We took Rock n Roll down the 22 locks from Slaithwaite (pronounced by the locals as Slawit) on Tuesday last week leaving our mooring about 10am and arriving in Huddersfield at 16:15. It wasn’t a bad journey, we were at least taking a lock-full of water down with us!
We’ve spent a very pleasant and useful few days in Huddersfield, eye-test and new specs for me, haircuts for both of us, bits and pieces purchased to maintain Rock n Roll in good condition .. and relaxing!
Until Wednesday late morning that is! We were having a cuppa before going into town when there was a knock at the window - it was Sue Day from the horse boating society! She was short of volunteers to take Maria back up to Linthwaite that afternoon (about 3miles and 10 locks). Well, what could we do? George offered to go the distance but I didn’t really want to but offered to help through the first 4 locks which included the 2 tunnels. By the time we’d got the boat ready and harnessed the horse it must have been about half three.
I helped Sue to lead Bilbo the horse through the busy streets and over the even busier roads which replace the towpath between locks 2 and 4 - I did not enjoy that one iota! Bilbo was jittery in big heavy traffic and I was nervous to say the least!
A pity though that we have no photos as George got to steering Maria through the last few locks, helping Sue to secure the boat, looking after Bilbo while she returned to Huddersfield for the horse box and got back himself at 9pm - what a hero, tired out and hungry but a hero indeed!
Uni life had broken up for the holidays by the time we turned and set off on Monday back towards Slaithwaite. We’d travelled down the locks needing fuel and so travelled up them ‘heavy’ on the back which did create a few problems. I became stranded in a very narrow length and had to ring George to let some water down from the lock above and ended up using the boat pole to move RnR off again.
This youngster had a ride up one of the locks with me...
A pallet had been dropped into an empty lock 12 and then tyres dropped on top to make things even more difficult. The lock was already set for me and George eventually managed to get it from behind the gates just as I was approaching. I managed to avoid it and entered the lock but the gates wouldn’t close properly. We tried filling the lock and the weight of the water did in fact close the gates together, but only at the top, it was leaking so badly below that George couldn’t open the top gate, so he emptied the lock again and then asked a local couple out walking to help him. It seemed as if there was ‘something springy’ as the gates bounced open again - probably another tyre in the silt. Between the two of them the gates eventually closed properly and we could continue on our way.
Apart from dragging the bottom of RnR over rocks and rubbish at times the journey wasn’t as bad as it could have been.
We’re now back on the visitor moorings at Slaithwaite. After having a couple of beautifully warm sunny days the rain has returned with a vengeance! We shall stay here now until Friday and have booked our return through Standedge Tunnel for Wednesday next week.