Thursday, 31 July 2014


Geoff's reconnoitre yesterday decided us that we would moor short of the visitor moorings.   They were not at all as we remembered them from 7 years ago.  We remembered them as being nicely in the open not with tall thick trees on one side.  However it must be our memory that was at fault as the tree could not have increased so much in 7 years.

The day dawned gloomy again and the there were several heavy showers, but by the time we set off we had just the odd drizzly shower.

A big day today as we had our first lock since the top of the Bingley 5 rise over 2 weeks ago.   No other boats around so we had to rise on our own, not my favourite occupation in these double locks.   However after my stern warnings to my lockman to take it very slowly, we rose without too much drama.

Although it could not be described as busy up here, there is a reasonably steady stream of boats in both directions, including a lot of dayboats from Skipton and Snagill boatyards.

Moored before the 2nd lock opposite the cricket ground.   One of those moorings where we can get the bow in but not the stern.  However it is nice and open and not far into town (village??)   There is also no limit here and it is 72 hours on the visitor moorings.

After coffee I took a walk into Gargrave and discovered that I hardly remember it at all...sad thing when your memory goes.

Total distance:2.16 miles 
Elapsed time:1h29m50s 
Average speed:1.45 mph (2.11 lock/mph) 

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Goodbye Skipton

Whilst the south still seems to be basking in sunshine, in the north things have degenerated somewhat.
After a last shop in Skipton, we set off in the gloom and dare I say cold........still we were not planning to go far.
We found yet another nice mooring in the open just before the swing bridge in Thorlby

For most of the day we were on our own but later in the afternoon one other boat moored some way behind us.   Note the glowering sky
By late coffee time we were moored up and could indulge in one of the delicious cheese scones we had discovered in Skipton.

Geoff then departed, together with his faithful friend, to walk the couple of miles into Gargrave to suss out mooring for the morrow

Total distance:2.03 miles 
Elapsed time:1h 9m 28s
Average speed:1.75 mph (1.75 lock/mph) 

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Return to Skipton

It is a good job that Monday is one of our two light eating days as this was what Geoffrey polished off after his Sunday lunch yesterday.  Admittedly I was allowed a couple of spoonfuls.
Since this photograph was taken he has had a visit to the barbers!
So earlyish Monday we gently wandered back to Skipton, after going in the other direction for about a mile until we could turn round.

We used the sani station and then tried our luck round the corner after the junction and we were in luck.  We found a congenial spot with a nice wide bit of towpath for Barney.  He likes to sit and watch the world go back and is very responsive to the many people who stop and make a fuss of him...he likes them even better if they have doggie treats in their pocket. 

So we have stayed here a couple of night doings not a lot, mooching around the town, little bit of shopping, lots of reading...aint life grand.    The only blot on the horizon is that we seem to be in a black hole for the TV....never mind we have 8 episodes of Endeavour recorded!!!

Tomorrow it will be onward towards Gargrave......but not all the way......
Total distance:3.22 miles 
Elapsed time:2h26m57s 
Average speed:1.32 mph (1.32 lock/mph) 

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Weekend in Low Bradley

Last evening pre supper drinks went on quite late and by the time we sat down to supper we were not as hungry as we might have been so it was probably a good job that Geoff had put the top of the cooker down.....this turns off the the jacket potatoes we still raw!!!
It had been an extremely hot day so it was wonderful to sit alongside the boat as the evening cooled down with convivial company
I had great plans for early Saturday morning......We were moored conveniently for me to black the side, and it was the side that had not been done this year.  We had borrowed a pair of small shears from Sunflower so Geoff's task was to cut back the grass for me.......he was really thrilled had been too hot to do it on Friday evening so he also had an early morning job on Saturday.

By 9.30 all was completed and I could cook our usual Saturday cooked breakfast, the washing was done and hung out to dry and we were about to settle down for a lazy day when Rob came and offered us a lift to Bolton Abbey.   They were going on a 3 hour walk not too far away and would drop us off and pick us up a few hours later.    This was a great opportunity as I very much wanted to go and was determined that when we went back to Skipton that we would attempt the bus journey and get a taxi back.  Geoff was not all that keen but he could see that I was determined so agreed to accept their kind offer.   His vision of sitting doing nothing with the Saturday paper slowly receded!

I have to concede that it was extremely hot but it was well worth the visit.  I loved visiting the church again after 7 years, although I am not so sure I needed to do the Wellie Walk as it is called.   It is up hill and down dale, luckily mostly in the shade.......Geoff just wanted to prove that it was too hot for me.    However eventually I could walk no further so when he wanted to walk back to the pub for a pint he had to go on his own.   I found one of the ice cream vans and settled myself under a tree in the shade to eat an enormous ice cream cone.

Wonderful house in the grounds...presumably still a private home?
Ruins at the far end and restored chapel at the other end
The interior of the restored church

The River Wharfe runs through the grounds providing beaches for the families
The stepping stones are obviously fun but I preferred the bridge crossing

The car parks were very full but although the place was so busy, the grounds are so large that it did not feel overcrowded.
A fantastic facility for families in the area
A much earned rest after doing the Wellie Walk  (Wellies were not required)
Magnificent tombstones
Sunday we went to the local Church of St Marys.  The interior of this was not quite so impressive as Bolton Abbey, but we had a very warm welcome.   The church itself was not a typical Anglican Church as it had been a Methodist Church until the 1960's we understand. (Not verified)

For the second Sunday running the local pub was not serving Sunday Roast as they had an event on with BBQ etc.   However just under a mile walk back towards Skipton took us to the Bay Horse.  This was a chain of Vintage Inn's and served an excellent Roast Lunch which we enjoyed sitting outside alongside the canal.    It would have been even more perfect if the next table had not had a family of children who were running slightly amok much to Geoffrey's disapproval!

Tomorrow we shall probably head back towards Skipton.   We had rain in the night and a wind shift and a much needed drop in temperature.   A few showers today but luckily we did not get caught in any of them.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Skulking in Skipton

I have been very neglectful of my blog this week but I blame the weather......the extra hot days have penetrated this far north.

We did eventually move into Skipton on Monday
No locks on this stretch but plenty of swing bridges to keep us on our toes....lovely shade by this one.

Not a lot of choice of moorings and we had to be content with a space just before this bridge by the junction.  It was not ideal as there was a lot of pedestrian and cycling traffic on the towpath which impeded Barney's habit of lying alongside the boat!
We spent 2 days there whilst enjoying the delights of Skipton and then moved further back to a more congenial spot.   Out new place did not say anything about length of time we could stay either, unlike the first place where it was 3 days.  Not that that seems to make a difference to two of the boats moored there. They were there when we arrived on Monday and when we left on Friday!  I did notice a CRT chap walking down with his little electronic gizmo tapping in numbers but not sure if they ever act upon the information.

Total distance:4.91 miles 
Elapsed time:3h19m45s 
Average speed:1.47 mph (1.47 lock/mph) 

Our mail had arrived safely in Skipton using the Post Office for Post Restante...although one letter had the spelling of Restante incredibly distorted.   However the post office was a lot more efficient than the one in Shipley.    Still no post from PO Counters re the complaint I have filed........

Skipton is a delightful town with a lot to offer, a great pity it is not further South as we are looking for a congenial small town to move house to..........but not this far north.

The start of our evening walk
which passes below the castle walls before reaching the lovely shaded woods....still very hot
The remains of what was a huge gathering here for the Tour de France a couple of weeks ago.

As well as the High Street there are some lovely little shopping areas.

Holy Trinity Church...we were not here for a Sunday but Geoff managed to visit on Wed just a a Holy Communion Service was about to start......after which he visited the cafe there and fell foul of Chocolate Cake!

Entrance to the has been far too hot to visit the castle I fear.
The busy junction
My ambition whilst here was to take the bus to Bolton Abbey.  We had visited it by bus 7 years ago when we came through, but sadly last year a lot of the bus services were cut and it is not as easy.  However after a lot of ferreting around I discovered that we could get there with only one change and we could get a taxi back (it is only 6 miles away) and eventually persuaded Geoff that we would do it on Thursday.  However this heat wave shows no signs of abating so reluctantly I conceded that it might be a bit hot for me.  I have designs on doing it next week if it is cooler.

Meanwhile after an early morning visit to Tesco, conveniently close to the boat, we turned round at the junction and have come back out to Low Bradley for the weekend in the countryside.....still baking hot.
A very gently and pleasant early morning cruise.  We have moored just in front of Sunflower with Rob and Ann on board.  We last met them on the Wigan Flight 7 years ago.......small world.   had coffee together this am and plan on evening drinks......

Total distance:2.30 miles 
Elapsed time:1h7m37s 
Average speed:2.04 mph (2.04 lock/mph) 

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Still at Kildwick!

They certainly entered into the spirit of the Tour de France in this part of the world
Well the plan was to go to Skipton for the weekend but this was such a lovely spot we decided to stay a while.   There are no mooring restrictions, a church and a pub close by and a small Co op a little bit further walk.   All we need .....
Friday was spent with me doing some work and Geoff & Barney exploring the surrounding area.  We did not have the extra hot weather that the rest of the country seemed to be experiencing, just nice and warm without being unpleasant.   Saturday was completely different as we had heavy pouring rain most of the day. Barney was not impressed when persuaded it was time for a walk.....
A lovely weather vane on top of the school
Friday's view....not Saturday's!
Just beyond the next swing bridge there are more houses with lovingly tended gardens
In fact this whole area seems to have neat and clean villages and even the canal in places is very neat and clean

Sunday morning we went to St Andrews Church where they served delicious home made cake with their coffee afterwards...a definite plus.

We decided to cancel our booking for lunch at the pub.  They advertised Sunday Roast at £6.95 which seemed very reasonable but upon checking.......when we went for a drink on Friday evening, they said they was off for the summer.  They just had their normal menu which was not exciting and more expensive......tourist time I guess.  So instead we have a sausage casserole in the oven!

In fact there are far more boats around all of a sudden.  Lots of hire boats from Silden and also day boats from Snagill up ahead.   Some of them go past at a moderate speed but there seem to be an increasing number who have lost the art of slowing down for moored boats.   It is not the hirers in the main either!   Maybe it is just us and we go past boats too slowly.........

We have been following all the talk of huge thunderstorms over the country with fantastic lightning, but they all seemed to have passed us by.....unless of course we have slept through them.

We really are planning to move tomorrow.......................

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Hop, Skip and a jump day

No particular destination in mind, but the plan was for Skipton at the weekend so we didn't want to go too far.   Barney and I walked as far as Silsden and detoured to the shop.  Just as we were leaving there we followed a boat through the first swing bridge and Geoff returned the favour for them at the next closed one.
There are so many swing bridges on this stretch it does make life a little easier if there is another boat near by.

However before we could go through the next bridge at Kildwick the mooring looked rather inviting, so we stopped and found a place mostly in the shade as the weather was threatening to be very hot again.

We cant afford to pass by views like this

en route we passed some wonderful gardens

We were moored and settled in time for coffee.

Total distance:2.46 miles 
Elapsed time:1h38m49s 
Average speed:1.50 mph (1.50 lock/mph) 

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Heading for Skipton.....also in slow time.

The reason for the slow time is that we have to leave Petroc whilst we go south for the wedding of nephew Marc to Anastysia in early August.  If all goes to plan we have arranged to leave Petroc in Barnoldswick Marina for 2 weeks and daughter Boe will collect us in our car.  The following weekend we will be looking after Giles and Zan's boys whilst they go off to a wedding in foreign parts.   Interspersed with this will be visits to friends.

So we lingered for a day at the top of the Bingley 5 rise.   Geoff took the opportunity to sample to local buses and went into Keighley in the morning yesterday and I did likewise in the afternoon.  It is quite strange to for those of us who live in Cornwall to walk 5 minutes to a bus stop and be presented with a selection of 4 different buses all running approximately 10 minutes apart.....

The mooring was lovely and open and sitting atop the surrounding countryside.   We are not at the summit of the Leeds Liverpool yet, but still quite high up.

I am not sure what the lanterns were in aid of.
Keithley's World War 1 Memorial erected in 1924
No prizes for guessing this one.
The view from our kitchen window
and looking back towards Bingley and the Damart chimney
Today we set off reasonably early as there was rain forecast for later.   No more locks for a while but a plethora of swing bridges!
Barney and I set off for our morning stroll, the first bridge was left open and the second one refused to open. This was Micklethwaite Bridge 199 which had been closed for repairs on Monday and which had decided to play up again.   The barriers have to be put down manually but the bridge itself is electrically operated so when it won't budge there is nothing we can do.  CRT were very speedy with their response I must say.  In fact they were so quick that I was still trying to figure out how to put out a tweet about it!!!   I was persuaded last year by John & Fi on Epiphany to sign up to Twitter but I have hardly used it and now don't know how to tweet!!!!   I thought I managed it on Monday but now can't work out how I did it....
The plan was to stop before Silsden but we had some difficulty fining a spot that was not too shallow to get in, however we managed eventually and were safely moored before lunch just before Silsden.  We have only managed to get the bow in but that is enough.   Though when Geoff walked ahead a little later just round the corner was a long run of Arnco and better mooring, but we couldn't be bothered to move!

En route we stopped to buy milk at some place whose name I can't remember.....and found just next to a pub, a tiny greengrocer's shop  with lovely fruit & veg and a lady who served unusual.

We actually passed about 5 boats this morning and then met one going our way just before we stopped to moor.   Still very quiet up here though.

Total distance:5.33 miles 
Elapsed time:4h5m35s 
Average speed:1.30 mph (1.30 lock/mph)

Monday, 14 July 2014

Bingley 3 rise and Bingley 5 rise in slow.........time

We moved across to the lock landing just before 8am, having already decided that we would wait a while to see if another boat appeared to accompany us up the locks

We waited in vain and so just before 9 a very friendly lock keeper let us in

They do look quite daunting from down below. 
48 minutes later we are 30 ft higher at the top of the 3 and looking back at Bingley
The 5 rise is but a stones throw around the corner and the lock keeper said the upper lock keeper had said to wait at the bottom in the hope of another boat............

At this time of the morning there were no gongoozlers around.
We waited for nearly two hours but again it was in one else seems to have got up this morning.
The leaky gates gave our cratch cover a very good wash down!
Going up double locks alone is not one of my favourite pastimes.  However the lock keepers know their job and it was all quite gentle and only a small amount of wandering.   The trick is to keep ones nose gently on the cill as you rise, however with leaky gates it does mean water in the cratch.  Luckily we had closed the inner doors!

and now we were another 60 ft above Bingley
An easy day for Geoff on the locks and gates
We pulled over to the right by the cafe to use the sani station and then moored on the other side.  We shall stay here a couple of days.   I have designs on an ice cream from the cafe!!!

We were lucky with the weather, just one shower as we neared the top and the temperature remained very bearable much to my delight..

At about 6pm the only other boat of the day appeared from the top of the locks, so glad we had not waited longer.....

Total distance:0.37 miles 
Travelling time:1h52  Time en route 5 hours!

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Sunday in Bingley

Out for Barney's early morning walk I surveyed what is in store for us tomorrow.  First the Bingley 3 rise and then these, the Bingley 5 rise.   The 5 locks raise the canal over 60 feet.

Later in the morning we went to All Saints Church where we were surprised to see a group of Sea Scouts.  It was Sea Sunday so we should not have been surprised but they are quite a long way from the sea......

Although you cannot see in the picture above all the paving stones are old gravestones with the inscriptions on.

A good lunch at the Brown Cow pub and a lazy Sunday doing not a lot!

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Up to the Bingley 3 rise

We decided to move up today to make the church and the pub for tomorrow more accessible.
So we went up the 2 rise locks and about a mile, swapping our rural scene for an urban one.   Having said that it is not without its charm and on the plus side the moorings just below the Bingley 3 rise are on the off side to the towpath, so we are not bothered so much by cyclists.

For quite a few miles now the towpath has been part of the National Cycle network and whether moored or walking it can sometimes be hazardous.

I do like these CRT notices
To be fair there are a large number of cyclists who are very polite and do manage to say thank you when you step aside for them (providing you have heard them coming from behind!) However there are also some who seem to think they own the path and just whizz past you as though they are royalty.   In some cases whizz is the operative word as some of them seem to go at a rate of knots, not slowing down at all as they go past.  perhaps it is the influence of the Tour de France.

We set off just after 8 which was just as well as by the time we moored up it was getting extremely hot.
Approaching Bingley

There are some BIG chimneys around this part of the world.
No prizes for guessing whose factory we are moored beneath
Rail, Road and canal altogether, and Petroc all alone.
We have seen 1 wide beam go up the locks today and half a dozen narrow boats have come down but it is really very quiet here.   There is noiise from the traffic and the trains but after a while you cease to notice it.   In fact as I write this you can hardly hear any of it a it is all being drowned out by the rain!!   The rain arrived about 8pm as forecast and is now quite heavy...still so long as it gets it over during the night we are not worried.
Total distance:1.20 miles
Elapsed time:
Average speed:1.06 mph (2.84 lock/mph)