Monday, 20 May 2013

Annette Does it Again

Sunday, 19th May
Annette seems to have developed a sixth-sense as to Starcross' whereabouts. Having left Todmorden at 08.50 this morning we were just approaching Hebden Bridge when I had a phone call from her: "I'm in Hebden Bridge, where are you!"  In fact we were looking for somewhere to tie up and being a fine Sunday morning the town was very busy with people, cars and boats. Fortunately a Shire Cruisers hireboat was just getting ready to leave the 24hr moorings so we pulled into the space they vacated.
As we were tying-up Annette appeared on the towpath carrying our lunch - some pies and cakes from the organic bakery in the town (how "Hebden Bridge" is that?)
She couldn't stay long as she had to move her car (she'd found one of the last free parking spaces in the town) but we arranged to meet later in the afternoon as we progressed towards Sowerby Bridge.

Nobody warns you about Falling Royd Bridge. In my Nicholson's Guide it looks no different from any of the other bridges between Hebden Bridge and Sowerby Bridge. Don't be fooled: it's a tunnel - with a sharp bend in it - in which you are likely to meet another boat - with no lights - in the centre of the channel. The tunnel wall is coated in some sort of black gunge, much of which now adorns one of Starcross' handrails!
Approaching Tuel Lane Locks
 "I'm at Bridge 4, are you anywhere near?", came a text.  "We've passed it, we're nearly at Tuel Lane" and, sure enough just as we were waitring for the lock keeper, she arrived with our washing and an invitation for a drink in "The Moorings" once we'd tied up.
The lock-keeper - and his two volunteer assistants - control the locks at Tuel Lane. There are three of them, numbered 1,2 and "3 and 4". The last one replaced two original locks when the canal was restored  in the 1990s and consequently at 19ft  8½in is one of the deepest on the system.

Tuel Lane locks 3 and 4
The original locks were lost under a new road and the canal now crosses under that road in a modern, curved tunnel.

Tuel Lane Tunnel
And the Python Drive? That continued to be very noisy all day, but a replacement part is on its way to Bronte Boats.

1 comment:

Christine at said...

Somebody does warn about it. Richlow guides call it Fallingroyd Tunnel, writing " built on a curve so you cannot see on-coming craft. The curved shape makes it possible to catch the cabin sides on the tunnel roof. Keep crew off the gunnels or cabin top. Narrowboats could pass with care in the tunnel, but it is definitely not recommended." Richlow guides - written by people who go there