We leave Aspley Marina and an enthusiastic crowd with kind words from Safe Anchor Trust and rousing applause … after a false start … who forgot the sandwiches? …with a fair wind, a good forecast and Lady Brenda leading the way to the first of many locks ahead.
…. The canals on the East of the Pennines are very narrow in places and the traditional rowing style has to be foregone for the more exotic Hawaii Five O style
… hard on the knees and needing different muscles … hopefully on the downhill section after Standedge the Canals will be wider and more benign… more conducive to a more natural rowing style.
Where are they? a couple of miles down the canal at the back of a famous motor factors ..and cartoon character .. no sign of the Swan or Lady Brenda and the groupies are concerned … without cause …. they got behind another Narrow Boat which had slowed them as they negotiated a number of locks …. but would you have guessed this is the centre of a Yorkshire mill town?
After a cup of tea as they negotiate yet another lock …19 today to get through …The task ahead becomes obvious to the Camp followers as just two hours and five locks into day two the Good Lady Brenda is grounded as the water levels in the canal are low … as She grounds the prop snags on metal and plastic detritus thrown into the canal …. Apparently the number of reservoirs that used to feed this canal has been reduced by over half and consequently the depth of water is critical in places.
This necessitated a number of the helpers and a few innocent? Bystanders throwing their backs into hauling the boat off the bottom … you begin to understand what the Horses were expected to do!!
We have a great bucket man who is accosting anything that moves on the tow path and has managed to squeeze blood from a small pebble on a couple of occasions already … if you see the orange bucket please give generously…. Already collections are showing how fantastically generous the people of Yorkshire are … contrary to myth and legend….
As we leave Huddersfield for the High Pennines time to reflect on home. There has been a settlement in this area for over 4,000 years. The remains of a Roman Fort were unearthed in the middle of the 18th century at Slack near Outlane, just west of the town. Castle Hill, a major landmark of the town, was also the site of an Iron Age Hill Fort. Huddersfield itself was noted in the 1086 Domesday Book as a village known as Oderesfelt also as Odresfeld.
Huddersfield has been known as a market town since Saxon times. The market cross is on Market Place.
Huddersfield was a centre of civil unrest during the Industrial Revolution. In a period where Europe was experiencing frequent wars, where trade had slumped and the crops had failed, many local weavers faced losing their means of livelihood due to the introduction of new machinery, which would have condemned them to poverty or even starvation. The Luddites began destroying mills and machinery in response; one of the most notorious attacks was on Cartwright — a Huddersfield mill-owner, who had a reputation for cruelty — and his Rawfords Mill. A large army platoon was stationed at Huddersfield to deal with Luddites; at its peak, there were around a thousand soldiers in Huddersfield and only ten thousand civilians. In response, the Luddites began to focus their attacks on nearby towns and villages, which were less well-protected; the largest act of damage that they ever did was the complete destruction of Foster’s Mill at Horbury.
It is the Birthplace of Rugby league and is represented in Super League by the Giants … the towns football team Huddersfield Town (imaginatively named) is in the Championship …
Renown Worldwide as “Last of the Summer Wine” Country it is in truly one of the greatest areas of English countryside.
Good Luck and Safe Journey .. beware …. “there be Dragons in them there ‘ills m ‘arties” Stephen and Jennifer will reflect on the day in the “Capn log spot”