Friday, 5 September 2014

The Bingley slog

Thursday 4th September 2014
Last night we walked up from our mooring into town and had a lovely meal at Aagrah, an Asian restaurant, part of a local chain. The food and service were excellent, I even managed to find room for an ice cream to finish off with.
This morning we set off at a leisurely time through the iconic canyon of Saltaire's mills, past the deserted visitor moorings seen here on the right. There are so many restrictions on these moorings that very few people bother to use them. Word has it that when they converted the mill into flats one of the residents took a dislike to having boats near his flat, so he kept on complaining to the then BW and later CRT who finally caved in and put a load of restrictions on, the worst of which is no overnight mooring. Memories of folk who buy a house in a quaint village and then complain about the church bells!
Running through the canyon of Salt's mills

We negotiated hurst Lock and then carried on heading for Dowley Gap where another staircase lock awaits us.
Looking through bridge 206  Dowley Gap bottom lock can be seen

 There's a lot of water pouring over the bottom gates

Just before the bridge we had passed our companions from yesterday, Laurimar, and decided to wait here for them to make up a pair again.
As I have said many times in the past, "no good deed ever goes unpunished", I foolishly cycled the lock in our favour expecting Laurimar to turn up shortly, but then along came a boat wishing to go down so I had to help to cycle it again., Then along came the hotel boat Lady Teal, so we let her go before us while we waited.
 Lady Teal, a wide hotel boat offering luxury cruises

Soon the landmark of the tall Damart chimney appears as we near Bingley and the famous 3 and 5 rise staircase locks.
 One of Bingley's landmarks

As we approached the first set of 3 locks Lady Teal was ahead and the lock keepers prepared the lock and waved her in.
Once she had cleared the first chamber I was able to start preparing it for our ascent. Not long after arriving another boat turned up and then another, so we weren't last at least.
A queue is building up waiting for the locks 

Lyra and Laurimar start their journey up the 3 rise. The two women in the picture are CRT office people who have taken a ride with Laurimar to gain experience on the canals. It's a scheme called buddies, started by CRT to get staff out of the office and onto the water.

A view from the edge, showing how deep these locks are.
It's a maelstrom down there as the water pounds in to fill the chamber

Once clear of the 3 rise we continued on the short journey to the bottom of the 5 rise. Lady Teal had stopped for lunch so we were quickly into the bottom chamber and on our way up.
Clearing the top lock we cruised on about half of mile and found a mooring for the night.

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