We went through the lock and Richard said that he felt a bit lost in the huge lock – ah bless him! The river from there on is very attractive, certainly nicer than it was back before Bank Dole Lock. We arrived at Bulholme Lock - I emptied it and opened the gates to let Richard in when from round the corner came two more boats. By the time I had helped them with their ropes and closed the gates I felt like a real lock keeper! Just beyond the lock there are some visitor moorings so we decided to stop for lunch and moored up beside Felicitas J John came and had a chat with us but unfortunately, for me anyway, Vera had gone to Pontefract on the train. They will be heading off down the River Calder at the junction whereas we continued on the River Aire.
If Richard felt lost in Ferrybridge Lock he certainly looked lost in Lemonroyd Lock – I wish I had had my camera with me! (I have borrowed the photo on the left from The Intrepid Crew on NB Stealth). The lock is 13 foot 6 inches deep but it is long and wide too and looked positively cavernous! The lock is modern as in March 1988, the bank collapsed into St Aidens opencast mine, which then flooded. A significant factor was the presence of excavations below the opencast workings where lower coal seams had previously been mined. The failure resulted in some 780,000 cubic yards of material, including the banks of the river and the canal, slipping into the workings, which then flooded to a depth of 230 feet, creating a lake which covered 250 acres. An act of Parliament was obtained to allow 1.9 miles of new waterway to be constructed. The original locks at Kippax and Lemonroyd were replaced by a single lock at Lemonroyd.
We pulled over just after Swinnington Lock for the night.