The guys turned up for work on the leaking bank soon after eight as usual but were very quiet; no sound of a genny or the pump that injects the polyurethane into the bank. When I looked outside I saw that they had removed all the safety barriers and tape and had packed everything away. Strange, as they had said it would take them two weeks to drill 42 holes and inject the material; they had only been here four days. Maybe they were more efficient than I gave them credit or maybe they have to return for another spell later.
The upshot of it is that peace has returned during the day and there is now very little reason to move on from our really rather pleasant haven.
We wanted to catch a train to Skipton as we had a few jobs to do but the trains are incredibly infrequent during the week, e.g. there is one at 8.00am and not another until 11.56am. So, we ended up getting the car to drive into town which meant we could do a large food shop as well as get Buddy’s injections and visit the boatyard. With an hourly service, it’s a totally different story at the weekends and, as we want to return to Skipton on Sunday for the Skipton Sheep day, we will take the train then.
First we walked down to Gargrave to see my parents and pick up the car and on the way back from Skipton stopped for lunch by the Roman ford across the River Aire in the village. I have been coming to Gargrave since a small child and this is the first time I remember the water being low enough to see the remaining paving slabs of the ford. I suspect I would have done in 1976 but I didn’t venture north that year as my eldest son, Christopher, was born in the middle of the heatwave.
|The remains of the Roman ford across the Aire|
Whilst in Skipton we popped into the boatyard to check they were still OK to do the works we needed for when the boat goes to France next year. We also needed to confirm the dates we would leave the boat with them – we are on holiday from the end of August until late October so can’t leave the boat on the cut as it would break the two-week maximum stay rule 😉 Although we had chatted to them on the phone before, this was the first physical meeting and I must say we were happy to find they were as friendly and helpful as we had expected.
|Buddy cooling off in the river whilst we had our picnic|
Back at Mum’s, Karen washed the car whilst I did a few odd jobs. We had been caught by the bridge-hoppers’ curse. When continuous cruising with a car you have to avoid leaving the car under trees for long periods. We had forgotten this, and the car was covered in tree sap and bird crap.
|Sign outside our bank in Skipton|
Seeing the sign above, reminded us, that although we know Skipton quite well, we don’t really know a lot about its history so resolved to have a more detailed visit in the coming weeks. It wasn’t until reading the sign that I really clicked that there’s a difference between stocks and pillories. Although they both served the same purpose of restraining miscreants whilst they were pelted with rotten fruit etc. as a punishment, the subject was restrained by the legs in stocks and by the head and wrists in a pillory. We remembered seeing the pillory at Nantwich which still stands in the town.
It was a bit of a struggle getting all the shopping etc. back to the boat as the nearest parking spot is over ½ mile away, but we made it and had a pleasant evening outside admiring the view whilst watching and listening to the birds.
|Karen was pleased to see more sunflowers are now in bloom|
Each morning and evening one of the local lock keepers cycles past on his way to work from Barnoldswick. He normally stops for a quick chat and this evening he told us about new restrictions in place on all the locks between Burnley and Gargrave because of a water shortage. The locks are now padlocked shut between 6.00pm and 10.00am each day and lock keepers are assisting passage to ensure not too much water is wasted. We never quite understand the hours the locks are padlocked during restrictions as they always seem to be in the hours when fewer boats travel but I’m sure it makes sense really.
After dinner we heard a lot of noise coming from the corner just in front of us. A boat had got stuck on the shallows and the crew couldn’t pole it off. We had to chuckle as the lady was rather well built compared to the guy and I ended up going down to see if I could help. They were both trying to pole it off from the front which meant their weight was making the situation worse. I explained that they needed to move to the back to give the boat a chance to rise at the front and I would drag them back. I fetched our long boat hook to catch their bowline and successfully pulled them off the obstruction.
The lady turned out to be American and was therefore incredibly over the top, gushing out her thanks at being rescued.
|Me to the rescue|
We heard from Clive and Jenny in the evening, they have now moved on to Keighley and will be in Leeds in a few days. We had had some good times with them over the last couple of weeks and will miss them, but as they say, ‘You never know when we’ll meet again’.
|A picture Clive sent of them passing us in their boat recently|