Narrowboat Ezri – The Littleborough Chronicles – Running Dry

Yesterday after working a little on Ezri, me and my Dad had a little run up to Chelbourne Wharfe, or The Summit I know the stoppage travel notice had gone out, Which in simple words means that from there to Sowerby Bridge the canal is shut, no movement what’s so ever. It a good few miles of canal and locks how it works if your narrowboat is between those to places I have no idea, I guess your stuck there until the notice has been lifted. I have more that once to see for myself but in many places to towpath is shut to. And if you were to move to your boat you not get very far, you see the canal has been effectively split in two as the water at the The Summit has been drained out so that CRT ( Canal and River Trust) can see what dange has been cause by the movemet of the bank further up the network.


Having the canal like this more that a little scary as I can now se
e that the water I once though was very deep and safe is in fact very shallow and full unwated things which would do a hell a lot of danage to Ezri’s underside, I not only saw the odd house bick but a few huge bits scrap metal in bedded in the clay bottom, and to think Ezri had been inches away from them both going up and comming down. All of which will have to clean out before the water can be put back.


It gets never more scary when you think about the lock gates with the water around them they just apper to be so small but once the water has gone there full size is realized all the craftmanship that goes on just to keep a simple thing like a lock gate working. And how far the sill really is away from the back of Ezri when the lock gates shut.
In the next few days I hope to see CRT put the water back in


Narrowboat Ezri – The Littleborough Chronicles – After The Rains

Now the rains have stopped, the plan today was to take a look up the canal from where Ezri is in Littleborough though pass Summit, then Todmorden and stopping just before Hebden Bridge at The Stubbing Wharf pub and take photos.
Knowing a few of the towpaths were shut, the trip would be done in the car with my dad driving. So we made our way up the road, me looking out the windows as we past the canal to see why it was shut.
Pasting though Littleborough most of it looked fine, but as we reached the boarder did everything start to show signs of damage.
Just outside Warland, there are two small football fields and a club house called ‘Canal Side Cafe’ which backs onto the canal and before the winter came me and Ezri sent two weeks there, but as we past it the gates were shut and the welcoming lights were gone. We were comming back down the road so further investigation could wait till then.
A few quick glimpses of the canal from the main road was all I could as we past Walsden and Grandma Pollard’s Chippy most of want I was looked Ok then, the first sight of the emergency barrier fencing came into view, complete with it Canal and River Trust notice another ominous sign
We headed into Todmorden, and over the canal itself the little service and water point was full of boats all huddled together as if to keep out the cold.
I lost my view of the canal as I had map read for dad so did get to see much of anything until we were pasting a cricket pitch, and want I saw was more barrier fencing and deep grooves in the opposite high bank which once was full of trees but now just cut down stumps.
A little shocked at this I missed the right hand turn for Stubbing Wharf and we ended up in Hebden Bridge centre but we were able to turn around in the train station car park.
It was only as we got stopped by the traffic lights on our way back out of town did I start to notice the damage, the whole place was.. The only way I can describing its that the colour and life of the place has physically been washed out.
The canal must have filled up the main street and then the river came to join it, looking though the shops widows all that can be seen are ‘back soon’ or ‘closed for refurbishment’ posters, and from want I saw between the buildings more Narrowboats were clustered together, it must have been so frightening to be in the middle of all that, so it didn’t feel right to take photo like photographing tombstones.
Heading back down the road, we found the turn off but only just, the pub was still there but small car park was building site with more barrier fencing, workmen and a small digger taking most of it, so there was no were to park.
I didn’t think about the road was very narrow so Dad had a little bit of a hard time turning the car around, and when he did I saw that just beyond the pub a huge section of the bank had given away washing the towpath into the canal. As a massive hand had scooped it away.
I did my best to follow the canal as we made are way back home each time I did all I saw was huge chunks of towpath missing or the land had slipped down from the high ground.
Getting to Warland again we stopped only a few minutes at the football field but to read the notice on the gates but all they said was ‘do not park in front of is gate’ not hopeful like the posters in Hebden had been so who knows.
We stopped once again but this time behind the Summit pub, which looks out on the wharf were I had rested Ezri twice, even with the sun in the sky it was bitterly cold, and the site that greeted us was equally as chilling the canal had been dropped not two or three inches but a good few feet.
There was water in the locks between the wharf but in the wharf itself, yet no matter how much water came down from the hills around it the wharf wasn’t going to fill anytime soon.


Before in the summer


And now in the winter time
I later found out that the whole canal network running down from Sowerby Bridge to The Summit is shut until further notice as they rebuild the bank stone by .


The photo is the from the Canal and River Trust and more information about this can be found here http://

Narrowboat Ezri – Moving Day – Part One

As you may have guessed from the title, Me and Ezri have moved from the small quay were we have been for the few weeks, I should explain the continuous cruising rules, they say you are required to move to a new place at least once a fortnight.
I thought that being the small quay would have tweaked the rules a little but no the nice people from the Canal and River Trust sent me a letter asking me to move out the general area. Now the tone of the letter is bit big brother using words like “our sighting records” and Ezri’s index number, to read Ezri’s you have to be stood next her or have very good eye sight and if people are watching I would like them to talk to me and the other boat owners not waste money with letters, just a word in friendship that’s all as we are all trying get a long. 
So anyway Wednesday, we moved this time heading back up to a place called Summit/Chelbourne were I could stay 24 hours and then move on a little more, a matter of nine locks
Pike House Lock No. 45
Sladen Lock No. 44
Thickone Lock No. 43
Second below Punchbowl
First Lock below Punchbowl
Punchbowl Lock
Second below West Summit
First below West Summit 
Which in fact retrace of the journey we had made get down into Littleborough, only this time I knew all the ins and outs
I reached the first of the locks at five past ten am, I know that because I was going to turn this trip into a slow adventure having rushed it the last time.
Ezri tied up the water came out of the lock and Ezri when in, but could I get the water to rise could I sod, the paddle on the top would not move one inch, I was luckily the lock gate was a little leaky so in time the water in rise and Ezri did come up.
As I stood there even a small group of walkers tried but it was only when Ezri was about three foot from the top did someone else try and you guess it up the paddle came, it was almost 11 by the time we reached the next lock which went like clock work.
Tie Ezri up open the paddle let the water out, move Ezri in, up the ladder shut the lock gate, let the water in Ezri rises up, open the lock gate tie up Ezri up shut the gate move on, simple.
The next to lock are not as easy the ladders are some how in the wrong place on the way down they are to far forward so you have to run the roof and on the up ladder is cut off when you open the lock gate.
I guess my luck was in because as I was trying to work out how we were going to do this two volunteer Canal and River Trust people were making their way so they helped me thought the first lock and that was wonderfully simple but as I came out heading to the second I grounded Ezri so they had to help with second lock, that left me with two more to do on my own.
I worked out if got Ezri in to the lock tie her up and slowly opened the paddle then ran to the next lock and let the water out of it I wouldn’t ground Ezri and could be half done for the last lock,
Ezri was rising nicely and I was walking up the lock when group of ten walks came down towards me, I had my windless in hand and they past me one of the woman turned and said “go on get your job done” as if I was some teenage kid, I guess she though I had been sent by someone back down the canal to run forward and open the gate.
I felt like saying a few rude words, it really got to me after all I not just some kid and people who think they know.
And by the time I had worked the last lock it was half past two so it was time stop and pull up for the night back at Chelbourne Wharfe.
Were most two months ago I had half killed myself to get to but now the only thing that prayer on my mind was want I would have for tea.

All the photos I took for the day can be found in link above