Saturday, April 3, 2010

Todmorden to Walsden

Moving today further up the valley towards the summit.  Before setting out I popped into Morrisons which was a very short walk from the boat.  I am moored at the back of this building.  However they have a back gate which is locked when the outlet to the brewery is closed.  They only open 4 - 9.45pm weekdays and 12 - 9.45pm weekends.  For more data and a newsletter have a look at

Last night we took a walk around Todmorden to check out the pubs.  Pubs that had music, Sky and disco on the door was given a wide berth and that left few and even they (at least the ones we found) didn't have real ale.

The Bare Arts is a one off.  The beer is brewed just up the road and is only sold in this one place.  Its very individual and has settees and beer barrels to sit on.  While you have your 500ml the last batch to be bottled is being labelled in front of you.  

The only art gallery with a bar.  If you like the beer you can let the brewer know for he and his wife are to be found on the premises most evenings. 

After following the railway for long enough it now crosses to the other side of the valley.  The engineers of times past did make their bridges look part of the landscape.

On the way we found that we were being closely followed by four other boats and some Shire Cruisers astern of them.  The first lock we came to (No 20) caused problems.  Neither of the gates would open fully so that we had to squeeze in to the lock via the gap left in the middle.  This meant that only one boat could use the lock at one time.  A great waste of water when six locks full of water is sent down stream when three would have done the job perfectly well.

To move things on a bit the boats behind would close up the lock after us which was a great help.  


Even the geese are different up here.  Is this a Chinese Goose?  

The canal is very winding and the hills are getting a bit lower.  Most of this can be explained away with each lock raising us up about 10 feet every time. 

Some of the old unloading wharfs have been converted to other uses be it business or dwelling.  This one has the year 2008 on the slab beneath the archway.

A number of the gates are on their last legs.  This lock only has one gate that opens due to the one having broken off.  A couple are very wobbly and another has a tree growing out of it.

The other thing that needs tackling is the towpath.  With so many people using it today it soon becomes a swamp and lets hope that the move to get is metalled in some way is successful.

After a few hours slog comes the arrival at Waldsden.  

The book says that Walsden gets its name from Valley of the Welsh.  Welsh was the word to denote foreigners in Anglo-saxon times. 

Through the last lock for the day and a mooring outside the Cross Keys pub.  Nice pub with a couple of real ales and well used by those out for a meal.  

Travelled one and a half miles today going through nine locks which means we are 90 feet higher than at the start.  Its about two miles to the summit and there are eight locks so another eighty feet.  

Passage over the summit has to be booked in advance with only four boats a day going through due to the effort to save water.

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