Wednesday, 18 November 2009
New Waters - The Huddersfield Narrow
We left our mooring at the Portland Basin yesterday morning in glorious sunshine and light winds and turned right onto the Huddersfield Narrow, passing through the 'Asda Tunnel' as we headed up into the Pennines. New waters for us.
At the first lock just after the tunnel which psses beneath the store, I encountered this contraption. This is the hydraulic mechanism that opens the bottom gates. 490 turns later, no I must not exaggerate, it was only 300 turns, I 've got the gates open - stop for breather.
Here are the rams on the gates. I was hoping that the rest of the gates were not going to be in this format or my day was going to be either very short or I was going to be very knackered. Fortunately this was the only one - so far that is.
Some of the canalside buildings as we make our way out of Ashton and into Stalybridge - not that you would know where one town ends and the other starts!
Here we are moored on the first visitor moorings at Stalybridge, just above lock four west. Do we stay? I quick recce of the possible moorings in Stalybridge proved not to be cat friendly and as the weather was due to be awful on Wednesday we were anticipating having to stay put for at least two days so Stalybridge was not going to have our company - we need to move on but before we do....
Joe and Graham remove two shopping trolley's from the visitor moorings. They will probably be back in the wink of an eye but hey, we tried.
We moved through the CENTRE of Stalybridge, the canal is now a focal part of the Town, crossing through the town square and out into the countryside. I rather liked it despite the litter and graffiti. We passed under the electricity pylon that spans the canal and serviced the boats just after lock eight. The services are festooned with razor wire so sadly they must attract the wrong kind of attention.
Taking advantage of a ready supply of water we emptied the well deck and gave Caxton a clean before moving off through locks nine and ten into a lovely wooded cutting - now it was raining, and the wind was picking up, and there was no pub or restaurant to hand to celebrate Joe's sixtieth, so I cooked last night for the crews of Caxton and Matilda Rose - chicken curry, sag aloo, sag paneer and tarka dhal.
It is now hammering down outside but if we get a window of fair weather this afternoon we will move on again.
Posted by Lesley Nb Yarwood