27th August was full of excitement descending the Bingley 5 rise and 3 rise. Happily lock keepers were there to help. We moored up temporarily at the bottom of the locks outside the Damart factory (thermal underwear!)
Leeds was just over 15 miles away. We progressed quickly through Saltaire. It was raining and we had been before and the moorings were awful – just a patch of litter strewn derelict land!
Disaster struck when a hire boater closed an automated swing bridge too quickly, the bridge hit Matilda and the stern mooring bollard sheared off. Fortunately the rope was still attached to it and we were able to haul it aboard.
Further misfortune on the Sunday when the bow thruster fuse blew. We struggled on to close to Apperley Bridge Marina. Rob the manager and wife Vicki who runs the cafe, were really helpful and we arranged for Bronte Boats to come and weld the mooring bollard back on at 8.00am on Bank Holiday Monday.
We also met the owners of Lady June who were so helpful with advice and locking.
We also met the chaps who run Bear Boating Training who gave us some good tips on boat handling.
Bad luck comes in threes so it is said and on leaving Appeley the bow thruster fuse went again, when going aground to allow another boat through narrows! We walked down to the boat yard in Rodley and the 83 year old owner was able to let us have spare fuses.
We made an early start on Tuesday as owing to local vandalism it’s a non stop run down to Leeds. We met David from a hire boat who abandoned his wife and crew to help us all the way to Leeds. We were so grateful for his help, and wonder how he caught them up. Interesting how from going past us, how far ahead they managed.
We reached Granary Wharf in Leeds at 1pm and moored next to Doubletree Hotel. We had two warm & sunny days there. We visited The Armouries, a not to be missed attraction with talks on Agincourt and the SOE.
Various hotel guests came to admire the boat and one gentleman is worth mentioning Steve Carlyon. He is raising money for the Combat Stress Charity and had the challenge of doing 22 press ups in 22 unusual places. We videod him doing his press ups on Matilda’s roof!
We met John & Barbara on Less Speed 2 who kindly let us copy key pages from their Nicholsons guide as it is currently unavailable, out of print and we needed it for the next leg of our journey.
We took a glass of wine on Lady June and got further advice on the way to the Trent. We were unable to leave until late morning as a chair had been jammed in the lock gates meaning the water had drained out and all the boats were aground and we had to wait for water to be released from Bingley.
Whilst waiting to depart we cleared out rubbish from the dock: 2 traffic cones, 1 parking cone, 2 tyres, wire, metal sheeting, a pair of striped underpants, plastic bags and weeds!
So finally completed the L & L in its’ 200th year.