Narrowboat Tacet

Silent Movement - Our gap year travelling the inland waterways

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Rochdale Canal

It is great to be going over the Pennines again, the views are wonderful, looking out over the hills.
We left the Calder and Hebble navigation with the difficult locks using the spike to open sluices and at Sowerby Bridge turned onto the Rochdale Canal, our 3rd Pennine Crossing this summer.
As we approached the first lock on the Rochdale at Sowerby Bridge we passed this lifeboat moored alongside cruisers and narrowboats.

The 2nd lock didn't really need the sluices open when the lock above was being emptied. See the amount over water coming over the top of the gates.

Through Tuel lane tunnel into the 3rd lock.

This lock takes the place of 2 previous locks and dips down under the road. it is reckoned to be the deepest in the country.  The Rochdale was reopened in 2002 after many years of restoration work.  Some of the locks had disappeared and other parts of the canal route had been built on, so had to be redirected or as here road bridges built with no room for the canal to pass through.

Once we had got to the top of the lock this was the sight, very pretty hanging baskets and flags around the lock.
A wonderful bronze in Sowerby Bridge, a traditional boatman and his boy pushing on a lock balance beam.
As we looked around the wharf we came across this being made.  It is a rush cart being made for the Rushbearing Festival next weekend. Over two days the rush cart is paraded through the streets pulled by a team of 60 men in celebration of the time of year when rushes were cut and laid on the floors of the churches replacing the old dirty ones from the year before. The cart has this rush structure on top, a girl sits astride. It is decorated with heather from the hills too. Unfortunately we shall not be here to see the festival taking place. We are going back to Sussex on Saturday.
Walking around Hebden Bridge this afternoon in the lovely September sunshine, there were lots of children paddling in the river by the Packhorse Bridge.
An old mill building in the town with a water wheel inside. This mill was a corn mill, but most of the mills in this area were textile mills, many of them making fustian cloth (corduroy)

There are lots of steep roads leading out to villages around, some of them still cobbled.
The school set on the hill, see how steep the walk round to the front is. I'm glad I don't have that walk every morning.

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