Monday, 25 June 2012

Bingley Five Rise Locks and Beyond

This morning we started by negotiating yet another awkward swing bridge, this one doesn't let you have your key back, I wasn't giving in though and eventually got mine back.  We then had a closed footbridge which is usually open, with a huge raft of weed under it, I tried to push the weed out of the way with the bridge but that didn't work, so John slowly tried with the boat, I then realised that the footbridge had a chain on it which was now wrapped around the weed and was swinging the bridge closed again straight into the side of Triskaideka, a quick reverse by John I grabbed the bridge and a passer by helped me.  I then managed to grab the weed and pull it out of the bridge hole and John got through.

We were then at the top of Bingley Five rise locks, these locks are said to be the most spectacular feature of the Leeds Liverpool Canal.  The locks open directly from one into another, with the top gate of one forming the bottom gate of the next. The staircase has a rise of 60 feet or in our case a drop of 60 feet as we were going down.  The gates were leaky and some of the paddles not working but with the help of the lock keeper we were down in about an hour.  Just further along the canal is another staircase of three rise, with a fall of thirty feet.
From the top

Going down


We then cruised to Saltaire Village, a unique Victorian model village built between 1851 & 1876, by wool baron Sir Titus Salt.  The village was built to house his textile mill and workforce.  The village is built in honey coloured stone and laid out in a grid pattern. 

We continued on through the edge of Shipley towards Apperley Bridge where we have moored above another staircase lock, Field Locks.  Although we were planning on going down the locks tomorrow we have now had a change of plan.  We know that the Aire & Calder are still in flood but were hoping that the restrictions would be lifted in the next few days, there are mooring restrictions in Leeds over the weekend as there is a waterways festival, so we were going to check tomorrow with BW in Leeds that we would be able to moor, BUT this evening we have had an email from BW saying that people should plan for the Rochdale Canal to be closed for a few weeks due to the flooding over the weekend.  We have decided to turn around and retrace our route over the Leeds Liverpool, so in the morning we will wind and head back for the Bingley Five Rise.

6 miles, 11 locks, 9 swing bridges

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