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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

A disappointment and then a thrill

Another trip with the water taxi this morning, to Leeds station. We looked at other places to visit here in Leeds and thought a trip on a steam loco at the Keighley and Worth Valley railway was worth a go. Not only that but a national trust house, East Riddlesden Hall, was just a short bus ride away from Keighley.

Leeds station is vast with at least 17 platforms. We only just missed the 9.50am train to Skipton which arrived on platform 9 and then had to walk to platform 5 where the next Skipton train was scheduled to came in, another wait of 25 minutes.  

 The line followed along parts of the canal and at Bingley, the 3 staircase locks came into view.

Not the only train we missed. The steam loco also departed before we got to it which meant another 70 minute wait. It seemed logical to first get the bus and go see the Hall and gardens and then buy a return ticket for the 14.05 locomotive going to Oxenhope.

East Riddlesden Hall

Both of us were a bit disappointed in the Hall. The rooms were typical 17th century and guides in every room did try giving us a bit of history but I suppose our timings were all wrong as school kids as well as a coach party also arrived at the same time. Felt a bit hurried and couldn't really stay to admire the place. Even the gardens were a tad disappointing. Very glad we didn't pay the asking price of £6.50 each (concessions) being NT members.

But as for the Steam Locomotive, No 90733 'Austerity' it was everything we expected. The sound of the clackerty clack as it ran along the tracks, smell of the smoke mixed with steam as it went through tunnels and soot in the face and eyes as I peered out of the windows, brought me right back to my early childhood. Marvellous!!!!

Keighley station

Taking on water

Back in Leeds we stopped at the 'Station' Wetherspoon for dinner. For once this Wetherspoons was more of a drinking place than eatery. We managed to get a table and the meals arrived very quickly but the menu wasn't as extensive as other Wetherspoons. Then back to FS by water taxi for the last time as tomorrow we head down the river Aire and onto the Aire and Calder.

And seen today,

There's a bullock on the line! How it got on the line they didnt know but it got a real fright as we thundered past.

An old fashioned gas lamp.

River taxi waiting at the river lock (seen through Leeds station window

Who needs paint when you can use crochet squares instead.

Only bees from the garden today.

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