Narrowboat AREandARE

From the 2009 & 2010 tantalising tales, traumas and stunning photographs of Barry (photographer) and Sandra (writer) from New Zealand aboard NB 'Northern Pride', to the stories of their 2013 return journey, purchase of 'AREandARE', progress on sustaining their live aboard continuous cruiser lifestyle, and Barry's quest to gain residency and 'Indefinite Leave to Remain' in UK ...

Saturday 8 August 2009

What a difference four years makes…

Today was to be our English wedding day, round about four years to the day that Barry and I were introduced to each other by a mutual friend. It’s certainly been wedding day weather, so let’s send out positive vibes that we’ll get the same sunny spell on Saturday 26th September which is when the rearranged nuptials are to take place!

We awoke to a gloriously sunny and very still morning, with this view from our window

Despite a couple of negative comments on my facebook relating to Castleford, we took a chance and had a walk in. It’s probably a typical northern industrial town, bustling around the shops with a market in full swing. The Allinson’s Stoneground Flour Mill is here, the largest in the world, sitting picturesquely by the weir. Unfortunately someone decided to build a Millennium Bridge (has anyone counted how many bridges were built in England for the Millennium??) right next to it which rather detracted from the scene, but certainly assisted the photographer to get some good shots. It also had these amazing channels for fish, eels and otters to move up the river which we’ve not seen before. Well done Castleford!

Allinson's Mill and Millenium Bridge over the River Aire

The council buildings with a castle depicted on the sign out front ... but where is the castle???

We found the Millenium Clock (also showing a castle)

It took us a while to find the castle, and then it was only a bouncy version! The actual castle that the town is named after was demolished in Cromwell’s time Barry discovered. There’s a plethora of Public Houses in Castleford, most of which have some sort of entertainment on, so it’s probably a lively place in the night-time. And many businesses named after the Castleford Tigers Rugby League team who appear to be very popular.

The town seems to have been named after this bouncy castle!!
So it should be called "Bouncy Castleford"

Market Day where we bought a new shower curtain for three pounds - a bargain

'Bondi Beach Bar' catering to the Australian clientelle maybe

This building looked a little Spanish

Waiting for the shop to open!!

The Allinsons Stoneground Flour Mill

Checking out the river

An abandoned barge aground on the weir

The frothy sluice is for salmon, the caged section for eels and the stairway for otters to climb the weir - ingenious, except this was the only weir we'd seen this on so not sure how the wildlife get this far up the river??

Quite attractive really

Then it was onwards to Castleford junction where you have to choose the correct turning or you’ll find yourself heading towards the weir and could end up in a similar predicament to the rusty hull there!

Carrying on up the river/canal. Poor "Free Time" was being towed

We found a very pleasant lunch spot at Lemonroyde Lock, and soaked up some rays. The locks along this navigation are all mechanised, though we had to do them ourselves as the lock-keepers don’t seem to work weekends at all. Very large and slow to fill – not a problem in this weather, a great excuse for a spot of sunbathing!

Lemonroyde Lock

Looks like a toy boat coming out

Must take millions of gallons of water to fill!

You can only just see little 'Northern Pride'

Barry Amused himself with the froth in the lock while waiting

A little manipulation to add colour etc

Still a touch of 'English Legs' showing, need more sun!
An old working barge converted to someone's home. Must be enormous inside

Twaite Mills Industrial Museum on the outskirts of Leeds

We stopped the boat to collect blackberries from along the canal bank. You could only get at them from a boat - very nice

We arrived in Leeds in the late evening, passing by a party boat in full swing, and moored up a mile away from the town centre ready to explore tonight and tomorrow. Monique leaves us around 6pm and Kim and Joe arrive after 10pm, so my friend from School and her husband, Steph and Pete, will join us on the boat in the evening for dinner and drinks. I can see why some people choose to live on the canals and rivers, it’s a very sociable lifestyle.

Knostrop Lock, last one before Leeds

Even one of the windows of this derelict warehouse had a smile for us

A new pair of apartment buildings. Not sure if they're nice or ugly??

Leeds seems full of apartment blocks

A mix of new, and refurbished old warehouses

Our mooring for the first night in Leeds

Time for a Pina Colada

An office block opposite

Leeds was buzzing, with outrageous hen parties galore! Sashes, tiaras, sailors and convicts; very colourful. Monique had wanted some live music, but failing that we found a club called 'Flares' where they had a 70's disco night on and free entry before 10pm, so that was the choice. Monique and I had a great time dancing to all the old classics, and Barry was amused initially by all the creative costumes, but after a couple of hours couldn't take it any longer and left us to it to get some fresh air! I think maybe I need to alter the English wedding reception theme from a 70's disco, seeing as it's not just my 50th birthday party anymore ...

On the way into town past the marina basin

The skyline with some of the old buildings

The disco and all the hens and chicks (there was the odd boiler in there too)

These guys must have been on a stag night out. Well trolleyed

Monique shaking her tail feathers!

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