Friday, 11 August 2017


Today's Canal - Rochdale

The day began rather overcast but not cold but by the middle of the afternoon a persistent drizzle set in. It built up gradually so that there was never a point at which we said that it was time to don waterproofs!

Although the main supplies of water for canals come from purpose built reservoirs (and that is in itself a major factor with the Rochdale as the summit feed was sold off during the time the canal was closed) there are many other smaller supplies.A stream enters just before our first bridge today - it looks as if the property, now a house but might once have been a mill. In any event, the cascade has been integrated into the garden design and looks attractive.

Not so attractive is this top-of-the-range ladies bicycle which presumably someone fished out of the canal after it had been there for some time. Just a little rust remover and some straightening of the wheels and it could be as good as new! (or not)

The first lock arrived a few minutes later - they are all on the deep side and three ropes are really needed to control the boat whilst the lock fills.

Jess likes to block out the sound of silence by listening to music on from her ipad.

This lock bridge has had some unwelcome attention from a vehicle - the bend is tight and it seems as if someone failed to spot it in time. Hopefully most of the stones have been recovered from the water.

At Lob Mill Lock this sign has been erected in memory of someone but alas we know nothing of why he earned the title of gongoozler.

If it was because he spent a lot of time here then he would have been bale to take in some of the more spectacular  scenery that any canal runs through. The next few miles up to the summit and just beyond are one of the better kept secrets - helped by the fact that it does take some effort to get here!

Here is the view from a later lock.

At Todmorden we pulled in to the visitor mooring and service block. Leaving Mike to get on with filling our water tank and so on (the level was quite down as we did not fill properly yesterday) the other two walked to the nearby Morrisons to stock up.

After lunch, Mike and Jess walked the other direction along the main street and picked up a few more items from Lidl, including some roasted pistachios and a jam doughnut at Jess's request! OK, so there were a few goodies for Mike as well!  The town hall building (opened in 1875) is most imposing, no doubt meant to show the growing significant of the town in its prime. It claims to be the finest municipal building in the country!

Setting off once more we immediately tackled the guillotine lock - Jess and Christine soon discovered two unhelpful aspects of its design. Firstly, the gate paddles have to be operated manually from the opposite side to the control box for the gate itself. Secondly, the instructions fail to mention that there is a button that has to be pulled out before anything will work!

By now the drizzle was beginning to a arrive so there was perhaps little demand to sit in this unusual carved stone chair alongside a later lock!

The Gauxholme Locks are close together, enhancing the sense of climbing a steep hill - alas today the views were limited by the rain. We also found that several of the very shirt pounds were particularly low in water.

The Gauxholme Railway Viaduct shows how Victorian engineers often made their structure impressive as well as functional.

We eventually arrived at our target for today, the Gauxholme top lock. This lock has an especially imposing lock house as well as a former warehouse on the opposite side.

Very shortly after we found a spot to moor, mainly because it is not that far to the next lock, and the next lock, and the next lock!

3.6 Miles- 11 Locks

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