I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Wednesday 10 July 2013

Aspley Wharf Marina (Huddersfield Broad Canal) – Tuesday 9th July

Another early start - well 8.30am.  We had four locks to do and two miles before we got to Aspley Wharf.  The locks were easy - well they were for me as Richard did the hard work though they weren't as stiff as some we have been through.  The Huddersfield Broad is only 3.75 miles long but has to be in my top five favourite canals.  The part into Huddersfield itself is a bit grotty but then most canals are as they enter major cities.

The Huddersfield Broad Canal
Just before the marina there is another lift bridge which is more like a lift road.  It's all electrically operated now but still uses the old pulleys to lift the road up.  The Locomotive Bridge was opened in 1865 and replaced an earlier swing bridge. A combination of wheels, chains and counter-weights were used to lift the deck of the bridge out of the way of passing canal barges.  Previously windlass operated, it was refurbished in 2002 and is now electrically powered.  It is a fascinating bridge and very attractive too.
The Locomotive Bridge
We pulled into the C&RT services and I walked across the canal (you didn't know I could walk on water did you?) to the marina office.  We were to leave Mary H breasted up against another boat while we are away.  Richard went and got the car and brought it round to the services and we packed up and loaded the car.  For the first time we haven't been able to leave the plants on the boat as there is no one around to water them.  We the reversed back along the canal and breasted up against Vicky Lou.  There is a huge Sainsburys next to the canal so I popped in and got a couple of sandwiches for lunch and we set off for home.

Aspley Wharf
We have been very lucky with water levels this trip.  We crossed the Rochdale summit a week ago Sunday and last Sunday they closed it due to low water.  We came down through the Salterhebble locks on Saturday and yesterday they closed them due to a problem.  Just in case C&RT are reading this - it wasn't us honestly!

We have had a lovely four weeks.  The weather has been mixed with the worst day being our exit out of Manchester when it was foul and we had 18 locks to do.  Part of me is sad to be leaving the boat while the weather is so nice but it does get so hot in a sardine can and it can be difficult to find places to moor up under trees.  Also there are so many locks to do on this journey - most of which are hard work.  We start off again on Saturday 22nd to go down the Huddersfield Narrow Canal and Standedge Tunnel - the longest canal tunnel in the UK.

One of the things I have forgotten to write about is the Wainhouse Tower in Halifax.   It is a folly and at 275 feet, it is the tallest structure in Calderdale and the tallest folly in the world, and was erected in four years between 1871-1875. The main shaft is octagonal in shape with a square base and 403 stairs leading to the first of two viewing platforms.  The tower was designed by architect Isaac Booth as a chimney to serve the dye works owned by John Edward Wainhouse. The height of the chimney was to satisfy the Smoke Abatement Act of 1870 which required the building of a tall chimney, to carry smoke out of the valleys in which the factories were built.  A much simpler chimney would have satisfied the requirements but Wainhouse insisted that it should be an object of beauty.  In 1874 John Wainhouse sold the mill to his works manager who refused to pay the cost of building the chimney so Wainhouse kept the tower for himself and used it as an observatory.  Booth left after a dispute and was replaced by another local architect, Richard Swarbrick Dugale, who is responsible for the elaborate galleries and the corona dome at the top of the tower. The tower was completed on 9 September 1875, at a cost of £14,000.

The Wainhouse Tower
The reason that I remembered that I hadn't written about the Hailfax tower is that there is another interesting one in Huddersfield which we could see from the canal but got a much better view of as we drove home.  Emley Moor transmitting station is a telecommunications and broadcasting facility. The station's most visible feature is its 1,084 feet tall concrete tower, which is a Grade II listed building. It is the tallest freestanding structure in the United Kingdom, 7th tallest freestanding structure in the European Union, 4th tallest tower in the European Union, and 25th tallest tower in the world.  As a widely-recognised landmark amongst the population it serves, the tower is still predominantly referred to as 'The Emley Moor Mast', possibly a legacy of the previous structure, even though it is easily the most far-removed from the definition of a 'mast' than any other transmitting structure in the UK.
The Emley Moor Mast
Turnpike Road Lock to Aspley Wharf Marina
1.88 miles
4 locks
1 lift bridge

Totals for our 4 weeks trip
136.42 miles
144 locks
5 swing bridges
2 boat lifts

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