Saturday, 1 August 2009
Room for another one?
If you had any doubt about whether two narrowboats would fit in a lock, you should have been here at Field Locks last Saturday. These two proved it - and it is a very snug fit. The longer boat at the back, the Elizabeth, from Brayford Pool in Lincoln (so it was quite a long way from home) only just fitted length-wise as well. It had to manoeuvre carefully to avoid being swamped by the water pouring through the lock gates, as the two boats made their way down through the staircase.
The shorter boat was called the Nemesis - I'm not sure where that was registered. Anyone who has read "Narrow Dog to Carcassonne" by Terry Darlington (about a couple taking a trip through the French canals on an English narrowboat, accompanied by their very thin whippet, Jim) would have been delighted to see the very thin dog travelling with the Nemesis! (visible on the bank).
Field Locks was the farthest point on my long walk. It's about 3 miles east of Saltaire along the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. It was built c1774-77 by the engineers Brindley and Longbotham, and is now Grade II listed. As it is a staircase of three locks (a 3-rise), getting a boat up or down requires careful attention to doing everything in the right order.... quite a challenge for my friend, who is employed as the lock-keeper here in the summer months.