Monday, 23 May 2016

The End of the Leeds and Liverpool - Monday 23rd May

We made an early start again today as it was a lovely morning and we wanted to be at Newlay Locks when they opened at 8.15 am. As we passed by Fallwood Marina we saw these historic old wooden boats, the bottom picture shows one of the Little Boats which helped at Dunkirk in 1940.a1

We arrived at the locks dead on 8.15 and the C & RT men were already opening up the locks and kindly assisted us down the staircase flight of 3 locks. They told June that over the weekends they can have a lot of trouble from teenagers jumping in the canal and generally making a nuisance of themselves. The water here was very clear and the lockie told us that in the next month or so it would be crystal clear.a2

The canal here is very pretty as it wends its way down the ever narrowing Aire valley and at Forge Staircase locks there are great views over the railway to the other side of the wooded valley. Again a C & RT man kindly helped us down the flight.a3

Bridge 221A is unusual in that it has a second arch well to one side. I am not sure what this would have been used for but on the other side of the bridge was the Kirkstall Brewery now used a apartments. One of the lock gates had become a very  interesting garden.a4

The site of the old Kirkstall Power Station had this lay-bye for unloading boats which is now used as a Marina.


The approach into Leeds is very nice and you would not know you were in a city until you reach Granary Wharf as the canal is clean and the water clear. A far cry from some other entrances to cities.


We filled up with water at the point just above Office Lock and next to it is the Tower Works opened in 1864 by TW Harding making steel pins and gauges for the carding and textile industry.The distinctive Grade 11 towers were based on Italianate Renaissance structures and provided dust and smoke extraction for the factory.They were know by their Italian names of  Giotto and Verona Towers.


In front of the water point below the lock is Granary Wharf and this enormous Rotunda tower of apartments.


Finally comes River Lock which marks the end of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal which was started in 1770 and completed in 1816 at a cost of £1,200.000 nearly five times the original cost. The warehouse at the side of the lock was constructed as a terminal for the canal and below the lock is the River Aire with one of the water Taxis which will take you to Clarence Dock.a5

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