We moved on from Saltaire in the rain today, stopping at Apperley Bridge to empty cassettes and fill up with water. The water point here is across the towpath, also used as an access road to CRT's maintenance depot. There is no alternative to running one's hose across this road to get the water from the tap to the boat. Well, I suppose you could partially block the outlet with your finger and direct the stream of water to the filler hole in the well deck, but this wouldn't be too practical. So hose across the road it is.
Most passers by are careful to avoid tripping up on the hose. Most walkers step over it, but there is always the odd one who will tread on it. Cyclists ride over the hose, which is fine. Now you would think that drivers of vehicles might stop in order that the hose could be moved out of the way. If the hose owner was not in sight - he or she might be emtying a loo cassette, for example - the driver, you would think, might enquire as to the whereabouts of said hose owner in order that he or she could move the hose.
What you would NOT expect is that someone pulls out the still-flowing hose from the boat's tank, moves it partly out of the way and STILL manages to drive over it, then tries to find the filler in order to stuff the hose into it again, realises he can't and calls out to try to locate the hose and boat owner.
And when you put down your half-rinsed out cassette and come out of the sanitary station to find the scene as described and see that it is a great big white CRT van which has driven over and squashed your nice, previously circular cross-section hose to a flat one you might not be best pleased.
Yes, this happened to me today. The driver didn't come out of the van; it was the passenger who admitted the driver had "nipped" the hose. The van and occupants drove off while I was expressing my feelings. I pushed the affected area of hose back to a semblance of cylindricity - it's not as good as it was - and continued watering up. This took a very long time. The flow was pretty feeble before CRT squashed it, now it was pathetic.
After twenty minutes or so a blue-shirted CRT man came up and apologised, saying that they had tried relocating the water point to the water side in the past but their heavy plant kept taking it out. He admitted that there was a problem, mentioning the trip hazard among other things. I feel an e-mail to CRT coming on ...
Before all this we descended the triple staircase of Field Locks. At 25 feet it is not quite the fall of the Bingley Three Rise (an inch short of 30 feet) but it is still impressive. The lower level of the canal looks a long way down from the top. There are cunning connections from the lock chambers to the bywash running alongside. These ensure that you cannot "overfill" the lock, although I haven't worked out how the oval connection on the right operates as the culvert goes uphill before descending again to the bywash. (That's the cross-section of my hose now!)
We tied up for the evening at Rodley; we'll get to Leeds tomorrow.
I do believe it has stopped raining at last.
Abingdon to Oxford - *Tue 12th Sep* Abingdon to Rose Isle After a great weekend in Abingdon, and a wet Monday, we decided to head for Oxford. As we set off upstream, we start...
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