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70 now and our five wonderful years aboard our narrowboat Skyy seem along time ago. Jacquie, allowed me to build my replica three wheeler kit car, which was a great success. Now it's time to start on a bigger project and that is to make a good Triumph Stag even better, here goes.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011



Another perfect morning as we covered the last few miles in a northerly direction before encountering the first of the twelve locks that we would have to work through today. After this lock we would start to head south, but still climbing towards the summit. We bypassed Gargrave, only stopping for lunch when the work of the locks was completed.

Beyond Bank Newton the canal twists and turns back on itself over and over again as it hugs the contour of the deep folds in the land and the Langber TV mast keeps appearing unexpectedly. The canal straightens out as we approached the strange Double Arched Bridge, this was created when the alignment of the road was changed and rather than build a totally new bridge, the builders simple built the new one on top of the old, why not?

As we filled with water, just before the bridge a steam hooter was heard, no sign of a railway line for a steam train to be running on, so what could it be, mystery solved when we walked under the bridge and moored up was N.B. Whistle Down The Wind with its proud owner Jeff Laycock. Jeff had fitted the engine, boiler and all of the ancillary gear, condensers, generators etc. himself and incredibly he was able to run the boat single handed. The only other steam boat I know, President, seems to need a crew of half a dozen. There was only enough steam left for one final whistle, but he would be back in the morning for more ‘sea trials’. Jeff’s other claim to fame was that he was a child extra in the Hayley Mills film ‘Whistle Down The Wind’ Ten bob and a proper dinner every day during the filming at nearby Bacup left a strong enough memory to appropriately name his boat after the film.

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