Yesterday, Dobson’s Staircase Locks were rather hard on John’s legs. We knew we had to pass through ‘Field Staircase Locks’ (a triple staircase lock) today, and wondered if it was manned by lockies? After a phone call to the C&RT office in Wigan, a very polite lady told us Field Locks wouldn’t be manned, but if we had a problem, C&RT could arrange for a lockie to help.
We decided we’d take our time, we’re in no rush, and we’d take the day in our stride.
When we got to Field Locks, we were fortunate to find another boat waiting to go up through the locks, with a crew of 5!
There was a wide beamed boat coming down the locks, which meant we had to wait. The lady on the widebeam was single-handedly working the locks, until 3 of the crew, from the boat in front of us, lent her three pairs of hands; she must have been delighted!
The widebeam was called ‘Raven’; and we were surprised to see a crow (or raven) hopping about the roof of the boat. John asked if the ‘raven’ was a pet! The boater was watching the bird with as much disbelief as us, and he told us the bird had just landed on his roof! (It’s a funny old world!)
I joined ‘the crew’ to work the locks, while John navigated Cyan, with the crew’s boat through the locks. Working the locks with others is always interesting, and normally there’s always time to learn something new.
On leaving the locks, we approached Buck Hill Swing Bridge (#211) which was open. Luckily the boater who opened the lock waved us, and our ‘companion boat’ from the locks, through. At the next bridge, our ‘companion boat’ opened the bridge, while Cyan and the boat behind (who opened the last bridge) cruised through the bridge ‘hole’. The ‘system’ was like ‘leap frog’.
At the third bridge, it was our turn to open the bridge. Fortunately for John, it was an automatic bridge, and the only exertion he had to do was to insert his key, drop/lift two barriers, and press a button.
We stopped just after Shipley Junction, while I visited Aldi. With milk, bread, fresh fruit and veg purchased, we set off once again.
You can tell we’re in Yorkshire by the excellent cricket grounds…..
…. and lots of glorious scenes.
Eccentric or what! We discovered a chap building a boat out of organs (of the musical kind)! The whole contraption looked to be made of a variety of old musical organs. Dread to think how it’s going to get a ‘safety certificate’.
Through the afternoon we steered our way through Hirst Lock (#19), and the Dowley Double Staircase Locks.
Eventually we moored at the bottom of the famous Bingley Three Rise. It’s exciting because tomorrow we’ll be ascending through the Bingley Three Rise, and the Bingley Five Rise Locks. These locks are famous in the world of canals, it’ll be another ‘Rite’ of passage for us.
It’s been a busy day today, we’ve travelled over 6.5 miles, 1 single lock, 1 double lock, 1 triple lock, 7 swing bridges.
WiFi 6meg. good 4G signal.