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Thursday 31 August 2017

Where is the four rise?

When we left we didn't have far to go to the first lock of the day, Hirst Lock. One boat had passed and we thought we wouldn't have too long to wait for another boat to come along to share with us.

We were right and before we had opened the gates of the lock a boat had rolled up and we shared the rest of the locks of the day with 'Old Friends, Bookends', and lo and behold he was from Beverley and they had a house in Hull and a daughter at University there. That is them ahead of us just after the lock.

You cross over the River Aire a bit further on. There are plenty of trees that hide the river but it isn't quite what it will be by the time it gets to Castleford.

Having travelled up the Dowley Gap 2 Rise the chimney of the Damart Mill announce that we are now at the Bingley 3 Rise flight. I love the mill buildings and the detail that would have cost hard earned money but the owners still smartened up the exterior to gladden the heart for generations coming.

The 3 Rise lift the canal 30 feet and were opened in 1774. By the time they had survived until 1985 they became Grade II Listed. There was a very cheerful lock keeper to help so the girls were happy. 

Thence to the Bingley 5 Rise that was also opened in 1774.  It is a shame that there is now 4 Rise as then there would be a full set from 1 to 5 lock flights! The gradient is 1:5 and the lock gates in the middle are the tallest on the system. The 5 rise is Grade I listed. The first boat to use the lock took just 28 mins. I'm not sure how long it took us, but less than 40 mins I'm sure.

We had to be very careful when getting in the lock as 'Good Friends' and 'Holderness' are long and some of the gates are leaking very badly. Some were like hose pipes so it was a matter of only getting the bow in harms way of the water until the lower gates are closed and we can move astern.
The view from the top is quite amazing as the 60 foot rise in  just 320 distance is a steep hill to climb. As it was a Bank Holiday weekend there were many gongoozlers out taking photos and asking questions, but the girls coped well, along with the lock keepers. I was asked for my Reg. number and I think that is the first time for ages our number has been put in the system. I hope I don't get a letter from C&RT.

We squeezed in astern of a boat moored up on the services and right in front of the tables of the cafe. Luckily we don't have to empty cassettes etc otherwise I reckon. they would have been put off their lunches. The water didn't take long and we were soon off from the top of the locks, with a good lock free run to look forward to, but 5 bridges to operate!

We carried on as we thought we would go and visit the National Trust property at East Riddlesden. The Hall was built for a clothier, James Murgatroyd in 1642 and is now Grade I listed. It is a very short work from the wharf mooring by bridge 197A.

This is the southern face of the Hall and it has a great view of the Aire Valley. Later in the life of the Hall it was rented out and the building converted to several 'flats'.

At the bottom of the 'garden', all that is left of around 2000 acres that went with the house, the River Aire bends around the small plateau that the house is built on.

The rear of the building shows the original house with it's Yorkshire Rose window, then what is called the Great Hall in the middle and the north facade of the Starkie wing that was built by the family of that name around the 17th Century. They lived there for around 100 years before the buildings were rented out as several homes. The Starkie wing was knocked down in 1905, except the front that remains, and the whole building was for sale. A builder bought it with the idea of knocking it down and building new houses on it. Mean time they sold off many of the fixtures and fittings. Until along came along the Brigg brothers William and John, one a Mayor of Keighley, bought it from them to save it. They also re purchased many of the fixtures that had been sold. In 1934 they gave the lot to the National Trust.

The rose windows are front and back and they are certainly a feature of the house both from outside and inside. Helen wants one now. The stone from the building is from Ilkley Moor and has blackened over the years. I don't think it would look as imposing if it was 'stone' coloured.

I was really pleased that we had been able to see the house as we had passed it a few times and it had a really homely feel about it despite it being all stone built and the volunteers telling is in winter it was often warmer outside sometime than in time.

Wednesday 30 August 2017

Saltaire UNESCO site.

We passed through Saltaire as there was no mooring places, but we didn't go too far passed as I had a visit to make.

We moored a little after Roberts park and by the Salts Sports Club. We walked through Roberts Park. It was part of the original plan for the model village of Saltaire and opened in 1871 by Sir Titus Salt himself. It was then called Saltaire, or People's Park, but the land was purchased in 1891 by Sir James Roberts and the statue of Sir Titus Salt was erected on the 50th anniversary of the building of the Mill. Robert's offered the park to Shipley Council in 1910 but after falling out with them gave it to Bradford in 1920 ans named it Roberts Park as a memorial to his second son.

Our objective was the Shipley Glen Tramway that I had never been up before. I was very disappointed when I saw that it was closed! I advanced to take a photo and they told us that as they had to send it to the top one more time for crew purposes we could go up!! Yippee.

One goes up as one comes down. This was taken as we walked back down again. You can see the hauling wires and the rollers that they rest on.

The carriages are red and blue and are referred to as 'toast rack' cars.

There is a maximum gradient of 1 in 7 and travels about a quarter of a mile. It is the oldest working cable tramway in Britain as it opened in 1895. It was due to close in 1982 but was saved by the Bradford Trolley Bus Assoc. From 1994 it was run by a husband and wife team until 2001 when a 125 year lease was given to Shipley Glen Tramway charity and now it is run by volunteers. Well worth the 50p one way.

Salt's Mill was the reason Saltaire came into being. Titus Salt's factory had been in Bradford but was concerned about the health of his workers and decided to relocate to the country side. The site next to the River Aire, The Leeds and Liverpool canal and the railway was obviously a great advantage. The factory was built to the east of the planned town to ensure smoke etc was blown clear of it.

Salt had his architects Lockwood and Mawson zone the housing. These houses are for workers as there is no front garden and a back yard only. The streets are named after the architects, his children and the Royal family.

On the corner of this street is a three storied house and these are dotted about the place and were for single men to share. These homes have a small front garden and were for better paid staff like overseers and foremen.

As you went up the pay scale you got bigger houses and bigger gardens too. The workers were provided with an allotment so they had means to grow their own food.

Managers, teachers and clergy got a nice detached house.

The village/town was there to provide everything and he was ahead of his time with providing alms houses for his elder workers after finishing work. He even gave them a free pension.

An hospital was built to provide for those needs of the people.

Victoria Hall was built between 1867 and 1871 and is a T form. It had an 800 place hall, lecture room, two art rooms, a labratory, gym, library and reading room. It cost 2s a quarter to join.

Opposite Victoria Hall is the Factory School that was opened in 1868 and was one of the first to ensure that children working in his factory only worked half a day and the other half was at school. You maybe able to make out the coat of arms of the Salt family in the middle with an alpaca either side as they supplied the wool. Above the bell tower is a seated boy and girl with a globe between them. It was pretty dark by this time.

There are two lions at either end of the Victorian Hall and the Factory School. Outside the Hall there are War and Peace, this is peace, and out side the school are determination and Vigilance.

The United Reform Church is a Grade I building and was built by Sir Titus Salt between 1856 and 1859. He was brought up a devout Congregationalist and the church was his pride and joy. There are no aisles and soon after the town was completed Sir Titus Salt died and his body was laid to rest in a mausoleum in the church.

Despite Salt's great belief in the welfare of his workers Salt's Mill was the largest in the world when it was built and the 3000 workers worked at 1200 looms that produced 30,000 yards of cloth a day! There were no pubs when the town was built but there are plenty now, one named called 'Don't Tell Titus!'.

Tuesday 29 August 2017

Sun, Shipley and Saltaire.

We slept well and didn't wake up until 0800. I hope that isn't an indication of how tired we are going to be when we get grand kids of our own! (Oh yes it is I hear many saying).

Just round the corner from our moorings, when we finally got on the move, is Whitecote House. It was built in the 1880's and in 1881 was the home of Sam Wescott who was a colliery agent. The post of the swing bridge across the canal, No. 220 linked to the Leeds Quarries that were between the cnal and the river.

And so we come to the first of what will be many over the next few weeks, a swing bridge. This is by Ross Mills and wasn't too difficult. The next few hand-o-matic ones were very stiff and Helen recruited passers by to get them moving for her. It is surprising what blonde hair will achieve.

The tow path was extremely busy with walkers and joggers and the increasing number of cyclists. It is good to see so many people being active, especially this week when we heard that the majority of people between 40 and 60 do less than 10 minutes exercise a month. The canal round Calverley Wood on the level giving views across the valley.

The next first of the trip was our first electric swing bridge. As we approached we could see workers and the box open with the 'guts' of it out. It didn't look good, but they opened it and closed it with no difficulty.

Apperley Bridge is a nice setting for the 2 rise staircase. We waited a while but nobody arrived so we set off up. At the top there were two at the tap saying that it was very slow so we just carried on.

Not much further along is the Field 3 Rise locks. The middle lock has a marker to which you are supposed to fill it. There is a green bar with red above and below, but it doesn't say that at the bottom board, only the top board!

 The view to the north shows the ridges above Baildon on the Ilkley Road. I did start humming to myself the Yorkshire Anthem, on Ilkley Moor Baht'at.

At the top of the Field Locks was a way station for the Leeds Liverpool Canal Walk. They were walking the length of it over the weekend. I'm not for if it was for charity or just for the challenge. I must say that the majority of them looked on their last legs, pardon the pun!! I'm not sure if they do the 127 in two days or the majority of the miles on the Saturday/Sunday and polish off the last few on the Monday. I wonder how long it takes them to recover. It certainly didn't look like they were having fun.

This is the site of the branch to Bradford at Shipley. It was opened in 1777 and mainly handled stone cargoes. It was actually closed in 1866 due to it having become a health hazard. As Bradford had grown the canal was used by factories and the new housing used it as a sewer. It was bought by new people and the majority of it reopened four years later. It didn't make any money and was closed again in 1922. There were plans to open it once more when Bradford were bidding for the European City of Culture in 2008, and the Council own 63% of the route, so watch this space.

The Junction is just through the original bridge and to the left are the Junction Mills.

On the approach to Shipley is the footbridge and just to the left is the old wharf which is now visitor moorings. It makes quite a nice scene with the church on the hill.

There are many old warehouses by the canal in Shipley. The first were built in 1875, encouraged by the closure of the Bradford Canal as the warehouses there would have been unreachable. These were gradually extended over the years. Above we can see warehouses that were built in the 1930's. This was again due to the wool stores in Bradford once again been lost on the closure of that canal. They were the main wool storage places for Bradford. Wool was delivered by canal until 1963 and then was brought by road until around 1990. You can see a boat trying to wind in the distance. There is a bit of a basin there but it is silted up and he couldn't get round at all.

We continued on towards Saltaire. for the night.

Monday 28 August 2017

Armouries, Armley and arriving at the top.

The next day we had organised to meet up with my cousin and some of her grand children in the afternoon so we had the morning free to have a look round the Royal Armouries. Silly not to, as it is free!

This is called Leeds Basin or  the 'Tattie Wharf', and was the start of the regeneration of the south bank of the Aire in Leeds. The basin is protected from flooding of the Aire by the flood gates. A little like Paddington Basin half of it is not available to boaters as there is a bridge across that is not opened and looks like it may be used for children. water activities occasionally. The stub pontoon moorings on the right are for residents and the long pontoon on the right are for visitors. The Royal Armouries is the building on the left and the tower is full of arms and armour and is quite a sight when viewed via mirrors at the bottom. The various levels also give good views of the river, basin and lock areas.

Also like Paddington Basin there are bits of sculpture and art work dotted around the development. This one had no plaque but it sort of made think of a dung beetle pushing it's 'ball' up hill. Maybe the analogy is with a working man or something?

We used the mirror to add to our gallery of pictures taken in mirrored surfaces. I look like I am about to mug Helen in this one.

There was a lot to see and some of the objects were extremely beautiful despite them being used for killing. We listened to a couple of talks that were very interesting and well presented and skimmed through the other galleries. This elephant armour is pretty rare and makes a good picture too.

We left the basin after the children had had there lunch and headed up the Aire to the start of the Leeds/Liverpool Canal. There are a couple of mooring right by the Tetley Wharf, but near a bar so a last resort for us. Leeds Bridge actually marks the western end of the Aire and Calder Navigation that was started in 1700. The first bridge here replaced a ferry in Medieval times. It was widened in 1730 and 1760 and in 1870 this current bridge was started. On the bridge facing us is the crest for Leeds and on the other side are the names of the civic dignitaries at the time it opened.

This is Victoria Bridge and again it marked the place of a dangerous ferry. In 1829 a wooden pedestrian bridge was built bu this was washed away in 1837. The current bridge was designed by George Leather junior, who was the very influential engineer for the Aire and Calder Co. It was started in 1837 and opened in 1839, soon after Queen Victoria came to the throne so it was named in her honour. Through the bridge you can see River Lock, the first on the eastern end of the Leeds/Liverpool. The river goes off to the right and thence below the railway station via 'Dark Arches'. The yeelow boat at the lock is the Dock Water bus and conveys pedestrians from here back to the Leeds Basin by the Armouries. It is free and runs 7 to 7 during the week and 10 to 6 at weekends.

This section of the canal was opened in 1777 after the work had started in 1770. The lock free section between Bingley and Skipton was opened by 1773. The entire length was completed by 1816 after a delay caused by the war with France. Granary Wharf near River Lock has several bars and an hotel and the next lock, Office Lock also has bars but luckily some of the warehouses and industrial archaeology has been saved too.

This is all that can be seen of Armley Mills from the Canal but there is a very big industrial complex behind the wall that is now a museum. The first mills were recorded in the mid 16th Century. By 1788 there were 5 water wheels driving the mills. In this year they were sold and expanded and became the largest woolen mills at the time. After a disasterous fire they were rebuilt in about 1805 using fire proof techniques and it is these building we see. The canal was handily placed for raw materials and to move the finished objects. nearby is Botany Bay Wharf as it was here that the first wool from there was unloaded in England.

This is the west entrance to Kirstall Power Station basin. The Station opened in 1931 and as it was coal fired the coal was brought by the canal. It must have been very busy. It looks like there was a one way system of traffic as there is also an east entrance. The capacity increased to 200 MW but later became oil fired. It closed in 1976 and the basin is now a marina.

The tow path is very busy with joggers walkers and cyclists and is pretty rural min nature and is a very pleasant run out of the city.

We were soon passing the remains of Kirkstall Abbey in the distance. It was founded after a promise by Henry de Lacy that id he survived a serious illness he would build an abbey for the Cistercian Order and hence the abbey was founded in 1152. It was lost wen Henry VIII did his thing in 1538. The buildings and land passed through various families until in 1889 it was bought by Col. John North who then gave it to Leeds council. It was opened to the public in 1895. Apparently some of the stones from the abbey were used in the steps to Leeds Bridge, as earlier.

We were soon at the next lock and we were going to moor up below the lock but we had been been sharing with a boat up some of the locks who had been told not to moor until after the Newlay 3 rise. The moorings looked fine and I though that the locks were closed at 1700. In the end we agreed to go up the two sets of 3 rise locks with them.

It is certainly easier with two in a lock and with more hands. At the far end of Forge 3 Rise locks you can see the box ground paddles that have horizontal paddles, clockwise to open and a check down the side of the lock to see if they are up or down!

Just starting up the Newlay 3 Rise locks. As soon as we were moored the grand kids Mum came to pick them up. It was great to meet them all for the first time, and the boys were very well,behaved and good company. This left us free to sample the delights of the Abbey Inn just down the road and what a lovely find, plenty of choice in the beers and the wood fired pizzas looked great.

From the pub we walked to my cousin's house and over the River Aire which has not been very far away from the canal all day. It looked lovely in the evening light. We were given a lovely meal and it was great to catch up with all the stuff before walking back in the gloaming to the boat. It was been a really good day.