Trouble at Bridge. 10th October

Bingley Five Rise to Holden Swing Bridge

The boats either side of us headed off down the five rise at 8 am this morning. As the locks are operated Lillian would get a slight list, we remembered this from 2014. With only 13 miles on the flat to do in the next few days we can take our time.

So Tilly was allowed a morning jaunt outside and Mick was sent out to look at the locks whilst I had a concentrated read of a script. Work! I did have to break off to check that a very barky dog hadn’t got Tilly cornered and then Mick came home a bit early. But he was good and sat very quietly in the corner so as not to disturb me.

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Life Raft Navvies Ark

Once I was finished Tilly was back on board so we decided to pootle along to a more rural mooring for tonight. The pound to Skipton is very picturesque but contains a lot of swing bridges. They are off all types. The first is usually left open to the ABC moorings off side, but today it was closed to the canal. A small push and chance to have a better look at a converted life boat. To me it looks like it has been used in panto somewhere as so many times I’ve had to paint panto wood grain just like it.

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Trouble at bridge

In 2014 Micklethwaite Swing Bridge had just been having lots of work done to it as it kept breaking down, today as we approached there was a van parked on the towpath and two chaps were busy working on something. Apparently last week and possibly yesterday there were problems again and they were here to sort it. A few years ago a large housing scheme applied for planning permission, concerns over access were raised due to the bridge only being a single carriageway. The developers said they would enlarge the bridge to accommodate extra traffic, this seems to have been rumbling on for years, it’s also in a conservation area! The chaps mending the bridge had difficulty with the barriers today, they said something about someone having welded it so boaters couldn’t operate the bridge therefore it stayed open to traffic. Sounds like someone is very unhappy about boats!

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Who’s job is it to clear the goose pooh?

Just as I jumped off the back of Lillian at Morton Swing Bridge it was obvious to Mick that there was something around the prop. Several yards of fishing line later and we were set to swing the bridge. It took forever for a suitable gap in traffic to show itself and when I finally pushed the button to set it going I hadn’t spotted a lady waiting to go over who sped across as my finger jumped off the button stopping anything from happening, phew! The lights were flashing so I carried on when she was clear. The key of power was getting a work out as the next two bridges are automated too, just not as busy. Then we were back to the unlock and push bridges, luckily non too stiff today.

The views over the valley are huge and seem to go on forever, just a shame hedges and houses are in the way at times. Gradually the houses dissipate and are replaced by woodland. The autumn colours are starting to show but luckily for us the leaf porridge hasn’t started to happen yet, clogging up Lillian’s prop.

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Blue sky and cut

dscf8549smOut through the other side of the wood and under Cow Bridge (Lodge Hill Bridge), cattle were crossing when we first came under this bridge and stopped to have a good look at us on our hire boat ten years ago. Now the views are greener and we wanted to try to pull in for the day. However the depth of the canal stopped this on several occasions, we tried and tried but that scrapping noise is never good as you ground, especially when its nearly three foot out from the edge. Eventually we managed to pull in with views on both sides. Just a shame the big view is behind a high dry stone wall!

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View behind the wall

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Not bad t’other way

0 locks, 4.85 miles, 7 swing bridges, 2nd reading, 1 boy and cat sent out to play, 17, 9, 9 held up, 1 chandlers gone, 2 CCTV cameras to catch the dog pooh villains, 1 chilled medication stop missed! 1 stove kept in over night and all day, 1 NB Molly Moo, 5 attempts to moor, 2 wonderful views, 1 new friend, 3 times caught, 4th Cold Feet on i player.

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