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Tour 2003

Index

29 - Huddersfield to Stalybridge. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

Monday 28th July 2003

It was an early start at 06:40, Neil took the promised shots of Justice and Earnest. No other boats awake, so we had this brilliant sunny morning and the HNC to ourselves....YUM! No problem with water levels above the first two locks and we trundled along at mostly tickover. 
At Lock 7 E we stopped in the empty chamber and had a sit down breaky. After a break of 20 minutes we were off again. Water levels OK all day until above Milnsbridge, where Neil had to let a little water down a couple of times.
One of these occasions was in the pound between Locks 19 E and 20 E. As on our last passage there was a large "something" reef, right by the pair of security light poles, this time Linda got Earnest really wedged on it and we had to let water in from the pound above. Again we had to let water down from our intended destination pound, to clear the traffic cone "slalom" that had appeared from the bottom in the pound below Lock 21 E. We were finally on the Water Point in Slaithwaite, above  Waterside Lock 21 E at 12:30. 
These are now officially Long Term Moorings, but the only boat on there soon left, Huddersfield bound and we pulled the boat up off the Water Point. In the afternoon Linda wandered up to Marsden, reporting a lack of boat situation above, then returned on the train taking a couple of minutes. 
Neil and Peter did boaty things, Neil stowed the anchor and anchor dustbin, made up a bolt from scrap bits-of-bolts for one of the broken rear slide bolts, while Peter demolished the faulty gas regulator / auto changeover valve and found the fault - one of the diaphragms had a little tear in it. 
A later wander into town - good range of local stores, produced yet another push on hose fitting for the main water hose - hopefully this cheap Taiwanese copy of a Hozelock original will be better than the two useless ones we last got. 
Another problem was that the OK "Zam Zam" Indian takeaway had been seriously vandalised. The laminated plate glass window had been smashed in several places.....and the front door was gone! While Neil was examining the sad remains an Asian bloke in a car stopped to comment that this was a bad attack "this time". When Linda and Wendy went out later, the "Zam Zam" was open for business, so we felt obliged to give it our custom again. All the food is prepared in an on-show kitchen - as last time we (they?!) over ordered, so we still had some left over for the next day. 
The Shire Cruisers NB Cornwall arrived at 16:30, after having left Huddersfield at 08:00, with BW assistance, some 3 hours longer than out 5 hour passage up from Huddersfield. Thank god we don't need "assistance"! NB Gelibean past at 20:45 and moored above Lock 23 E.

Tuesday 29th July 2003

It was a reasonable morning weatherwise, so we started off during the WWW's first dog walk of the day. This was predictably at 06:40. The crew of Shire Cruisers "Cornwall" were still fast asleep, so we did our normal stealth pull away - ropes off, fenders up, push off, engine on, then straight away in tick over. 
After passing through locks 22 E and 23 E we spotted NB Gelibean, the crew were awake and involved in dog walking. The guillotine Shuttle Lock 24E was past with out incident, apart from the liveaboard owner in one of the few boats below complaining that in using Lock 23 E we had thrown him out of bed as his boat bottomed in the shallow sided pond above - all meant in good spirit as he was glad that the canal was now seeing some use. 
Although we were first up above Slaithwaite we had more water supply problems than our last passage, but careful water letting down (controlled by mobile fone) ensured we did not steal to much of our water above, just clearing a couple of top cills and by-wash reefs below locks. 
At 09:25 we were moored just below Pig Tail Lock 32 E, to await the 13:00 BW assisted passage up to Marsden. As before we put our bow line round the cycle barrier and let the stern float out a fair way, as we knew levels would change dramatically as the other two boats came up and yesterday's west to east convoy came down. Lock 32 E is chosen as the end of the totally boater operated section, because it has one of the main feeds entering just below the lock. 
NB Gelibean was not far behind in arriving, followed a fair time after by NB Cornwall. The BW bods arrived at 13:00 and at 13:10 we started up to Marsden. As before the short pound between locks 34 E and 35 E caused Earnest to bump the cill, while exiting Lock 34 E, but this was cured by a without engine power push out by three BW bods. 
Smudgees Lock 37 E had been partially "mechanised" since we were last up. A small Kubota excavator bucket arm was attached to the top gate, with a length of (blue) rope, this and a gentle nudge from Earnest was used to crack the gate open, seeing as the balance beam was on it's last legs, sporting two lots of steel reinforcements which barely held it together. 
At 14:40 we were up the top and out of Railway Lock 42 E and after a 10 minute summit level cruise we were tied up below the railway bridge, to await the locking up of the tunnel and end of trip boats for the day, when we could moor up in deeper water, just outside the tunnel. NB Gelibean came bowling along after about 20 minutes and tried to moor above us in the small section right by the railway bridge, just after a narrows. Neil pointed out that if they did stop there a late extra convoy of one boat would have to pass. Predictably they could not get into the bank far enough to guarantee this, so carried on to amuse the Visitor Centre by mooring out side. 
After the Tunnel Foreman had locked up, Earnest and Cornwall moved up. Being just the three boats for the convoy we all fitted on the Waterside Inn side, where there were actually a few bollards! Earnest managed a water fill up from the hose provided, Neil did most of the tunnel prep work (except the cratch, seeing as it was on and off rain) and at 18:45 we met up with Martin Clark for another booked meal in the excellent Tunnel End Inn. The crew of Cornwall appeared later on for an impromptu bar meal and the crew of Gelibean for a drink.

Wednesday 30th July 2003

We got up around 07:30 and took the cratch and cover off and stowed it inside the boat. The tunnel team seemed keen and preparations were well advanced by the time Martin Clark arrived back for animal transport services. As is always the case, BW decide the order of boats in the convoy, so it is no point stuffing your self right up against the tunnel gate, expecting to be the first in the convoy. 
Cornwall was first, followed by Gelibean, with Earnest last. We set off at 09:05, with a kids birthday surprise party taking up most of the outside area. Neil had seen the whole thing before.....so actually amazed the BW staff by taking a nap. Linda sat out the back, mainly talking to the MC. 
The passage seemed slower, but was in fact a LOT quicker, just under two hours. There was a slight delay as we ground to a halt following a steering motor cut out going, this was quickly reset. The "gusher" pipe exiting from one of the rail tunnel adits was not any where as bad as last time, rather strange, seeing as we recently had a lot of rain.
So we exited Diggle end at 11:00 and due to us all getting bunched up for the off-side wait, we were condemned to go down last on the assisted Diggle Flight, and hence below. 
In between the sometimes thunderous down pours (which were used to good effect in cleaning off Earnest) we managed to completely de-tunnelify Earnest. Even less gunwale scrapes than last time were noted. At 13:45 we sauntered up to the locks, just as Gelibean was exiting Lock 32 W. We had a BW bod with us all the way, lock wheeling and putting back security padlocks. 
Linda steered and Neil tried out the supposedly stiff direct action angled paddle gear. No problem if they were greased up using a medium throw windlass. BW bod told Neil that the missing paddle gear had gone away to have the over-geared Fenner gear boxes fitted. Neil ended up helping Mr Gelibean, Mrs Gelibean was in fine form, disappearing just as the gate opened or blaring out her favourite tune from the deck mounted waterproof speaker.
The weather continued to be VERY changeable, so Neil just got wet. Eventually we exited Wool Road Lock No 24 W at 15:25. Both Gelibean and the somewhat faster Cornwall carried on to Saddleworth, mooring up for the night at the Visitor Moorings, just above Wade Lock 21W. 
We of course were committed to Stalybridge, so trundled on with renewed vigour. Martin Clark turned up at Lock 13W, closest to his home and Ed Mortimer appeared just above Stalybridge. Owing to all the rain and the incompetent narrowboat in front -  Letimbou, leaving a lot of paddles up (the best one was when Peter A arrived to find them trying to go down in a lock with ALL paddles up) we had a very good passage down, even Lock 10 W and 9 W were past with out problems. 
Just after Ed joined us he pointed out the innocuous "speed camera", mounted on a wall. This was put in on the insistence of English Nature and takes a couple of piccies of each boat passing through, sending images back to BW South Pennine Ring. We stopped in view and Neil put on an impromptu "Roof Ballet" spectacular for the BW spies!
Eventually we arrived at Stalybridge Tesco moorings at 19:30........predictably it started raining again as we all went into town for the "Society Rooms" Wetherspoon's. Not so good here this time.....service was appalling and the food somewhat overcooked............not the usual Wetherspoon standard. 

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Firth Street Bridge No 20. Huddersfield.  Huddersfield Canals.

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University Footbridge No 20 A. Huddersfield.  Huddersfield Canals.

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Commercial Street Bridge No 21. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Looking back at Lock 1E, Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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The lowered section above the old Lock 2 E. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Looking back at the old Lock 2 E. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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The lowered course of the canal beneath Queen Street Bridge - Bates Tunnel starts just after this bridge. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Bates Tunnel. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Emerging from Bates Tunnel into Lock 2E of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Lock 2E. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Lock 2E. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Chapel Road Bridge No 23. Lock 3 E used to be just beyond this. Sellar's Tunnel now starts here and Lock 3 E has been repositioned just beyond Sellers Tunnel. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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The new Lock 3 E. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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The new Lock 3 E. The course of Sellers Tunnel can be followed below. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Longroyd Bridge Lock No 4E. Springwood Railway Bridge No 26 beyond. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Mark Bottom Lock 6E. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Fountain Lock No 7E. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Armitage Bridge No 31 and Roller Lock No 8E. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Isis Lock No 9E. Milnsbridge. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Isis Lock No 9E. Milnsbridge. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Isis Lock No 9E. Whirley Bottom Bridge No 32 beyond. Milnsbridge. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Spring Garden Lock No 10E. Looking up at Library Lock No 11E. Milnsbridge. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Library Lock No 11E, Cawlersley Lane Bridge No 33 beyond. Milnsbridge. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Looking back at Library Lock No 11E. Huddersfield Narrow Canal. Milnsbridge. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Milnsbridge. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Rough Holme Lock No 12E. Huddersfield Narrow Canal. Milnsbridge. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Golcar Aqueduct. Milnsbridge. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Holme New Bridge No 36. Milnsbridge. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Holme Mill. Witham Bros Bridge No 36 A beyond. Golcar. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Ramsden Lowest Lock No 13 E. Golcar. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Ramsden Highest Lock No 14 E and Ramsden Mill Bridge No 37. Golcar. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Ramsden Highest Lock No 14 E and Ramsden Mill Bridge No 37. Golcar. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Ramsden Highest Lock No 14 E. Golcar. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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The bendy bit above Ramsden Highest Lock No 14 E. Golcar. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Golcar Brook Lock No 15 E. Golcar. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Golcar Brook Lock No 15 E. Titanic Mill the other side of the valley. Golcar. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Peter A follows Earnest up to Lowest Westwood Lock No 16 E. Lowestwood. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Titanic Mill. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Lowest Westwood Lock No 16 E. Lowestwood. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Lowest Westwood Lock No 16 E. Lowestwood. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Looking back at Lowest Westwood Lock No 16 E. Lowestwood. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Low Westwood  Bridge No 40 and Highest Westwood Lock No 17 E. Slaithwaite. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Highest Westwood Lock No 17 E. Slaithwaite. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Highest Westwood Lock No 17 E. Slaithwaite. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Cas Lock No 18 E. Linthwaite. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Holme Lock No 19 E. Slaithwaite. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Looking back at Holme Lock No 19 E. Slaithwaite. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Lees Mill Bridge No 41. Slaithwaite. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Spot Lock No 20 E. Slaithwaite. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Looking back at Lees Mill Bridge No 41. On both our passages along the HNC we encountered something serious in the cut opposite the factory lamp pole. Slaithwaite. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Looking back at Spot Lock No 20 E. Slaithwaite. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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The old disused Lock No 21 E. The new lock is situated the other side of the new bridge above. Slaithwaite. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.


Passing through Slaithwaite. Looking back at Pickle Lock No 22 E. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.


The Zam Zam Indian Takeaway has suffered a yob attack since our last visit. Slaithwaite. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.


Dartmouth Lock No 23 E. Slaithwaite. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.


Close up of the guillotine bottom gate of Shuttle Lock No 24 E. Slaithwaite. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.


Shuttle Lock No 24 E. Slaithwaite. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.


Shaker Wood Lock No 25 E. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.


Looking down from Shaker Wood Lock No 25 E. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.


Shaw Carr Bridge No 48 and Skew Bridge Lock No 26 E. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.


Skew Bridge Lock No 26 E. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.


Mill Pond Lock No 27 E shrouded in Misty drizzle. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.


Bank Nook Lock No 30 E. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.


Looking down from Bank Nook Lock No 30 E. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.


Sparth Reservoir. Sparth Lock No 33 E in the distance. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.


Sparth Lock No 33 E. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.


Sparth Lock No 33 E. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.


Cellars Lock No 34 E, Moorvale Lock No 35 E beyond. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.


Cellars Lock No 34 E. Yes we did get to the next lock with this amount of water! - the BW bod pushes Earnest over the cill. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.


Colne Lock No 28 E, with a new diesel - hydraulic operated top gate! Huddersfield Narrow Canal.


Peter Arlidge - at the Tunnel End Inn.


Wendy Arlidge - at the Tunnel End Inn.

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Getting ready for our second Standedge Tunnel passage. Marsden. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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NB Earnest below Diggle Summit Lock No 32 W. Yes, the black cloud did catch up with us! Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Geoffrey Dickens Lock No 31 W. Diggle Flight. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Geoffrey Dickens Lock No 31 W. Ward Lane Bridge No 86 below. Diggle Flight. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Ward Lane Bridge No 86, Geoffrey Dickens Lock No 31 W above. Diggle Flight. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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NB Earnest below Geoffrey Dickens Lock No 31 W. Diggle Flight. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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The restored Wool Road transhipment warehouse below Wool Road Bridge No 70. Dobcross. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Wade Lock No 21 W and Uppermill High Street Bridge No 78. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Division Bridge No 85. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Division Lock No 17 W. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Wendy A looks so inspired!  Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Looking back at the Roaches pub, in the pouring rain. The nearest moored narrowboat is NB Letimbou, the incompetent crew were caught trying to go down Roaches Lock with ALL the paddles up! Mossley. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Linda in the pouring rain. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Black Rock Lock No 9 W. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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The new Grove Road sanitary station, now with security mesh round the windows. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Looking down from Grove Road at Bywith Lock No 8 W. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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The pylon straddling the canal below Bywith Lock No 8 W. Site of the former Hartshead Power Station. Heyrod. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Coming down into Stalybridge. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Just above Stalybridge is this CCTV camera..............not for security, but for monitoring boat movements and their speed! Shirley this should be painted yellow? Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

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Looking back at Mottram Road Bridge No 99 and Lock 7 W. Stalybridge. Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

The Tour Continues...


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