Foulridge Limekiln

We moored just across from the Foulridge Lime Kiln. Today the Kiln looks almost like it did when it was first built.

On the site there’s a sign, explaining the kiln’s history, with a drawing showing how lime was created.

Copies from the sign:

The Kiln probably dates to between 1790 and 1796 when the local section of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal was constructed. Enormous quantities of lime were required to make the lime mortar used in the building of the canal locks, wharves, ridges, tunnels and reservoirs, and for the clay lining to the canal bottom.

The Kiln is one of two built at either end of the Foulridge Tunnel, doubtless by the navvies engaged by the Leeds & Liverpool Canal Company.

In the early days limestone came from Lothersdale by ‘Lime Gals’ (Galloway ponies) via Black Lane Ends. Other limestone carries from Skipton and the Craven area came via the old packhorse track at Tuber Hill. When the canal opened supplies came came from Barnoldswick where a branch was constructed from the main line of the canal into the Rainhall quarry so that limescale could be loaded directly into the barges from the working faces.

The nearest coal seam was at Marsden (Nelson) but with the rough track and steep hill to traverse, a pair of heavy cart horses would do well to transport a ton of coal a day. After 1796 it was easier, and cheaper to bring coal from Burnley by canal.

The opening of the waterway saw an expansion of neighbouring villages and towns which led to an ever increasing demand for lime. As well as being used in mortar for building, lime was used for plastering and in the form of a lime-wash to waterproof walls and lighten interiors, in agriculture as a soil improver and in the preparation of hides.

The Kiln was capable of continuous production and appears to have operated until the late 1860s when the Rainhall quarry closed.

Coal and limestone layers were dropped from the top into the kiln.

That’s Us Moored Up For The Weekend

Tesco delivered yesterday, which could have been a bit of a disaster seeing I hadn’t noticed new gas pipes were being installed outside the front of the Anchor Inn, and the temporary traffic lights made it impossible for the Tesco delivery van to park near Cyan. The driver was so obliging, parking across the road from the Inn; he made three trips with his barrow to bring 13 crates of shopping to Cyan. Every Tesco delivery driver we’ve had has been so helpful. Top marks Tesco! Hope the delivery will last us the month, baring shopping for fresh fruit/veg, milk, bread and eggs as we travel along.

Despite having a full boat of food, we kept our date with the Anchor Inn for two steak lunches. While waiting for lunch John was taken down the cellar to see the stalactites (growing down) and the stalagmites (growing up). Fascinating stuff, and if you’re in the area, I’m sure the Inn’s staff would be pleased to show you too.

Couldn’t help but snap the old picture of the Anchor Inn that was framed on the wall. The picture is (probably) of 3 generations who owned/lived/worked at the Inn.

Tried to decipher the sign:  Anchor Inn – William Wid??? – Licensed Vituallar – of Foreign & British Spirits – Ale Porter & Tobacco

The blue-green algae has been a bit of a worry, we’re no experts of course, but it looked like Cyan was surrounded with the stuff. Rusty can be a little excited getting off and on the boat, several times he’s jumped off when he wasn’t supposed to and ended up in the water. If he tried one of his ‘tricks’ here, it could be the end of him!

We’ve also noticed quite a few dead fish in the water. When John mentioned the dead fish to a fisherman, he explained the fish probably died because they are now spawning. Apparently fish spawn among reeds and roots on the canal edge, the vigorous process of spawning results in damage to the fish, leaving an open wound for infections to kill them. Or…. could it be the green-blue algae that is killing them? We’ve probably seen about half a dozen largish dead fish, even though we haven’t really been looking for them.

We’ve tried to take a pic of the algae, and you can just about see it. It appears similar to an oil slick on the surface of the water.

On the towpath, under Salterforth Bridge by the Anchor Inn, we snapped this plaque explaining how the wooded rollers (mentioned in our previous post) worked.

I’ve deciphered the painted wording, copy typing it below:

When the canal turned a sharp bend, as at Salterforth, it was difficult for horse-drawn boat to steer, and the tow rope would pull the boat into the bank instead of around the corner. To stop this from happening, vertical rollers were fitted to upright wooden posts, the tow rope passing across the rollers and keeping the pull on the boat such that it was not a problem for the boatman steering the boat.

Tow lines would rub against the bridge arch after horse had passed underneath. This caused grooves to be worn into the stonework. Vertical wooden rollers were fitted to most bridges to stop such wear. The iron bearings for the wooded rollers guard irons often survive, though most of the rollers have now disappeared. Here they have been renewed.

This morning we set off for a two mile cruise to Foulridge Wharf, where we’re now moored on the 72 hour mooring. We’re right next to the services, rubbish and water. So when we leave here on Monday to go through the mile long Foulridge Tunnel, Cyan will be well prepared for our continued journey.  We’ve taken to being attached to the bank at weekends, leaving the canal to hire boats and weekend boaters. Plus, this weekend I believe is a F1 Silverstone weekend, Wimbledon finals and the second test against South Africa! (note from John; there is also the 6 hr endurance sports car race at Nuerburgring.)

Here’s a few snaps from our journey, including ‘evidence’ that we’re now crossed into Lancashire from Yorkshire.

County Border – Lancashire Yorkshire

Here’s us moored up till Monday – we’ve a lot to explore.

Our view from the back of Cyan

Today we’ve done just over 2 miles, no locks, fair digital TV, 12 Mg of WiFi.

Enjoying The Curly Whirly

We left our pretty moorings rather later than we planned due to the wet weather.

We’d planned to continue our journey on Sunday, but Sunday’s weather was grey and wet. We eventually untied from our mooring after lunch on Monday. John made good use of Monday morning before we left to dismantle the plumbing in the bathroom. We knew there was a slight leak, which had been bugging John for weeks, if not months. After mopping up water under the bathroom floor, John eventually discovered a joint from the shower drain was the culprit. So despite the horrible weather, Monday morning was a success.

We pootled round the ‘Curly Whirly’ of the Leeds to Liverpool Canal, and stopped to take on water for half an hour, continuing on until we moored at the bottom of the Greenberfield flight of three locks. We’d intended to climb the locks Tuesday morning. But what a day Tuesday was! It was wet and cold, and raining quite heavy at times, for over 24 hours. There was nothing else for it but to light the fire, bake a batch of scones, and cuddle up to the TV to watch Wimbledon.

Despite the weather, there were some hardy boaters climbing up and down the locks. John shouted to one crew that he could tell ‘proper’ boaters on wet weather like this. The crew preened themselves on their sacrifice, that was until John added that proper boaters are holed inside their boats supping tea in this wet weather. Luckily by their laughter, they understood the joke.

From before 5 a.m. the sun has been gloriously shining this morning. While John was tucked up in bed (he’d had a upset tum in the night), Rusty and I had a lovely early morning walk under bright blue skies, and warm sunshine. When we returned John was dressed, and had washed up. He was looking and feeling a lot better. We decided to make our start to the day.

Cyan was soon prepared for our journey, and her ropes untied, while I set the first lock. As if on que, just as I opened the gates for Cyan, another boat joined us. It’s always good to share lock work. On the way to the next lock a lockie cycled down the towpath, he stopped to add Cyan’s C&RT number to his iPad. We’ve been ‘logged’ several times over the past several months. Obviously we’re being tracked.

At the top of the locks we stopped to use the services, empty the rubbish (which was collected in a very obscure place), and to enjoy a magnum ice-cream each, bought from the coffee shop.

We are now at the summit of the Pennines, the highest part of the whole canal system.

Passing another bit of Canal history, this wooden roller was used to help handle horse towing ropes.

We stopped again at Coates Bridge (#154A) for an hour or so while John visited a petrol garage with a Spar shop attached for bread, milk, eggs, and one or two other things. He noted that on the other side of the road from the garage, there was a building site, with a huge sign saying a new Lidl was soon to be built there. I’m making a note just in case we return to the area one day.

We’re now moored for the evening outside the Anchor Inn (just after Salterforth Bridge #151), on a ‘2 day’s visitors mooring’. As we’re really low on supplies, I thought this is a good spot for a Tesco delivery. So I’ve been busy on-line shopping, and Tesco delivers tomorrow.

We’ve promised ourselves lunch at the Anchor Inn, they have an all day ‘special’ on Thursdays, it’s a steak dinner for two, including wine for £25.

There are notices along the canal, not from C&RT, but from ‘Public Health Information’ warning of ‘blue-green algae‘. The notice is warning people not to go swimming in the canal, and to keep dogs away from the water. Within 15 minutes of a dog ingesting the toxin, of which there’s no antidote, the dog’s liver could be destroyed, obviously killing it. It’s serious stuff.

On Monday we travelled 2.5 miles, with no locks. WiFi 50+meg!

Today we’ve travelled 3 miles, and 3 locks. WiFi 30 meg

Wish The Weather Would Make Up Its Mind!

Poor Cyan’s had a bit of a hard life since the Spring. She took several nasty bumps to the left cant rail when going through 2 tunnels on the Llangollen, and more recently, when going through Standedge Tunnel the side got badly scratched within the decorative paintwork.

So on Friday, seeing the weather forecast predicted fine weather for a couple of days, I thought it was a good time to do some repair work. Friday saw me busy with sandpaper, red-oxide primer, and a role of masking tape. I sanded the damaged areas, getting down to the bare metal, and roughly sanded ‘good’ paint areas to make a key for new paint. Where there was bare metal, I gave the area two coats of primer, and I covered the red coach stripe with masking tape, protecting it from the blue paint I’ll be using.

John removed the three loops on the top of the gunnel that gave us a problem in a lock last week, leaving an area that needed primer and painting.

Then the heavens opened, which wasn’t supposed to happen according to BBC Weather, and the Weather Network’s websites.

Rusty’s not the only one fed up with rain either!

Yesterday morning the weather was glorious, and the canal looked ethereal due to a mist rising over the water. It didn’t take long thanks to strong sunshine, for Cyan to dry.

After I painted the blue cant rail, up to the masking tape that was over the coach stripe, I pulled off the tape, and was ‘blank blank’ annoyed to find the masking tape was taking off some of the paint underneath. It wasn’t supposed to be like this!

Fast forward several hours, and red, blue, black and off-white paint pots and brushes. The whole fiddly mess was sorted! I even got a “Well Done” from he that doesn’t do painting.

On top of that, Rusty got to have some fun too.

You can’t really see Cyan, but trust me, she’s moored at the other side of the field. It feels very odd to watch boats (seemingly) glide through a field.

The pic below shows a bit of canal history, the post is positioned on a bend, and was used to help horses pull boats round a hard bend. There’s evidence on the post of rope burn grooves.

Wild flowers galore along the banks. I even saw a huge hare last evening, he was massive!

Apparently, today there’s a Grand Prix in Austria, a test match at Lords, plus I’m sure there’s a tennis player John can support at Wimbledon, which means we’ll be staying put for another day!

We’ve a plan to move through the three Greenberfield locks tomorrow. Once through we’ll be on the summit!

How Quick A Disaster Can Happen

For some reason we both didn’t sleep too well last night. On the bright-side it gave us a chance to watch a very peaceful day break with a cup of coffee. The weather was drizzly and fresh. Some would say it’s the best part of the day, waking up with the birds, when all the world appears to be still.

We had a leisurely breakfast of toast; which was made ‘magical’ by the antics of what looks like a red squirrel (Google told us there are red squirrels in the area). I never knew squirrels could hang upside-down by their tails. Our squirrel did, while he stripped the seeds from a sycamore tree. No doubt to store for the winter – or is too soon for that?

We had intended to climb 3 locks before mooring. The last of the three locks being Stegneck Lock (#35). Reading one of our books “Canals of Great Britain, A Comprehensive Guide” the book said, quote:

“The top lock of the flight is Stegneck, where a mentally handicapped trip boat got caught on the cill in 1998, and then dropped free, drowning four of the party. This was the first inland accident investigated by the marine accident people, and resulted in the Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents, Rear Admirable John Lang, having to do some hasty reading on canals.”

We met a lovely couple, Sue and Dave (hope I’ve correctly remembered their names?) who were going up the locks, so we paired up, sharing the locks and the work!

When we reached Skegneck lock, I was a little mindful of the people who lost their lives at this lock. Dave and I opened the side sluices to raise both boats, as soon the boat’s bows were out of danger of being flooded by the gate paddles, we started cranking the mechanism… until a loud shout from John “STOP”… Cyan had managed to hook her gunnel under a ‘lip’ in the lock wall and she was tilting over as the water level was rising. Luckily by the time Dave and I had gathered our senses to stop water entering the lock, making the situation worse… Cyan managed to break free of the ‘lip,’ not before the tilt had reached an alarming angle!

It really is scary how quickly disaster can happen. We escaped without any damage, except for a bent staple or loop on the top of the gunnel. The left of the picture shows the bent staple, and the right shows how it should look. We’re really pleased the staple ‘gave way’.

Our maps had shown there were moorings after the 3 locks. When we got to the area, the moorings were ‘long term’. There was nothing left for it, but for us to continue to climb (with Sue and Dave) the Bank Newton Locks, a flight of seven.

Quite a few boats were coming up and down the locks, and we were organised by a lockie on a bike! His main aim was to try and save water.

We’re not quite at the top of the Pennines yet, we’ve got 3 locks (Greenberfield) to rise yet – even so, the views over the Pennines are breathtaking. We’ve found a lovely secluded mooring.


Today we’ve travelled just over 3 miles, 10 locks, and we’re moored where we can get Sky News, and WiFi is 45 Mg.

What A Wet Day!

Today we’re sitting tight, it’s raining, and intermittently quite hard too. We might even light the fire later on, just to take off the damp edge.

We had a lovely stroll around the beautiful village of Gargrave yesterday, I was hoping to find the Roman ruins of Kirk Sink, a second century villa, probably built by a ‘Romanised Briton’.

What we did find; were these lovely stopping stones over the River Aire which runs through the village of Gargrave (as does the Leeds to Liverpool Canal). The stones look to be mill stones, perhaps they are mill stone rejects? Funny I can’t find any reference to the placement or the age of these stepping stones on the internet.

Just had to take a picture of the roots of this tree, it looks like the tree has grown through the wall of a building. Amazing how the roots have twisted themselves through the stones. The tree looks (to me) to be a ‘field maple’, but don’t quote me…

This picture below was taken from a bridge that is slap in the middle of Gargrave. As I said, the village is so beautiful.

Off We Go Again!

We’ve been moored on the outskirts of Skipton for about 6 days, and have become to love Skipton despite the bad weather. The town has an abundance of local shops. It’s been fun shopping for the ‘bits ‘n’ bobs’ on our ‘mental’ shopping lists.

Within a stones throw of our mooring was a fantastic park, where Rusty could have a full-stretch run of his legs, careering after his ball. He’s also made friends with a group of doggy chums.

The weather over the week has been abysmal, and I think there was a spell where it rained for 30 hours non stop. I’m sure farmers and gardeners were grateful. We’ve been sensible and stayed tucked up inside Cyan.

Friday evening after dinner we were compelled to take a stroll into town. The weather was pleasant and we were being drawn by the sound of loud music and people enjoying themselves. We found the source, it was a pub; but it could have been coming from several pubs, such was the buzz in Skipton. John had a great time listening to the ‘King’ blaring, while relaxing over a pint in a pub garden. People are so friendly, though Rusty’s good at ‘breaking the ice’, and we struck up a conversation with RSPCA official who took a shine to Rusty.

John had seen a statue from afar, it’s a statue of a cricketer; and being a cricket fan, we just had to find out which Yorkshire cricketer.

Obviously Freddie Truman was a local cricketer, but the only relationship to Skipton we could find; was that he married his 2nd wife in Skipton’s registry office. Such is the irony that he advertised cigarettes, and he died of lung cancer, rather like the ‘Marlboro Man’. John’s got happy memories of him and his Dad listening to the radio in the early hours of the morning to broadcasts of games between England and Australia.

A few days ago, Terry who’s the owner of ‘Alfie Narrowboat’, contacted us through this website. He  was heading towards Skipton, and hoped we could meet up. Alfie and his ‘travelling’ friend (on another narrowboat) moored up next to us. Terry complimented ‘’, and wished he had the same to write his adventures on Alfie’. Within hours was born.  Terry is now busy recording his story to  It was lovely to meet Terry and Meg his little furry friend, and swapping ‘boating’ stories.  Have a great journey Terry! No doubt we’ll cross paths canals again.

Yesterday (Saturday) morning was a bright, though breezy day, and it was time for us to move on. It’s always an exciting time setting off on a new ‘experience’. We left Skipton with a promise “We will return!”

Weather was rather breezy, and several times Cyan was pushed ‘off course’ by a sudden gush of wind.

We are now deep into the ‘Yorkshire Dales’ and what a glorious sight it is too!

Fascinating; miles and miles of beautiful dry stone walls.

Because it was so breezy, I was pleased to do all 3 swing bridges, and 3 locks.

At the second lock we met and shared locks (2 and 3) with a lovely couple from Tucson, Arizona. They have their own narrowboat which they live on and tour for 3 months of the year. While it’s great to share lock work, it’s really fun to meet people, and learn about other people’s stories.

We moored (for the next few days) at the top of Higherland Lock (#32), in the village of Gargrave, where we’ve a plan to explore the village tomorrow.

We cruised 4.75 miles, 3 locks, 3 swing bridges, and moored where WiFi is on fire! (over 50 Mg)

Time to Fix the Stove.

Summer maintenance of the multi fuel stove is a task most boat owners put off, like me, until the last minute.

The flue was swept on an earlier sunny day so it remained to replace the firebricks and the broken glass in the door.

The door glass accidentally cracked, to be fair the glass was due for replacement as it had started to look like crazy paving which is a sign that the glass could shatter at some point. The bricks were worn and cracked and replacements were purchased end of April, from a canal side chandlers at the Middlewich/Trent & Mersey junction.

I enquired about a replacement glass and was staggered to find locally a small piece of glass  priced at almost £40.00!

Boaters who C.C. understand the problems related to goods shipped to an address when cruising the network! I spoke with the staff at Skipton Post Office and confirmed I could have a package delivered to the Post Office for colection.

During yesterday morning I sourced a replacement glass from  in Aberdeen, at half the local price with free 1st class postage. A user friendly website,  easily identified the glass for our stove and placed my order. Gave Fast Glass the address and waited….

This morning a mobile call from Skipton P.O confirmed the package was with them!  Ordered at 1.20pm from Aberdeen and delivered to Skipton by 11.00am the following morning………..Well done the Post Office! Well done Fast Glass Direct!

While the rain *issed down this afternoon the glass and fire bricks were installed, …..out of the rain a little sunshine..etc..job done! (I will give the stove a clean tomorrow)


Wet dog in a narrow boat!

Well looks like we have missed the summer here in Yorkshire, The rain gods have taken to thoroughly washing the area. It has not stopped raining hard for 24 hours and there is more forecasted.

We are moored in a convenient spot with access to the town and country park, but with everywhere awash and the towpath under water attempts to keep the inside of the boat dry are challenging……Even more so, when needs must Rusty has to step outside. The only folk in the park are other dog owners all faced with similar problems……Joggers and baby buggies are all absent.

Returning to CYAN and avoiding transfer of rainwater and mud from the deck into the salon is a problem, add to that Rusty shaking hard to dry his coat is a nightmare! He then ventures into the boat and finds a suitable place to dry out, all 40 kgs of him…………Just hope the sun will return soon to Yorkshire…….

Looks like we will need to light the fire tonight…..ahhhh thats another story.

Overstayed Our Welcome

Our moorings at Skipton was for 3 days, problem was; when our 3 days were up, the weather changed to wet and windy. Not great for cruising, especially when there’s so many swing bridges to open, managing to ‘hover’ Cyan while one of us ‘swings’ the bridge can be tricky. The weather was a little more favourable yesterday, therefore we took the opportunity to cruise ’round’ the corner, going through two swing bridges, but not until we availed the use of Skipton’s services before we left.

While we were moored in Skipton, we had a good shopping session; we needed brass hinges, white spirits, small paintbrushes for sign writing, water hose adaptors, and many other bits and bobs that’s difficult to find while cruising. We also did a shop at Tesco, replenishing the store cupboard (which is under the pullman’s seat).

We also had a problem with our EE dongle, it just wouldn’t connect. After a long telephone conversation with EE’s technical dept., and explaining to them why they can’t send us a new dongle through the post, they suggested they’d delete our current EE contract, and for us to visit EE’s shop in Skipton for a new contract and dongle. It all turned out rather well really, we’ve got a new contract with data for 60, instead of 32 Mg per month, our next 3 months payment is ‘half price’, and as we’re a loyal customer renewing our contract, we’ve been award a 10% discount on our monthly payments! Must say, the EE coverage as we cruise round countryside and inner cities has in general been brilliant. Everyones a winner in this case!

We’ve got two working dongles (and now one broken one), and to help us obtain a strong WIFI reception we’ve stuck a velcro sticker on the back of the dongles, with corresponding velcro stickers on the inside windows of Cyan on all sides – the dongles are then ‘velcroed’ to the window that has the best ‘line of sight’ to a WIFI mast; this little trick helps enormously.

Since yesterday, we’re moored just after Gawflat Swing Bridge (#176) which is within easy walking distance to the lovely town of Skipton.

There’s also a fantastic park that’s just over the bridge, and Rusty’s having a ball (literally).

We’re staying ‘put’ for today, the internet is brilliant, and it’s given me this opportunity to update website – it’s been getting a little ‘away’ from us.

Yesterday we cruised ‘half a mile’, and manoeuvred 2 swing bridges. WIFI 40 mg