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|
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|