Monday, 1 September 2014

Lunch and a Walk

Initially it was the usual lazy Sunday with a telephone call back to Perth and then a roast lunch at the nearby pub. 

The sound of a boat horn bought us to the side hatch where nb Dignity could be seen passing.  The lady at the tiller called out that they knew Kev & Anne and had read the Ben Harp tale.  Small world!

Actually it was a very good roast lunch at The Steam Packet Inn.  We were asked if we’d like a dessert but simply had no room.  As it was we couldn’t eat all the vegetables.

I decided to exercise some of the relaxed stomach muscle and headed off on a circular walk from Knottingley to Beal.  It actually worked out rather well because I was able to record and upload about 10km of footpath to the OSM.

The first thing you notice around here are the numerous power stations.  Looking back, as I headed towards Beal, the Ferrybridge Power Station dominates the skyline.  Apparently it is the third power station to occupy the site.

Looking to my front I could see a further three power stations on the horizon.

To my right was what looked to be a large coal unloading a storage facility.  My assumption is the power stations were built because the coal was sourced locally.  The mines have now closed but because the power transmission system radiates from this area the power stations have remained.  Coal would have once been delivered by water but is now transported by rail.  Probably from Australia! Smile

Well I’ve just had a peek at Wikipedia and the coal for the stations is a mixture of domestic (Yorkshire, Midlands & Scotland) and imported (Australia, Poland, Columbia, Russia and South Africa).

I walked past The Jenny Wren in Beal and can confirm they do a Sunday lunch.  It smelt very nice, but fortunately my stomach was still full!

Jan will be delighted to learn that Bank Dole and Beal Locks will not wear out her pinkie.  They are windlass operated.

Weir and lock at Beal

The route back was on the north side of the River Aire and it was apparent the route doesn’t receive much foot traffic.  Back near Knottingley I came upon a sluice which had a dozen bouquets of dead flowers tied to the fence and can only assume one or more person drowned in either the sluice or adjacent river.

It’s a rather isolated spot and my guess is either a fisherman or child.  Tragic!

There was no crossing over the Aire at Knottingley and I eventually walked to Ferrybridge where the A162 crosses the river.  Beyond the new concrete span bridge there is an older multi-arch stone bridge.

Apparently this crossing was on the main road between London and York.  Eventually the volume of traffic became so great that the existing bridge was considered to be too small.  It was replaced by the structure you see in the above photo.  Construction started in 1797 and the bridge was opened in 1804.  The route had been a turnpike and then became a Toll road. 

There is a Tollhouse at the end of the bridge which is now an administration building.  The bridge now carries pedestrian traffic.

The route through Knottingley back to Waiouru took me past the former Town Hall which was the only building of any architectural interest I saw in the town.

Not having previously approached our mooring from this direction I was surprised to see a chute protruding over the edge of the canal.

I probably shouldn’t have been surprised there were probably dozens of them 100 years ago. 

So we’re back to having the mooring to ourselves.

Jan told me she had been entertaining six men in my absence.  So where was the money?  Apparently the men had spent it on beer at The Steam Packet and had then decided to have their photo taken on the back of our boat.  Jan was able to convince them it was her house, and not a boat.  Their inebriated brains went into overload and consequently rebooted.  This resulted in them returning to the pub to poison a few more brain cells.

Tomorrow we’re heading to Selby.

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