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Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Out on the Ouse again.

We got a lift back to Selby from Hull via our son that made things much easier. It turned out that we had to rush a little in the end to get to the lock for the 1300 time that we had been given for our trip out on the Ouse to York.

We paid our dues and then had to wind at the slipway at the Selby Boat Centre. It was a bit breezy so I got the stern in and the wind drove us round and we were soon heading towards the swing bridge. We were soon through that and into the basin. It was full of boats so we sailed past them all and moored up by the lock.

It seems that the river has just come off red boards so there were several boats waiting to make the trip up to York. There were to be two narrow boats ahead of us and then three cruisers astern of us. I went to look at the lock at just before 1300 and the tide was slack. It is neap tides today  and I was able to see the mud heaps that have built up at each knuckle of the lock. Well worth seeing as then you know where not to go when we return this way.

The weed boat had been very busy in the basin and there was not the accumulations of duck weed there had been when we arrived, but there was still plenty out in the river. We are getting old hands at leaving locks into tidal rivers so even Helen was less apprehensive than normal today. We would be taking the flood tide up river but as it was a neap tide and there was a bit of fresh water coming down the current of the flood tide was not that great.

Before arriving at the Selby Railway Bridge there are some wharves that were in use up to about 10-15 years ago. The warehouses behind are nice old buildings and seem not to be used for much. The Custom House Wharf was first built when the canal was opened in 1778. The last cargoes I can remember coming up here were barges of rice from America.

The original opening railway bridge was a double span lifting bascule bridge in 1840 for the Hull and Selby Railway. The present bridge was built in 1891 for the North Eastern Railway and swings open. The control cabin sits above the pivot point and the bridge master popped out to give us a wave as we went through. As we left the lock earlier we saw a cruiser coming up the reach, probably from Barmby. The red stripe is the deck of the Selby road bridge. The present structure was built in 1970. As far as I remember the toll for a car was 2p. The tolls were abolished in 1991. This was two hundred years since the building of the bridge that this one replaced!

Westmill Foods is where the cargoes of rice were brought as they are major packers of rice for the catering trade. You can see the mud on the ness  (inside of the bend) of the 300 deg bend just after the mill. I'm not sure if the red painted struts are original or were added later for stability as if the bend was eroding away.

The sky got very dark adn the river looked like gun metal rather than tea for a while. The sun shining on the backs of the goat willow trees gave a very strange colour to the leaves and makes a nice photo.

Eventually the rain came and what I thought was going to be a little shower turned out to be quite a deluge. It didn't last long and when it past the sun was out once more and I soon dried off.

It seems months since we have seen so many moving boats in a day. There must have been several boats held up at Naburn lock due to the flood warnings as there were eight or nine boats, including narrow boats, heading down to Selby and beyond. The river remained quite wide but did have a good bends in, especially at Turn Head and Wheel Hall

Cawood swing road bridge was undergoing lots of repairs and was closed. The bridge was opened in 1872 and repalced a ferry. It used to be a toll bridge but is now looked after by the County Council. It has a weight restriction of 7.5 tonnes due the nature of the structure and it's age. However vehicles frequently ignore this and cause damage. The bridge has cameras that record traffic that ignore the traffic lights and also register as more than the weight limit and they receive automatic penalties. In the heavy flood of 2015 the river level was above that of the deck of the bridge.

After passing Naburn Ski Club, and in Acaster Marshes Reach we got a glimpse of Moreby Hall was built in 18 above the trees. The last cruiser had over taken us here. By this time we weren't getting much help from the tide as it was just about stopped flooding at the surface. Moreby Hall was only built in 1828 when the High Sheriff of Yorkshire, Henry Preston, married into another landed Yorkshire family and had a new house built it was completed in 1828 and in today's value would have cost over £3 million. It is Grade II listed. In 2014 it was up for sale for £2.8 million!

By the time we got to Naburn Lock we had caught most of the other boats up as the narrow boats that left ahead of us were just penning up. We had to wait out in the river with the last cruiser too. The right hand lock was the first and is no not used as it is very small. It was built in 1757. Before this the island was built along with the weir that is to the left. A mill with a water wheel was built on the island. There are pontoon moorings that you can see below the weir and in a corresponding position above the weir. The large lock was built in 1888.

We finally got in the lock after three hours from leaving Selby. The bridge is opened/closed by chain round a windlass. Consequently is mainly left open I think.

We stopped and filled with water before moving up to the visitor moorings for a very peaceful night. It seems everybody else had continued on to their moorings or to York. Other than getting drenched from the short, sharp shower it was a very pleasant rip up to the tidal head of the Ouse.

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