Tuesday, 1 August 2017


Today's Navigation - Aire and Calder

We did not begin today with much of a plan! Other than, perhaps, to make progress . . . Apart from a couple of isolated, short and not too heavy showers, it was a bright an sunny day.

Before we set off, Mike took a wander up the footpaths from the canal - probably much the same as the other two did last evening. He went as far as the new road which did not seem to be that busy this morning. No doubt is use will grow - several stub ends of access roads into what are presently fields which suggests that the city will be developing housing in this direction ere long. Certainly, just a little further along the road, house building is apace.

However, it was good to see a 'proper' meadow field.

Mike also spotted a stretch of really good blackberries so he and Alice added another tub to the two that were picked last night.

By then it was time to set off and within a short distance we were at Broadreach Lock. It still has seared memories of ten years ago!

We continued then up the river, passing under a couple of active railway bridges (unlike most yesterday which appeared to be disused) and also the new road.

We left the river for the short cut through Wakefield, passing through Fall Ing Lock. This has been notoriously difficult to operate in the past. It certainly was heavy, and slow both to empty and to fill, but perhaps not as challenging as we recalled from the past.

At the turning just above the lock and the associated flood gates, we stopped at the visitor mooring as Mike had spotted a timber merchant close by. He and Alcie walked along - we needed to make ourselves a new Calder and Hebble Handspike as our previous one seemed to fail to make it in the move from Take Five. The basis is a metre length of 75mm x 50mm (ie 3 by 2) but it will need to be shaped down to a square end.

Although there was a rubbish disposal point the previous elsan facility seems to have been withdrawn as all of the other doors in the block have different keys and we assume that they are for the small collection of eight residential boats moored at the corner.

We continued on the short distance to the Ruddy Duck mooring (or Barnsley Road Visitor Moorings as CaRT like to call them!) where we pulled in just before the flood lock so that we could walk to Sainsbury.

It took around 13 minutes - just as Google predicted - (well perhaps 15 minutes in our case but definitely no more!) It was time for a good re-stock so there was plenty to haul back to the boat. This is where we could do with some sort of trolley - if only we could find somewhere to hide it on the boat!

Close to the mooring is the Hepworth Gallery so, whilst Mike continued back to the boat to stow away at least the frozen items, the other two checked out the gallery to see if it was worth a visit this afternoon. The assessment seemed positive.

Time then for lunch. We we had finished, Christine wanted time to finish stowing the groceries so Mike and Alice set off to the gallery. Its stark angular shape is in contrast to the curvaceous nature of many of Hepworth's sculptures.

In addition to the permanent display of Barbara Hepworth's work and her associates, there is a special exhibition at the moment about Howard Hodgkin who died earlier this year. (Presumably the exhibition had already been planned).

The displays concentrated on his work that was inspired by many visits to India. His earlier work frequently used strong borders, as if to draw the viewer into his world. He said that he began by voyeuristically recording what he saw but gradually developed a sense of exploring himself through the paintings.

This work from a couple of years before he died has a  bare wood surround with no definite edge.

Hepworth started her career along with Henry Moore. She was born in Wakefield and he in nearby Castleford. They met at college and went together to London to pursue their studies. Although Hepworth spent much of her time in St Ives, where she moved with her second husband Ben Nicholson so that they could bring up their children away from the hostilities of the war.

Some of Moore's work is displayed right at the start of the galleries. This reclining figure - of indeterminate gender - was one of his first although he created very many more like this in his life.

One gallery is devoted to a collection of drawings and paintings that were commissioned to make a record of the war and its immediate aftermath. One by Minton suggests no only new found travel but also a sense of listless and loss of energy. Another by Pitchforth shows the devastation that bombing caused. Henry Moore captured the unofficial use of London's tube stations as overnight accommodation during bombing raids.

Another of Moore's reclining figures is displayed close to one of Hepworth's figure sculptures. At a distance, her form looks as if it follows Moore's ideas but closer up we could see that it has much more detail whilst Moore leaves us to take in just the texture of the surface.

Several of Hepworth's works include a mesh of strings or very thin rods. This one, called Wave II, was inspired by the surfing scenes that she enjoyed from her studios in Cornwall.

Christine persuaded Mike to buy her rather pretty pair of Hepworth-inspired blue earrings.

By now we had spent so long enjoying the galleries that we decided that it was better to stay put for the night!  It was still quite early so Mike and Alice wandered up to the old pack horse bridge to take a closer look at the Chantry Chapel. Sadly it is not often open so we could just admire it from outside.

2.0 Miles - 2 Locks


  1. We have a small folding trolley which fits neatly under one of our seats in the cockpit area. Very handy for when we are stocking up on beer and it folds flat so doesn't take up much space.

  2. But we keep our stock of solid fuel there . . . :)