Ripon had always been our intended destination today, but the anticipation of meeting up again with Julie and that free pumpout spurred us on and the seven miles and four locks whizzed by. Not quite true, the gates at Westwick lock were incredible hard to open and close, but fortunately some fit young Environment Agency guys gave Jacquie a hand, in opening the gates, obviously.
A little while later we passed the mooring staithes for Newby Hall and then the hall itself came into view. We hooted and waved back at the passengers on the little train that trundled around the grounds and along the river side, this looked and sounded well worth a visit, hopefully we would find time on the way back.
Previously the two bit miles of the Rippon Canal had only been open between ten and two o’clock but the extra rain had lifted the restriction, as it was we arrived at the immaculately kept white Sanitary Station at 2.30 and Julie was waiting for us and kept her word and pumped us out. Julie is one of the last ‘Lengths-persons’ with BW and the smartness and fresh paint on all the locks and bridges are a testimony to her love of the job.
The final entrance into the little basin at the end of the canal is delightful, with new and restored building fitting together very well. SKYY was turned around in the basin and was the only boat to tie up at the road side mooring, a little noisy, but not too much of a problem. Weh Hey, we had finally reached the most Northern point directly accessible on the English canal network, we would leave The Ribble Link and the Lancaster Canal for another time.