Monthly Archive: June 2012

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Wild boating into Huddersfield

It was always going to be a long trip, direct from the moorings at Slaithwaite to Aspley Basin in Huddersfield, a distance of 4.77 miles and 21 locks. The Captain walked most of the towpath between locks and since the last boater down in these parts did not close the bottom gates at any lock his task (twenty one times) involved dealing with five gate movements at each lock, a huge amount of walking around each lock chamber, much fiddling...

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The right sort of water in the wrong sort of place…

Marsden to Slaithwaite, 2.75 miles, 21 locks ‘Guess what tomorrow is about? Locks!’  So Boatwif wrote naively last night. If only… this is the tale of two errors, both very elementary. Prompt at 9am our relief lock wielder in these parts arrived. By foot, tram and train (including a three minute rush through the Standedge Railway Tunnel) he had made his way to Marsden. The station is, well, 50 paces or so from top lock, Lock 42E. Undeterred by Saturday’s...

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Passage through the Standedge Tunnel

Readers puzzled by the term “Fairlead” yesterday may recognise it now as a cleat, the purpose of  which is to  keep a rope running smoothly and to protect paintwork. Preparing to go through the Standedge Tunnel was rather like preparing for a hospital operation. A patient has to undress, be weighed and measured, have blood group established and blood pressure monitored.  At the tunnel entrance this morning Cleddau was made bare, gangplanks, poles and cratch cover inside the cabin, front...

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Chasing trains…

Uppermill to Diggle, 2.62 miles, 11 locks Diggle is the top, so to speak, of the western side of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal.  Two hundred metres ahead of this overnight mooring the waterway dives behind a pair of gates, deep into the hillside below Marston Moor. Here, at 645 feet (197 metres) above sea level, Cleddau is at her highest altitude yet! Bugsworth Basin at the Whaley Bridge end of the Peak Forest Canal (a place way up in the...

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Trash cans and rushcarts

Mossley to Uppermill: 7 locks, 2.61 miles For the canal enthusiasts here are several other Huddersfield Narrow curiosities to start with… At the top end of the locks behind the paddle gear you are likely to trip over “a pepper pot”.  These objects function as a pressure valve – if the water rushing into the locks is under huge pressure surplus water can be thrust upwards through the holes. As yet neither crew member has had an unexpected dousing although...

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Plastic ducks and the pink fishing net

Sunday 10th June, 2012 “What’s missing?” said the Captain just after dawn this morning. “What can’t you hear?” True, the Webasto was busy hissing as it heated the water and the birds were busy singing… but there was a total absence of the sound of rain lashing on windowpanes and metal roof.  Could the rain stay away…? To prepare for boating without laying out thermals and gaiters, or waterproof tops and bottoms – what joy!  Cleddau’s crew had, perhaps wrongly,...

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Cleddau on new waters

Saturday 9th June 2012 At 1424 on Saturday afternoon Cleddau cruised into previously unknown territory, a Welsh named boat heading (maybe) for bandit country and then for England’s backbone, the Pennines… Driving up the M1 to Macclesfield on Friday a thought had occurred: forgot to pack the sun hats and sunscreen – it has to be said that amid the constant downpours and dank conditions such items have not (yet) been needed! After unloading (too many T-shirts and not enough...

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