Wednesday 3rd August.
Back On The Cut.
I knocked up the guy moored in front once again and he answered this time. It appeared that he too was keen for some company to do all eleven movable bridges. The first two where done for us, but the remainder had to be done by the boater. They were all waterway key operated, but some had to be manually opened. We did then alternately, so in all I only opened about five in the fifteen mile length to the junction. Trevor was a continuous cruiser on nb Wyrd, although his wife lived in Crawley, Sussex. Before we let go at Keadby, he insisted on telling me his life story and it was only by interrupting at an opportune moment that we got away at all.
The first bridge was a busy railway crossing on a sliding bridge that appears to be unique and details of it’s operation can be found here:-
This view is looking along the track. The bridge has been moved
to one side and has been slid alongside the track on the left.
The duckweed piles up against the mooring.
It was an extremely windy day, which made the trip unpleasant, because it was either in my face or from the side, which made getting the boat off the bridge landings difficult. After struggling at one bridge, I discovered after half a mile that I had left my keys in the operating pedestal, so had to wind the boat and return for them.
Eventually, Trevor and I parted at Stainforth, where there were moorings outside The New Inn, a very well kept free house. Whilst there, a lady approached me from the bar and asked if I was the person from the Wey Navigation and we got into conversation about my home mooring, as she knew the navigation very well from several years ago. She introduced her husband and invited me to moor outside her house at Barnby Dun if I wished and even invited me for a meal, to which I declined as I was turning north at the next junction. How’s that for Yorkshire hospitality?
Thursday 4th August.
Another couple were going the same way today, so agreed to travel together, because there were several locks and even more swing and lift bridges. Their daughter was with them and enjoyed operating the bridges and locks, the latter all being electric as well.
The New Junction Canal ran dead straight for five miles, so there was little of interest to see until we arrived at Southfield Junction and turned onto the Aire and Calder Canal, which was also pretty monotonous.
Straight as a die for miles.
Guillotine stop gates at River Don Aqueduct.
Once again the wind was persistently in my face or from one side, making for a rather unpleasant journey under overcast skies. It appeared that the only decent pub on route was closed when we passed by, so we finally moored up just before Whitely Lock, where there was grass for Paul’s dogs to enjoy and that is when the sun finally made an appearance.
Along this route, I noticed several boxes mounted on poles at the waterside and was very curious to know what they were for. Having taken a long lens photo of one of them, I later looked them up and found this:-
http://www.wlma.org.uk/uploads/WMA_Operation_Barn_Owl.pdf So that is what they are for!
Just what are these?
The label is the clue.