Friday, 21 August 2015

Water taxis make for tight squeeze in River Lock

Today marked the end of our cruise along the entire length of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. What a great journey it has been. The wonders of Liverpool; the hard work of the Wigan Flight; the spectacular scenery of the Pennines; the myriad mills; the suddenness of Skipton; the airiness of Saltaire ... oh! I seem to be getting carried away. Leeds itself was looked forward to as the culmination of the trip, but seemed a bit of an anticlimax. Not the city's fault, I'm sure, more because it was, for us, a stop on our "rush" to get to Marsden for our Standedge booking.

The canal ends at the lock which drops from Granary Wharf onto the River Aire. As we were just about to go into this River Lock we were hailed by the operator of the water taxi service asking if they could share the lock. It's only a standard Leeds and Liverpool lock, i.e. not much more than 14 feet wide; it was a tight fit as two yellow taxis wedged themselves in. They must have been 7'6" wide.

There was no room to spare. Fortunately the lock chamber provided no surprises and we emerged unscathed.

We were now able to put our windlasses away for a while as the next locks were all mechanised. After a couple of self-service ones they had lock keepers to press the buttons from inside their control cubicles so we didn't even have to leave the boat.

As we cruised along Jan suddenly called out, "White heron!"

I took one or two photos - this was the best.

Apparently it's also known as an egret (little or large?)

After getting some of what must be the most expensive diesel on the system at 95p per litre base price at Castleford we tied up on the visitor mooring and explored the town. Apart from the bus station it all looks rather tired. A bit 1980s.

Nice mural near the navigation, though.


Jim said...

No picture of the bus station, then?

Halfie said...

Er ... sorry Jim! The mural was the only one I took.