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Showing posts from December, 2012

Leeds & Liverpool Canal. Crooke to Appley Bridge

After two weeks at Crooke we thought it would be polite to clear off. The canal is very much overlooked by the local houses so it seemed prudent to keep to the rules and not upset the natives. Just before we left, several of the other boats that had been moored there when we arrived received patrol notices; the waterways equivalent of parking tickets, so someone is obviously quite vigilant. It sort of proves what we said in the last post; in the winter, away from popular spots you’ll get left alone, but you still have to behave at visitor moorings.

So we’re now at Appley Bridge. Yes, back the way we came, although we were at the locks last time and now we’re next to the bridge. We’d have gone back to the locks except for a chemical spill which closed the canal for a week or two. There were blue absorbent barrages across the cut under the bridge and at all the spill weirs after it. When it first happened the whole area smelled of tar, but as the days passed and it continued to rain it …

Leeds and Luverpool Canal. Appley Bridge to Crooke.

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We were sad to leave Appley Bridge. Being off the main line meant we had a constant stream of birds on our bird table and other wildlife in the trees,
we could leave stuff out on the towpath and it felt very much like home. Crooke, on the other hand is busier, there’s not much of a view and the solar panels aren’t doing a lot. The reason we’ve moved is partly our natural wanderlust combined with a need to get closer to where Ann-Marie is working. We picked a day without ice, filled up with water at Dean Locks,
which would be a perfect canal cottage location if it wasn't for the M6, and tied up just before the Crooke Hall Inn. Very nice pub, apparently. Dave might find out one of these evenings.
Crooke is a pretty little village with a close-knit comunity, however it wasn't always thus. 100 years ago the scene was radically different with up to 20 coal barges a day being loaded from as many as 5 "Tipplers".
This was the last one to be dismantled. There were similar on…

Leeds And Liverpool Canal Appley Bridge to Dean locks and back again.

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No-one turned up to mend our lock, but it’s working again anyway. This is due more to whatever is under the gate becoming embedded in it through usage, rather than anything resembling a sensibly planned and executed clearance of said object. You can tell it’s still there by the little geyser spouting up from the bottom of the gate, but all things considered we’re happy to report that Appley Bridge lock is working a lot better than it was and losing considerably less water than a lot of other locks on the L&L, and that navigation through here is perfectly possible. Indeed Derrick, on coal boat Ambush, (a gorgeous Liverpool long boat with a huge 4 cylinder Gardiner) came through at the weekend. Their home base is at Crooke and on their way through they stopped off at our little community to deliver coal and diesel. With Ambush in the lock there was hardly any room for the water, so if they can get through anything can.
We’ve now got half a dozen bags of coal on the roof to go with a…