Wednesday, 27 August 2014

To Leeds

We were only planning to go half the way to Leeds but two local boaters told us it was safer to go all the way into the city centre. Apparently some of the natives can be restless with reported cases of stoning. As it was everyone was friendly with no sign of bored youths.  But we did go through some serious graffiti country.  Perhaps they were all sleeping off the long weekend.

Some nice rural scenes today.

We had been warned by several boaters, including Mick & Pip (nb LillyAnne) that the second swing bridge (Moss Swing Bridge 218) might prove to be very hard to move.  Mick had mentioned it needed a tractor to pull it open when they went through.  However Jan huffed; and puffed; and bounced; and pushed, and grunted; and groaned until the damned thing started to move.  That’s what’s called “Gran power”!  As we left the 3rd swing bridge Jan thought there might be a boat behind us and we therefore waited at the Newlay Staircase Locks (3) to see if we could have a locking partner.  The locks were staff by two CRT employees.

Newlay Locks

Jan’s assessment proved to be correct and we had a partner until the 24 hour moorings at Kirkstall.

Forge Staircase Locks

Off to the left in the middle distance are the ruins of Kirkstall Abbey.  They are the ruins of a Cistercian monastery which was disestablished during the Dissolution of the Monasteries under the auspices of Henry VIII.  A clever move by Henry who replenished his empty treasury by confiscating much of the Church property in England.  Unfortunately it was too far away from the canal for us to visit.

Our locking partners stopped on the 24 hour moorings at Kirkstall to do some shopping at the nearby Morrisons.

24 hour moorings at Kirkstall

This bridge with a tunnel puzzled me.  It didn’t look like a horse tunnel and the towpath went with the canal.

At the far end of the tunnel is a short length of level and straight pathway that ends at a gate.  My guess is this is the alignment of a disused tramway?

The CRT lock keeper at Forge Locks had told Jan there was a former lock keepers cottage at St Ann Ing Lock which had been sold and refurbished by the new owner.  However the lock scroats had vandalized it.  He had refurbished it a second time only for his wife to refuse to live in it. 

Such a shame

The lock keeper had also told Jan to look for the relatively new round residential tower block beside Office Lock.

Apparently one of the new residents is complaining bitterly about the noise from the canal and adjacent railway.  It’s not as if they were built after the tower!

There is a water point at Office Lock so we decided to top up the tank.  The only problem was the tap wasn’t 3/4”.  It looked more 1” and our standard coupling wouldn’t fit.  I rummaged through the “you’ll be sorry box” (the box of stuff you have otherwise you’ll be sorry) and found something I thought might work.

The coupling stayed on the tap as long as we didn’t turn it fully on.  That wasn’t a problem as there was plenty of pressure.

Someone watches the bow sink under the weight of all that water.

Dropping down through Office lock brings you to Granary Wharf. 

There was a vacant mooring but we decided to press on to Clarence Dock in the hope of finding a vacant mooring with 240V power.  River Lock proved to be rather difficult.  There was no where to moor and Jan struggled to open the top gates on her own.  However she used Gran Power and we were able to carry on down the River Aire turning into Clarence Dock.  Unfortunately there were no vacant moorings.  Eventually we managed to moor against a high wall using the steel railing as anchor points.

Now moored diagonally opposite the Royal Armouries with the official visitor moorings below.  Hopefully one of these boats will move off tomorrow.


Pip and Mick said...

That red wide beam arrived just after us last Thursday afternoon. The light blue shorter NB near the taxis arrived last Friday. 48 hour moorings?
We left £2.70 credit on the electric post at the rear of the dark blue boat that is in between the two boats mentioned above.

Marilyn McDonald said...

Perhaps you could ask the boat owners that Pip and Mick mentioned if they are planning to move on ... May prick their consciences, if they have them!
Cheers, M