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Tour 2002

Index

11 - Sutton Bridge to Melbourne, via Stamford Bridge - River Derwent and Pocklington Canal.

Saturday 6th July 2002

At 09.10 we shut the bottom gates of our overnight haven - Elvington Lock and started filling the lock. The top EA guillotine is now electric, but can be manually overridden if it fails. The "wheel brace" type paddle key, a set of laminated plastic picture instruction cards are kept in the steel cupboard on the left hand side of the lock facing upwards. Access is gained by a BW Bogmaster key. Firstly you un-padlock the hatch to the sluice within the top guillotine gate and insert the wheel brace and have a good twiddley session. There is a micro switch to stop the electric guillotine working unless you have closed the hatch. This can be over ridden by sticking your finger on it! Another BW padlocked hatch uncovers the control buttons on the other side of the lock.
The lock took ages to fill, on the way up Neil got out the chainsaw and cut off all the birch saplings that were getting hold in the chamber brickwork. The guillotine did manage to lift when there was still the impossible couple of inches still to go. The live aboards wondered if we were just going to leave the guillotine up, seeing as there was unlikely to be anyone else about. We thought better of this due to the rather dodgy nature of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust owned bottom gates. After negotiating the lifeboat, which was somewhat in the way, off we went at 09.45.
The river was as people had told us, much more open and less wooded above Sutton Bridge. There as actually quite a lot of boats moored above, including one permanently on the water point, just after the bridge. Easy passage up to Stamford Bridge. A good few glaring anglers on approach to Stamford Bridge. 
We arrived in the de-gated lower lock chamber visitor moorings at 11.40. This chamber was right under the side arch of Stamford Bridge and was not really necessary for shallowish draughted boats. Above, the upper chamber is completely intact, with a full height EA guillotine...............all it needs are bottom gates! Although the EA claim no responsibility for navigation (bloody cowards!!) there is an EA sanitary station with water point just by Stamford Bridge Lock.
The crew change worked fairly efficiently. Peter Wright and Trevor Burridge came up in Ian Clarke's car and he went back in that. Robin arrived at about the same time with his first mate from his last school trip - Nathan. Robin departed soon after to dump his car at Barmby Sluice, to get a taxi back to Elvington Lock, where he would meet up with us again.
We reversed out of the chamber moorings at 14.55. John had hi-jacked Peter and Nathan as crew, leaving Neil and Trevor on Earnest. John made somewhat of a pigs ear of winding below the lock, further upsetting the already upset fishermen! Neil managed a somewhat more gentle wind, by planting Earnest's stern on the bank and letting the current take the bow round.
We arrived back at Elvington at 16.30 and waited about for Robin who arrived at 17.30. John was abandoned alone on Frogmoore to do his ridiculous good Samaritan act. Neil said that he would certainly loose a window and scratch up his new paintwork. Out we locked at 18.00, Robin at the helm and Neil on the de cratch covered front wielding the yet to break, Earnest chainsaw. Fine control by Robin as we hacked a somewhat wide path for John the tug masters exploits.
Arrival at the entrance to the Pocklington Canal was at 19.20. The entrance and the cut up to the lock had just been drag lined dredged by the EA and an easy passage ensued up to Cottingwith Lock. We arrived at Melbourne Basin in the half light at 21.45. There were, amazingly a couple of other narrowboats on the Pocklington and we did a slightly unconventional cross mooring from the very short fixed mooring jetties. After this it was a quick sit down and immediately eat chef Trevor's "Frozen mince and veg stew (bollocknase) and mash" (the chef's description, not mine!) Directly after it was a quick leg to the Cross Keys pub, for a pint.

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After a long wait for filling, we exit Elvington Lock. River Derwent.

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The reason for the long wait in filling Elvington Lock! River Derwent.

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We exit Elvington Lock. The lifeboat conversion is Frogmoore Towage Co's next project. River Derwent.

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Coming out of lock cut (to right hand of picture) onto river above Elvington Lock. River Derwent.

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Sutton Bridge. River Derwent.

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Looking back down at Sutton Bridge. Blue narrowboat is on water point. River Derwent.

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River Derwent above Sutton Bridge.

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Kexby Bridge. River Derwent.

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 Abandoned railway bridge just before Stamford Bridge. River Derwent.

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Abandoned railway bridge just before Stamford Bridge. River Derwent.

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Stamford Bridge - Lock cut / chamber is under left hand arch. River Derwent.

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Stamford Bridge upper lock chamber..............all it needs are bottom gates. River Derwent.

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Stamford Bridge visitor moorings are this side of the old lower lock chamber. River Derwent.

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Stamford Bridge visitor moorings are this side of the old lower lock chamber. River Derwent.

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Stamford Bridge, looking up at the upper lock chamber. River Derwent.

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Waiting for crew change at Stamford Bridge. River Derwent.

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The first weeks crew! Stamford Bridge. River Derwent. Picture Martin Wilson (auto timer!)

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Trevor in command as we leave Sutton / Elvington Lock. River Derwent.

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Leaving Sutton Lock cut. River Derwent.

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Coming back under Wheldrake Ings Bailey Bridge. River Derwent.

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The remains of North Ings Draw Bridge, AKA as Broken Bridge. Just to think that last time we came back down here there were RSJ's over the navigation arch and we went round the right hand side, OVER the lower piles! River Derwent.

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Looking back at Broken Bridge. River Derwent.

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This, we presume was the "Ferry Boat Inn" and now appears to be a private house. River Derwent.

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Looking back at the ex "Ferry Boat Inn" moorings. River Derwent.

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We have just swung round and are heading up the entrance cut to the Pocklington Canal. This, the old course of the River Derwent, had VERY recently been dredged and and easy passage up to Cottingwith Lock ensued. River Derwent.

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Entering Cottingwith Lock. Pocklington Canal.

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Leaving Cottingwith Lock. Trevor, Robin and Peter look on. Peter seems worried about making the pub! Pocklington Canal.

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Nathan ready to jump of to attack Swing Bridge No1. Pocklington Canal.

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Hagg Bridge. Pocklington Canal.

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Approaching Gardham Lock in the half light. Pocklington Canal.

The Tour Continues...


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