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The Tuesday Night Club on Tour


The 1997 Mega Cruise


9. Ripon to Leeds, Ripon Canal, Ure Navigation, River Ouse Inc. River Foss, Tidal River Ouse, Selby Canal, River Aire, Aire and Calder Navigation.

Thursday 10th July saw the weather take another bad turn, starting cold and overcast. We pushed off at 8.15, then spent 20 minutes filling up with water on the old basin water point. Neil had decided to end the lads weeks at Leeds, on Saturday night, a convenient place for Alan and Linda to meet us for the change over. We also wanted as a finale to go up the River Foss in York as far as we could. This hopefully meant doing the tidal Ouse tomorrow afternoon, or failing that early Saturday morning. Neil phoned Naburn locks. It was ideal, we were booked out to Selby at 13.00 tomorrow. Neil also phoned York City Council, who own Castle Mills Lock on the River Foss to book the keys for tomorrow. 
We arrived at Linton Lock, at 13.20, now in brilliant sunshine, just having finished lunch on the move. We moored to the right of the lock and went over to the cottage. The tenant guy was having his dinner and persuaded us to stay for a swift half pint. The location was so idyllic we stayed two hours chatting to the guy. He gave us a history lesson on Linton Lock and The Commissioners and said that the guys wandering around outside were B.W. 's contractors surveyors. Apparently the new gates have been ordered and the lock refurbishment is scheduled for Winter 1997. We eventually left wondering if next time we visit some of Linton's charm will have been lost. 

By 17.35 we were chained up on the rings at Scarborough Rail Bridge visitor moorings in York, after a helpful R.M.B.C. cruiser had moved up to make room for us. Julian went shopping across town to Tesco's and came back loaded up and wishing someone had gone with him to help carry back the six bags of groceries back. He had spotted yet another Thwaites pub for us to visit that evening. That evening we ate at the "Cafe Rouge", the service from our Basque waitress was a bit erratic, we discovered that they had only opened yesterday. After the meal we wandered around town ending up in the Thwaites pub Julian spotted earlier. John F ordered a round of drinks, then it dawned upon us this was a raving gay venue! John asked Julian if this was a wind-up! We quickly drank up after being "eyed up" by some of the locals and left hurriedly afterwards.

Next morning (Friday 12th of July) Neil and Julian went to the York City council offices for the "Foss Keys" and saw Mike Popple, the Property Services manager. The cost for this escapade was going to be 30 plus 20 deposit for the keys. Mr Popple was terribly embarrassed about the cost, but said it was the same if a whole boat club went through. 15 per locking even beats the Manchester Ship Canal charges, their locks are slightly bigger and are worked for you! We cast off at 9.15 and were soon at Castle Mills Lock. This lock is like a miniature Naburn lock, with chain railed walkways over the balance beam-less gates. There was some confusion amongst the crew about the operation of this lock. Neil found that one of the keys opened the hut where a pair of windlasses were found. The gates were apparently opened by a winch which was on the opposing side of the lock to the gate and the closing winch was on the same side as the gate. The opposite winch to the one you were using had also to be slack. 

The river up to the Yorkshire Evening Press Printing works was deep, as the barge traffic has only just been withdrawn. At the Paper Mill we took the left hand main river turn, but only got as far as the next road bridge. This bridge was blocked by a contractors barge, working on the new bridge being built beyond. Neil reversed out of the bridge hole and turned in the sticky black mud, collecting a few plastic bags on the prop in the process. We got back to the junction with Wormalds Cut. We sailed right up to the end, past the Yorkshire Evening Post's new, but now redundant Wharf. 
Neil decided to reverse back to the junction, winding there. Castle Mills Lock was dispatched in a now more professional manner and we got back onto the River Ouse at 11.40. We decided to cruise back to Scarborough Rail bridge visitor moorings to drop off the Foss Keys and retrieve our 20 deposit. At 12.05 we eventually set off for our 13.00 booked departure from Naburn. We arrived at Naburn at 13.10, and filled up with diesel at Acaster Malbis Boatyard just above the locks. The Naburn Locky was not expecting us although we had booked our return passage. He phoned up Selby to say that we might be a bit late as he still had to prepare the lock. 

We eventually got out of the lock at 13.55, realising that the ebb would be in full blast when we arrived at Selby. Neil thought this would amuse the Selby Locky and would attract a welcoming committee of other boaters. Neil was right, he sailed a fair way past the lock and then winded with the bow nearly on the bank, to let the ebb take the stern round. This and the slog up into the lock took a fair bit of full throttle, not for the faint hearted. Needless to say the lock was entered in a fast fashion, but nothing was hit. Fortunately "Beatty" is very quick at stopping, unlike some hire-boats we have had in the past. 
We arrived at 16.10 and filled up with water. While this was happening Neil noticed the Locky and a few boaters staring into the water. Neil went to investigate finding a large grass snake swimming near the top gates. Locky said that there had been three of them earlier, catching fish near the gates. For a meal that night we decided to go back to the same Indian Restaurant that we visited on our last stop in Selby. This proved to be a mistake as they remembered John Fleming talking about what chilli's they used. This meal was even hotter than before and they brought out a plate of their hottest raw chilli's for John to sample. It took many pints in the "Albion Vaults" to cool our selves down afterwards.

Saturday 12th of July was the last "Lads" day, we left Selby at 8.05, for the third and final time. West Haddersley flood lock was now open, we passed this at 9.30. The Aire and Calder was reached at 11.10 and Castleford Junction at 12.55. When T.N.C. on Tour first went up the Leeds section of the Aire and Calder in 1993 the diversion and the new Lemonroyd Lock had not yet been built. This section for all the crew was a new experience, except for Neil who traversed it the other way in 1995 in the "Family Weeks".

Above Lemonroyd Lock we picked up a small fibreglass cruiser who stayed with us through Woodlesford and Fishpond Locks, but we lost them by Knostrop Fall Lock. There was a lot of young gongoozlers at Leeds Lock, having been to see Rosie and Jim on "Ragdoll", that was moored in the newly refurbished Armouries Basin. This time Leeds Lock was now electrified and the Armouries Museum was open, but we had to push onto Leeds basin above River Lock, where the change over tomorrow would occur. Julian booked a table in a trendy new restaurant in the Calls Landing part of town, in a refurbished warehouse, over looking the river. We arrived in the basin at 16.45 and all had a shower and got spruced up for our final meal out.

York, entrance to River Foss.

River Foss flood barrier.

Castle Mills Lock, River Foss.

Cranking open Castle Mill Lock bottom gates.

Leaving Castle Mill Lock, River Foss.


First bridge up the River Foss.

River Foss coming back, passed converted Mill.

Wormalds Cut of River Foss, Yorkshire Evening Press' new unloading wharf, now disused!

New bridge works halt progress.

"Beatty" waits above Naburn Locks. River Ouse.

Selby, final bend before swing bridges. Tidal River Ouse.

Selby Lock snake.

New Lemonroyd Lock, Leeds branch of Aire and Calder Navigation, weir to right.

Fishponds Lock. Leeds branch of Aire and Calder Navigation.

Leeds Lock, new Armories Museum to left. Leeds branch of Aire and Calder Navigation.

The new Armouries Mooring Basin. "Ragdoll" was resident at the far end.

Coming out of Leeds Lock. Leeds branch of Aire and Calder Navigation.

New foot bridge and regenerated Calls area of Leeds. River Aire.

Leeds and Liverpool Canal, Leeds River Lock No1.

And finally a message from our sponsors! (Well, for the first three weeks!)

The tour continues...

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