It was a sad moment for us when we left Todmorden. As committed food lovers (should that be eaters) we loved the market and Bears Deli and the general high quality of produce available. Wednesday is the first big market day of the week and we made our pilgrimage before setting off. In the outside market we found what I would judge as being the best market fruit and veg stall I have ever come across. The choice would put most greengrocers to shame and the quality was superb, whilst the prices were cheaper than the supermarkets. I was invited to choose myself, no taking the dodgy stuff from behind here. And, as far as I could see, there was no dodgy stuff anyway. Then we bought date and walnut loaf and Yorkshire parkin from a stall in the covered market, wonderful sausages and meatballs full of herbs and spices and an excellent little piece of local reared beef from the butchers. At the back of the stall more herbs and spring onions were being chopped in a food processor. On we went to Ham Corner where we resisted buying another of their stand pies, though I am already regretting it as we finished the previous one at lunchtime. We did get four slices of their own oven cooked ham and two lovely fruit scones. I should reassure all readers of a squeamish nature that we do not intend to eat everything at once! The meat will go in the freezer box and the parkin and date loaf will last for several days, if we don’t eat them that is! I nearly forgot that we finished off with some organic seed bread from Bears, still warm from the baker.
Then we set off through the guillotine lock, with manually operated paddles and electronics to raise the gates, and past the Great Wall of Tod. At the fourth lock we found a huge torrent of water pouring over the top gates. We ascended and saw that there was a boat descending the lock above. When I went up ahead it was to find that they also had a torrent over the top locks and the lock wasn’t emptying. The woman had run back to the lock above (there were three in a close group) and said that the lock above was filling for two further boats but a bottom paddle hadn’t been closed. I guess that would imply that she had left the paddle open but I didn’t get to the bottom of that. They were finally able to leave the lock; we ascended, crossed over with the other two boats and when we went into the third lock that also had a lot of water pouring into it. So much water had to be coming from somewhere and we found out where when we left the lock because the pound ahead was down at least two feet. So it’s all a bit of a mystery, maybe this always happens because the locks are leaky. Though the water level had fallen so far the boats got through OK so there must be a deep centre channel.
About that time the rain started, with a vengeance, and didn’t stop until we finally moored after Walsden. We had passed Grandma Pollards famous fish and chip shop at lock 27, where we plan to eat tonight. There was nowhere to moor in that pound, nor above lock 28 where we had thought we might stay. However we did find a BW maintenance man who was spray painting out information on the notice boards and he advised us to go on to this wide stretch of water above lock 30. He said there is a feed into the pound so it shouldn’t empty during the night. We have moored here but can’t get anywhere near the side and are at least five feet off at the stern. By the time we had moored it was 2.30 and we were drenched to the skin, cold and very hungry. So even though we have masses of food on the boat we can’t get to eat it! The heating went on for the first time since April and hatches were battened down because the rain continues. Apart from that we are in the most wonderful surroundings and hopefully we will be able to enjoy them tomorrow!
Pictures later – off to the fish and chip shop.
As promised a couple of images from our current mooring, taken just as the sun popped out from the dark clouds.
Today we did 2.05 Miles and 12 Locks
Statistics so far:-
2662.08 Miles, 1624 Locks, 175 Swing Bridges, 90 Lift Bridges, 47 Tunnels