that last years birds come to as they have no territory or mate. You would think that with the size of a swan we would be able to get a better picture wouldn't you.

Before Hull Bridge we received a text from the bridgeman Steve saying he was stuck in traffic and he would be about 1630 for the bridge. Not a problem as there was plenty of places to hang a rope on. There is a boat club at Hull Bridge with fuel etc, but not sure whether for retail to visitors. They also have this barge that has been converted to a floating dock, a little like the one down on the Grand Union.

If I won the Lottery, not likely as I don't buy a ticket, this would make a lovely little hobby boat. I did  like the 'cut of her jib'.

As we approached Beverley there were some half completed conversions of steel barges. None seemed to have had much recent work on them. This is the site of the old Cook Welton and Gemmel shipyard. The hulls were built here and then towed down to Hull where they were fitted out and engined.

The ebb was picking up when we arrived at the Grovehill Bridge, that was first built by the first shipbuilders, Scarrs, and we just put a rope onto a bollard of a house boat under construction and waited the three quarters of an hour before the bridge lifted for us. Of course this was the time it started to rain. I went and lit the fire again.

I wonder whether the builds and conversions are victims of the economic crash, or simply the inflation of costs that seems to occur when ever you are working with ships. If anybody is looking for these sort of projects a trip to Beverley could well be of interest.

RCR have the contract for removing wrecks from the River Hull, and they have already lifted a couple of small ones. This old wooden barge will be a different matter. I don't think that it can be pumped out and floated off. And I don't think that there is much room for a crane for a straight lift. It will make some great firewood though.

As the ebb was running quite well it was a matter of poking the bow into the slack water of the mouth of the lock and letting the tide take the stern round to land on the side for the lock that is just past the lock. As I worked through the lock I chatted to the guy who had built the submarine at the head of the Beck.

He told me he built it on a whim and the main body is made out of an old tank. There is 4'6" below the waterline, and the same above the water. He has taken it up to Hull Bridge and down river some way too. His friend told me that inside it is not just industrial but is very comfortably fitted out.

We decided to head straight to the moorings and not swing and reverse back. We were expecting some guests to visit a little later, and as it was still drizzling we would do it when we left. We later had a nice evening with friends on the boat.


  1. FIRE! You lit the fire? Do you know what month it is?! LOL

    1. It was after standing on the back for a good period, getting cold and in the dull drizzly day. It was just what we needed.