Monday, 13 August 2012

Wednesday 1st August to Sunday 5th August 2012

22 Miles, 28 Locks, 21 Swing Bridges for this week

Totals: 1277 Miles, 986 Locks, 39 Tunnels, 18 Lift Bridges, 79 Swing Bridges


We have moved a bit further these first few days than we had originally intended but the result is that we arrived in Leeds on Friday – we have teamed up with Anne and John on nb Tumba Rumba to get through the swing bridges and the locks travelling into Leeds.
East Riddleston Hall



One of the real "highlights" of the Leeds and Liverpool is the charming environment in which you find so many of the many swing bridges - after a while they do tend to lose their appeal - especially when they need the help of passsers-by to open them - Diane had to engage two young lads to help her - at least that's what she told me.

Just when we had got through what seemed like the 1000th swing bridge (figures show otherwise) we found ourselves looking over the valley and a set of lock gates - luckily we couldn't see the other 5 lock gates going down which constituted the Bingley Five Rise


Yet another swing bridge to start the descent - entering the top
lock at Bingley
And naturally enough after such a good day when there was any number of places we could have moored up to enjoy the day even further, the very moment we move into the top lock of a staircase - where you are committed to going down the lot of them - what then happens - the skies opened up and whilst at the back of the boat there was some protection - the poor lockster had absolutely no hope


one very wet lockster - so wet the pants have already shrunk

Despite the rain - Bingley Five Rise is a very impressive
structure

After the Five Rise there was the Three Rise but couldn't see a One Rise (oops that is just a single lock).
We took a bit of time out to moor up at Saltaire - A World Heritage Site - the efforts of Titus Salt in the mid1850's to make the lives of his workers a bit better have shown in the buildings and environment which are his legacy to a time and place long ago


The church of Titus Salt

Some of the houses built for workers and overseers

The mills as they stand today - the exteriors as they would have
been 160 years ago

We spent about 3 hours wandering the streets and buildings of Saltaire and finding out about more of the history of the area - like many areas of the industrial north, jobs and markets were lost when the first effects of global trade on a grander scale made it's mark England.

Yet another 3-lock staircase on this section of the canal

Diane and John (nb Tumba Rumba) in another lock

The remains of Kirkstall Abbey in the midst of the fields

Do you like my new hat?

Arriving into Leeds was a bit like a few other cities we have been into, but most like going into Manchester - both have relatively rubbish-free waterways - and good moorings in the centre of town. We found a mooring spot with power and water; managed to reverse into the spot almost perfectly (with spectators - a win for us); and then set about doing our tourist bit.

The renovated interior of teh Corn Exchange - wouldn't have looked
like this 100 years ago

Leeds Council have set aside many parks around the city - just like this one

The town hall

We certainly have come a long way

These two chimneys have been modelled along the lines of towers
found in Italy - Flornece and Genoa

Leeds waterfront in the morning

A change for the management

Enjoying the Olympics in the Millenium Sqaure
just before the heavens opened and managed to
clear the area

Madam le Pompadour with woolen wig - a reminder of one of
the products which helped to build Leeds

The Doctor Who exhibit in the Leeds museum

We had become ready for some of the downpours along the way, but the rain that came down on Saturday evening was one of the biggest we had seen; the water rose up and up and up - so much so that the boat in the next finger mooring had its bottom almost on the stone edging of the mooring; due to the sloping nature of the walkway between we remained quite safe - but it was a lot of water falling and staying around - but like other times it managed to disappear in an hour or so




The river level however did rise significantly over the night as the water flowed in from other parts - it didn't make it to the yellow section on the indicators but was not far below - we spent Sunday engaged in markets and watching the water levels in aticipation of our Monday journey onto the river.

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