Sunday, 22 November 2009

Scenes from the Huddersfield Narrow Canal

Look at this woolly baby, he was only about 3 feet tall and very very cuddly. I was all for taking him home but Lesley pointed out that he'd make an awful mess on the boat!This is the monument known as pots & pans above Upper Mill. Lesley & I climbed it this Sunday morning in the wind & rain; the last part of the climb was very steep. I could have been in bed with a cup of tea and the Archers omnibus....we're mad !!!!
The dogs loved it though & we felt very virtuous after we climbed down and met Joe & Graham at the Church Inn for Sunday lunch. Fabulous pub; 4 pints for under £8, great food & packed with adults, kids and dogs-also wins my vote for the best view from a ladies loo; straight out across Upper Mill valley.Having moored between locks 21 & 22, we had then intended to move up onto Saddleworth
Moor by Standedge tunnel, do a bit of ridge walking & then wind & return. Except you can't. If you don't have a passage through the tunnel booked, BW won't take the padlock off of lock 24. This has evidently been the case since the canal was re-opened in 2001, but it seems to be the world's best kept secret - there is no mention of this in the navigational notes.
So we walked up to Standedge tunnel - yes, ALL of us.
Please note smart new waterproofs being modeled by Baxter & Muttley (well it is their first winter up North).
Even in his new coat, Baxter is still the tail-end Charlie
This is the aqueduct over the River Tame - the latter being a bit lively which is hardly surprising.

Portland Basin where the Peak Forest & Huddersfield Narrow meet.
We start the return journey tomorrow & I'm still not sure how I'd sumarise this Canal. It runs through glorious countryside but no-one uses it because (my hypothesis):
*you can't get to the bank to moor up very often
*the only marina charges£15 per night
*the bottom gate paddles on locks 18 & 21 are virtually inoperable (& I've stuffed my back trying)
*you can't get out of the trees into open country because lock 24 is padlocked.
Some may say it is deserted due to the time of year, but the locals treat us and the boats as a huge and fascinating novelty!!!!!
Me? I love it.

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