Saturday, 25 May 2013

Wet and Windy on the Calder & Hebble

Dave Ormerod arrived promptly at 9.30 this morning to fit my replacement Python Drive and despite a few problems had the job done by 11.30. Bob arrived on the bus from Sheffield at 12 and we were soon on our way.
At Brighouse you lock down on to the first of a number of river sections. These come with increasing frequency as you travel east and being wider and more open than the artificial cuts were something of an ordeal in the strong wind and heavy rain.
The locks were also something of a challenge in that you never know what to expect. Some require only a windlass, some a handspike and some both. At one lock both top gates required a handspike but both mechanisms seemed to be jammed. It was only after a few minutes that we realised that the large semi-circular topped metal cabinet nearby actually contained two ground paddles!
I'm running to a timetable on this trip to get to Silsden by next Wednesday to meet my brother. But as well as the Drive problem there has also been the issue of Shepley lock, closed since the end of April - which I didn't know when I decided to come this way - and d ue to open yesterday. I was relieved to find it operational when we got there although it had clearly been a rush job as with gates and handrails had been installed in unpainted form.
By 6.30 we'd had enough and tied up at Broad Cut lock. The Navigation pub here proved a bit if a disappointment. The beer - Black Sheep was alright,  but expensive at £3.35 a pint and possibly because of that we were almost the only customers.  Perhaps just as well as we need an early start in the morning to get to Leeds tomorrow night and meet up with Hilary somewhere along the way.

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