Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Going back home

Here it is Tuesday and I haven't put finger to keyboard for a couple of days, very remiss of me, lazy.
On Sunday we completed our trip into Goole harbour. It was only a short run, so we didn't set off until about 10.00 o'clock.
Out journey took us past the end of the South Yorkshire Navigations, where we normally turn when heading south for the River Trent. At the junction there is a large lake used for sailing boats.
Two little wind jammers out playing

It looks as if they're trying to stop us riff-raff from the canal joining in their fun!

I think he's guarding 'his' rock
 We passed this one remainder of a tar works (whatever that is)

 At one point the canal heads straight for Drax Power Station

On arriving at Goole we found a spot on the visitor moorings. There aren't many of them, so we were lucky. The mooring is right in front of the Waterways Museum, and they were doing a roaring trade with their trips around the dock on a 'Tom Pudding' tug boat.
These boats, an idea by William Bartholomew. Originally, the idea was for up to 6 compartment boats, as was their proper name, to be pushed by the powered boat, but it soon developed into up to 20 compartments being towed by the tug. Some folk said that they looked like a string of black puddings.
We decided to take one of the tours around the harbour on her.

Wheldale, the last of the tugs

 The bridge of 'Wheldale'

 There are some big boats around here
 Here they are handling bio mass for Drax 

 This is the Tom Pudding lift, which picked up and emptied the compartments full of coal

Goole was constructed solely as a port town. Before the canal was constructed there were only a few cottages here, but it quickly grew.
 The Lowther Hotel is said to be one of the earliest buildings on Goole

 This coal chute holds record for the fastest loading of ship.
It came in, was loaded, and left on the same tide.
 Salt and pepper. The old and new water towers in Goole.
When it was built, the large one was the largest in Europe.

 Some idea of scale, that's a 60 ft. narrowboat.

The man in the gantry crane unloading steel

 EEMS DELTA inching into Ocean Lock

Looks like there's still horse power coming along

We enjoyed our stay in Goole. On Monday we took a walk around to watch a large ship come into Ocean Lock. It's quite a sight watching one of these large beasts maneuvering in the estuary and then creeping carefully into the lock. I have a video of it, but can't edit it properly in time to get it on here.
Monday afternoon we set off heading back home in Leeds, only traveling as far as Whiteley Lock. Today we continued on as far as Woodlesford.
Passing Knottingley I noticed that the boatyard there seems to be doing a roaring trade. It looks as if they are converting several large river commercial craft into living accommodation, as well as 
maintenance on smaller craft.

A workman welding bits onto a narrowboat

We'll be back in Leeds tomorrow morning, dull and dreary again.                                              

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Castleford to Pollington Lock

Another glorious day as we cast off from Castleford and headed into Bulholme Lock where we dropped down once again onto the river.

This part of the river passes close to Ferrybridge Power Station, which dominates the view from the river.

The third power station to be built on this site, it's known as Ferrybridge C.

Approaching Ferrybridge Lock I was surprised to find the gates shut. This is a flood lock, and the river is hardly moving. The landing for this lock is very high, you have to stand on the roof of the boat to get off.
We cycled through, and as we chugged away the CRT operators turned up and open the gates wide. It's a question of timing!
After Ferrybridge the canal passes Knottingley and here the navigation splits. Straight ahead is the way to Bank Dole Lock which lets you down to join, once again, The River Aire, and hence the Selby Canal and River Ouse.
We turned right, down the Knottingley and Goole Canal. The book is not very clear on this point and denotes it as both the Aire and Calder and the Knottingley and Goole.
Just after the junction the canal passes Kellingley Colliery. This was one of the newest generation coal mines and is sadly marked for closure in about 2015. 
A real shame as the area is dotted with coal burning power stations, all seem to be using imported coal, because it's cheap.

Kellingley, a doomed colliery

We continued down the canal, which is wide with long straight bits between the slight bends. The land is flat and the wind whips across the water whenever it gets the chance. Today the sun is shining and the wind almost non existent.
After passing through Whitley Lock and Pollington Lock we have moored up on the visitor moorings just below Pollington.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Lyra moves again

Stop Press!
We've managed to unplug and take a few days cruising.
The last couple of days have been interesting. Damon has added me to his car insurance and we've been able to borrow the car while he is at work. The first day (Wednesday) we drove out and did a bit of window shopping around the furniture establishments. We can't actually order anything until we get access to the new house to see where things will go. It was a bit of a shock to learn that lead times were 6 to 12 weeks on a lot of the stuff.
Thursday we drove out to Harlow Carr gardens for a look around. Cath has become quite keen on the idea of growing things at the new house. She's already mapped out a few things she wants me to make, like raised beds for the veg. All very well, but filling them with earth could be a problem. Keep shoveling!
This morning we pulled the plug and chugged off as far as Castleford. Our intention is to go to Goole and visit the Waterways Museum there.
The weather has been superb, and I've caught a touch of sun. The forecast is for more of the same tomorrow. I can take any amount of this.
We did have one first today. As we approached Nostrop Fall Lock the amber light changed to red, then green as the gates opened. We have never seen a lockie here in the 4 years we've been around the area. Always room for something new.