Monday, 20th May
The first job this morning was to buy a handspike from Shire Cruisers. One of these is needed to operate some of the locks on the Calder & Hebble. It's basically a 3ft length of wood tapered at one end, which you insert into the paddle mechanism to lever the paddles up and down. Although not all the locks require them you do need one straight away as you will need one at Salterhebble locks - the first on the canal coming this way.
The bottom of the three locks at Salterhebble has a guillotine gate, installed wwhen the road above was widened in the 1930's. It also had something jammed behind one of the top gates and it took both of us plus the lock-keeper to close it. Also, all the locks so far on this canal have had very heavy gate paddles and the long-throw windlass that we found on the BCN last summer has come in very handy.
Apart from gates and paddles we had a trouble-free run to Brighouse, where Mark left for a train back to Oxford. Brighouse station typifies the rail revival of recent years. Until recently it was closed - now it boasts trains to Leeds, Manchester, York and even London.
The replacement Python Drive has arrived at Bronte Boats, butit won't be fitted for a day or two. It's not a problem. Brighouse is a nice place to stop for a while and as Shepley Lock, just a bit further on is unlikely to be repaired before the end of the week I couldn't go much further anyway and I don't fancy going out on the river with a failing driveshaft.
Ganny Lock - the last before Brighouse was the 3,000th lock that Starcross and I have negotiated together.