canal1 aug09

I walked Sparks along the canal the other day, starting from m’brother’s yard, and came to this lock. I’d forgotten all about it but we did used to go down here as kids. M’father had a yard at the top of the lane, which is known as Lock Street. (NB, yard = workshop/ industrial premises).

canal2 aug09

This is the Calder and Hebble Navigation, and the section I’m looking down is known as the Long Cut. I had walked along the offshoot which leads to the canal basin in Savile Town. If you click on the link it leads to a very good site, which has virtual tours along several canals including the Calder and Hebble. I particularly liked the views along the Rochdale Canal.

canal3 aug09

I couldn’t work out which bridge that was in the background.

canal4 aug09

So that evening m’husband and I dragged Third-and-Final-Son down there for our evening dog walk. There was another boat just starting to go through the lock, so husband and son offered their services to help with the gates.

canal5 aug09

At this point we started to think it might be fun to go on a canal boat holiday.

canal6 aug09

The following week m’husband and I set out on another evening dog walk down by the canal. We set off from Thornhill, m’husband’s boyhood home, and walked past the ruined hall with its medieval moat, farm and duck pond, plus the medieval bowling green on the other side of the lane and over and under several disused railways until we came to Lady Anne Bridge.

canal7 aug09

It would have seen lots of industrial traffic a century or two ago, but now it will be rare for it to see anything other than the odd walker.

We walked further along the canal and then across the River Calder, as m’husband tried to work out how he and his brother used to get to the marshalling yards to watch the trains. Then back along the canal to the Midland Junction and Lock, and up the hill back to Thornhill. At this point our tentative plans for boating went on to the back burner, as the water was stinky. Really stinky. Stagnant. The stench stayed in my nostrils all the way back up the hill.

Pretty and tranquil is good. Stinky is not.

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