Rob, the lock keeper at Tuel Lock called on the mobile, at 11 o’clock to confirm that lock 7 would be unlocked within the next few minutes and we could proceed slowly down the four locks to Sowerby Bridge where he would be awaiting to escort us through Tuel Lock. We had been confidently expecting this news and in preparation had made arrangements with Bronte Boats to supply 100 lt’s of diesel and a bottle of gas.
Freshly pumped out and watered we got under way at 11.30 am., along with Tony on N.B. Y-Not and arrived at the deepest lock in the country, at 3.30pm. Tuel Lock knocked Bath Deep Lock into 2nd place when locks three and four where combined during the restoration of the Rochdale Canal, creating one lock of nearly 20ft in depth. On the way we passed a mill chimney surrounded in scaffolding, apparently being restored as it is a listed building. ‘Health and Safety’ again, Fred Dibner would have just lashed a few ladders together and shinned up.
We could clearly see the pumps that had been brought in to back fill the upper pounds, ironic as we were about to experience a proper soaking, by the time we exited the lock and tunnel it was raining hard, bless em, Rob and his colleague Duncan went ahead and worked us through the remaining two locks, they were soaked by the time we were through.
We moored just around from the basin which was full of boats including an old ships life boat. When the rain eased we found the local Tesco and did a bit of stocking up and found the great bronze of 'Boatman and Boy' at the entrance to the basin. We just managed to get back onto SKYY before thunder and lightening and more rain set in for the night.