Narrowboat Tacet

Silent Movement - Our gap year travelling the inland waterways

Wednesday 31 August 2011

Enjoying South Yorkshire

Saturday 27th August
We were staying put at Castleford on Saturday waiting for our daughter to come over and see us. So we went into town and got some shoppping in the morning. There is a good market in the centre where we got some plums and later picked blackberries from our mooring place.
The blackberries were beautiful, big, juicy and sweet.  They were quickly transformed into spiced blackberry pudding for our visitors and also some Bramble Jelly.

Today was our 29th wedding anniversary.  We left Castleford after lunch and made our way to Stanley Ferry where there is a good mooring and lots of other boaters. Also a restaurant so we celebrated our anniversary there in the evening.
5 miles, 3 locks

Quite a busy day for us, we moved off and stopped in Wakefield where we visited the Hepworth Gallery. Here are some very attractive sculptures by Barbara Hepworth and details of how she made them. Also an interesting exhibition by Eva Rothschild. The gallery is new, only opened in May this year I think.
We had lunch in the city and then moved on, mooring up at just outside Mirfield at the top of the locks as it was getting late and a bit chilly.  The village has some nice moorings too, but we didn't quite get there.
We have our newspaper delivered by the 'Paper Dog'!
11 miles, 12locks

Friday 26 August 2011

Leaving Sheffield

On Wednesday we were ready to leave about 8.30am to get to the top of Tinsley Locks for 9 when the lock keeper had said he would have them open and ready for us.

On the way down we stopped at a steel works that we had noticed on the way into Sheffield. We had seen the hot metal being worked and wanted to see if we could get some photos.
It was a rolling mill, one of only two left working in the traditional way in Sheffield. As we stopped some of the workers came to see what we wanted, but unfortunately they were having trouble getting the mix for the steel right for the job they were doing that day, so they had not started rolling the metal and there was nothing to see. They have found a niche market in specialised drills that has enabled them to carry on working and producing steel products. So sadly no photos to show you.
So it was a busy day with 21 locks and 17 miles covered down to Sprotbrough, but the weather was beautifully sunny and hot. The rain began in the evening after we had moored up and there were some heavy showers during the night.
Thursday we stopped off at Doncaster for a superb lunch at the Georgian Tearooms in the town, unfortunately it was not a market day so not many stalls open at the large Market area and inside the market halls. 
On the New Junction Canal we 'leap-frogged' through the swing bridges and lock with nb Emerald. 
Rush hour on the New Junction Canal
The Humber Princess loaded with oil travelling from Goole to Rotherham
Under the footbridge and we moored up for the night at the end of the canal.
This morning we set off for Knottingly to take Anna to the station for her journey home. It was raining, as the forecasters have been promising for a few days. After lunch and seeing Anna off, we set off again in the rain and moored up in Castleford at 6pm. 

48 miles, 29 locks, 6 bridges

Tuesday 23 August 2011

Made in Sheffield

'Made in Sheffield' a mark known around the world as one of craftmanship and quality. Today we went to a museum in the heart of city's industrial district to find out about the steel industry that Sheffield is famous for.
The large Bessemer converter which was used for the first mass production of steel.  Molten pig iron was poured into the top, then air was blown up through which caused impurities in the iron to oxidize resulting in steel.

A roller mill, where bars of red hot steel were passed through to make rods of varying dimensions.  In Sheffield the steel was made to various different types to suit the many different articles it would be used for.
The steel here was made into a vast array of tools, cutlery, armaments, vehicles, clock parts and I am sure many others. 
In the city's Cathedral there is this stunning stained lantern window in the tower around a wooden crown of thorns. Difficult to get a good photo.

On the way into Sheffield, we passed the Waddingtons boat yard
There were a number of barges out on the cut, not sure how much in use they are now.
Steel bilets on the canalside, nice to see steel works still here.
Moving on tomorrow.

Saturday 20 August 2011

We left York about 9am on Thursday morning. It was high tide at 11.30am at Naburn so we would be leaving on a falling tide to get back to Selby lock and onto the Selby Canal once again.
It was a good journey down and into the lock with no real problems, just a little brush with the bushes on one bend trying to avoid all the debris floating in the river.
On the way down we spotted homes of various shapes and sizes, how about one of these?
Might suffer from rising damp!

Good river views
House of History
May be a boat, but not going far.
Needs some attention!
On Friday we set off from Selby at 9am and after 29 miles, 6 locks and 7 lift/swing bridges and just a quick stop for fish and chips at 7pm, we tied up at Long Sandalls lock at 8pm. The waterways are wide with big, long locks for commercial barges although not many use them now.
We passed a few villages, a working colliery and and a few power stations, but mostly quite flat countryside and farmland, with some harvesting going on.

So on Saturday we made a quick stop at Doncaster to visit the large markets, then moved on along the South Yorkshire Navigation towards Sheffield, stopping at Swinton for the night.
Today I found blackberries, crab apples, apples, a few plums, and elderberries. So tonight we had apple and blackberry crumble and I shall make hedgerow jelly with the rest.

13 miles, 6 locks.

Thursday 18 August 2011

A day to myself

Ian caught the 8am train to London to see his Mum and visit the probate office with his brother.
So I had a day to myself in York.
First on the list was the Quilt Museum where they had a display of celebration quilting dating from the 1700's. The oldest were traditional bed quilt covers for babies and weddings. Then there were wall hangings, wedding dresses and christening gowns. There was also a gallery of modern designs using many different materials from local artists.
I would love to have a go at so many of these ideas.  Better finish off projects already started though I guess. Photography was not allowed, so visit the link to see some pictures there. 
The museum was set in a beautiful garden recently designed by students in York and is set under the walls of the city. So I also enjoyed time wandering round there.
That took up the morning, on the way back to Tacet to take Jumble out, I stopped for coffee and muffin at Starbucks, using a birthday voucher I had.
Then in the afternoon I enjoyed a wander round the Shambles,
admiring the old buildings,
in the narrow streets.  Did you know that The Shambles were originally home to butchers shops and the shambles were the wooden shelves the meat was displayed on!
Along the streets I was on the look out for the many crafty shops in York and had a great, unhurried time browsing wools, materials, ribbon, colours, textures, and buttons!!!
Duttons for Buttons what a fantastic display of buttons.
I had a lovely day and even managed to pick blackberries on one of my walks with Jumble, so then enjoyed cooking a meal ready for Ian's return at 8pm.

Wednesday 17 August 2011

Levels at Linton Lock part 2

Some comparisons of the water levels on the River Ouse/Ure at Linton Lock. Taken on Friday while we waited for levels to drop, and on Tuesday as we came back through.
The weir on Friday at lunchtime.
and on Tuesday

The steps from the moorings below the lock on Tuesday

What mooring? What steps? on Friday

Tuesday, the signs on the bank were covered on Friday.

Moored up on Tuesday with the floating pontoon ahead.
No mooring and the floating pontoon up high.
The middle level of the pontoon, stuck with big branches wedged underneath.
Seeing the changes that can so quickly happen to the river, certainly causes you to stop and think and of, and have respect for the forces of nature and the powerful creator God behind it all. 

Sunday 14 August 2011


We arrived in Ripon yesterday afternoon, having made our way up from Linton Lock. Although the river was still quite high, it was not too bad and we could get to the lock moorings ok to work the locks.
17 miles, 5 locks
Pictures of a horn can be found everywhere in Ripon it is the towns symbol and we found out why.
Each evening at 9pm the Wakeman comes to the Market Square to set the watch for the night. he stands at each corner of the Market Cross and blows the horn,

before walking down to the Mayor's house to blow the horn again to let him know the watch has been set. Originally the Wakeman then kept watch round the city until 3 or 4 in the morning to guard against any trouble happening overnight.  Perhaps we should have Wakemen today in other cities!
The warning around the Town Hall is taken from the Bible, Psalm 127 v 1 
  - Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labour in vain. 
Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.
This afternoon we went to the workhouse museum. Again an interesting reminder of what life was like in Victorian times for the very poor of society and the way they were treated and thought of. However at least at the workhouse they did get food and shelter in return for work, it must have been better than on the streets.
Rules of admission
Do you know your class?

We have enjoyed looking round Ripon today, it has been warm and sunny always a bonus, here are some of the sights.
The Spa baths in the town,
the bandstand in the Spa gardens
The river Skell running through the city
T & R Williamson Ltd,Varnish and Enamel works alongside the river, now apartments.
View of the Cathedral across the town
The view from our window today.

Friday 12 August 2011

Levels at Linton Lock

We have seen the water level rise a couple of meters from mid-day yesterday, but it is now slowly going down.  Only a few boats have been on the move today. Opinion is divided as to whether it is really safe to do so. The mooring where we were in York is now under water so it is good we moved from there. A little further up the river, we have been told the water level makes the bridge rather low to get under, so we shall give it time to settle down a bit more.

So we have walked into Linton-on-Ouse this morning, finding a well stocked local shop and a Post Office in the village hall.
This afternoon we walked into Newton-on-Ouse, finding a pretty village with Beningbrough Hall, a National Trust property. We didn't have our tickets with us though. So we may go to explore there tomorrow.  We also picked some damsons and apples growing along the way, (Ian calls it 'looting', I call it 'foraging') so shall make either jam or chutney, or both.

0 miles, 0 locks

Thursday 11 August 2011

A rainy day in York

As was forecast we have had rain.
So yesterday we went to see the Treasurer's House behind the Minster. A very large house with various rooms decorated in the style of different periods of history. A showcase for the collections of Frank Green, a wealthy businessman who lived in the house for 30 years up to 1930 and then left it to the National Trust.
Afterwards we were going to go into the Minster, but there were crowds queuing because of the rain and it is very expensive, so instead we went to St Michael-Le-Belfrey where they were holding a service with lunch after, so we stopped there.
Next stop was Clifford's Tower, the remaining part of the Castle. 
The views from the top are good, though better when it's not raining I'm sure.

Looking across to the Minster.

Looking down inside the tower.
Next stop was the Castle Museum with great social history displays set out in streets, shops and houses. Also a York gaol display and a 60's gallery. By the time we had got round it was closing time and we had tired feet. 

This morning we went to the National Railway Museum and enjoyed the magnificent steam trains and all the collections of railway associated furniture, crockery, lamps, signs, in fact everything imaginable.
This afternoon we set off to leave York behind and make our way towards Ripon.  There were warnings that the river levels would be rising and moorings in York may not be very secure. After taking advice we decided to make our way up to Linton Lock where we could moor up to floating pontoons and rise with the river.  On the way the flow got more strong against us, making it slow going. The levels have risen quite a lot and tonight the area is on Flood Alert. 

10 miles, 1 lock