Thursday 17th October
We had been stuck at the end of the Huddersfield Broad Canal as the River Calder was in flood. Today it has gone out of the red and we headed out onto the River Calder on to the Calder & Hebble Navigation.
This journey was with Rosemary and Bob, our new boating buddies that we met here and we had a lovely cruise along the River Calder.
When we got to Brighouse the lock gate was open ready for us by the lovely John and Cathy, and we both moored up alongside them in the Brighouse Basin. The moorings here are 14 days, rings to moor up on and the services include a rubbish point, Elsan and a water point. There are also plenty of mooring space just past the basin, right outside Sainsbury’s.
It’s a lovely town, with plenty of shops and pubs to choose from. The first one we went in was called The Crafty Fox. This was a really friendly little pub and had a good selection of beers to choose from – well worth a visit.
We were moored here for about 10 days and we loved it. I went home to Derby for a few days and left Paul and Tilly on the boat. Our new friend John very kindly sorted some problems out in our kitchen, which was brilliant.
As I said in my last blog, we were intending to go in the direction of Leeds but due to river floods, we changed our mind. The reason we were heading for Leeds was to attend the Andrea Bocelli concert that I treated Paul to for his 60th birthday. No problem though, we caught the train to Leeds and the concert was absolutely amazing. It was the best concert we had ever been to.
The other amazing thing was that we did not have to worry about Tilly as Rosemary and Bob very kindly looked after her for us. Boaters are just the best and most helpful people ever!
Another highlight was that we managed to get to see the lovely Fran and Rich – check out their vlog on YouTube – we love it. It was so lovely to catch up with them and we had a few beer and went out for a lovely meal at Prego in the evening.
We have really loved it at Brighouse but we have to move on as there is no pump out here – enough said!
Brighouse to SalterHebble
Today we cruised to SalterHebble along with NB Sefton and NB Harry (John and Cathy). It was a journey of 4 miles and 10 locks today and by the time we got to the 3 locks at SalterHebble I was knackered.
The paddles were so stiff that I couldn’t move it – and then Bob and John appeared. Hurray – they had moored up and came back to help. To say I was pleased to see them was an understatement, although I had just swapped over with Paul so that he could do them. We moored up with them round the corner in a beautiful and quiet spot. It was nice and easy to moor up as there are rings here.
We travelled through Sowerby Bridge where the Calder & Hebble Navigation meets the Rochdale Canal and went through the deepest lock in Britain which is Tuel Lane Lock and is numbered 3/4 – as in 3 and 4. This is because it replaced two earlier chambers in 1996, when it became Britain’s deepest lock at almost 20ft.
The two locks were combined to enable the canal to tunnel under a main road blockage (the canal had been infilled and culverted here during the years it was closed).
After a journey of 7 miles and 7 locks, we arrived at Hebden Bridge. I love this little Yorkshire mill town. It claims to be the Bohemian capital of England and has lots of quirky, unusual shops. There are services here, including a pump out.
As our coal supply was dwindling, we had coal delivered from a coal yard near the railway station. We went for a lovely meal, and lunch the following day at The Shoulder of Mutton. Lovely food and dog-friendly, which is always a plus for us.
After a very enjoyable walk around the town we we started to walk up to Heptonstall but didn’t quite make it as we got a call that John and Cathy had walked here from Sowerby Bridge and were in the pub. We do have it on good authority that Heptonstall is well worth a visit though.
One downside while we were here was all the fireworks – Tilly was a trembling wreck. We moved up a little way to be away from the park so it wasn’t quite so loud. We had also got back to our boat one day to find it listing and grounded as someone had left all the paddles open on the lock and the pound was draining – that was a bit scary.
The day after we moved up a lock, Chan drove up to see us with Winston and we went to Ilkley to have a look at wedding dresses. It was a horrible rainy day but Ilkley was a lovely little town – and there was a Betty’s!
In the evening we went for a meal Chapter 17 and it was fab – and again, dog-friendly. The food was beautiful and definitely worth a visit. After our meal we returned to the boat and played cards. As we were going off to bed Chan noticed that there was a boat by the side of us – we had been set adrift and were floating backwards down the canal!
The same thing had happened to NB Sefton so at 12.30 at night we were both re-mooring up our boats. No harm done though – I’m sure whoever did it thought it was hilarious. The trouble is that the next night I think we all had trouble getting to sleep in case it happened again – luckily it didn’t but it did make us look forward to moving on.
Chan had to go home the next day – we didn’t want them to leave. Miss you guys xxxx
So, we are on the Rochdale Canal now and our next stop will be Todmorden.