Back the way we came – but with a bit of help

Last Wednesday we left Leeds and headed back up the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. It’s always a bit depressing when you know that there’s no more new stuff for a while. Still, the weather was lovely and Leeds waterfront looked stunning in the sunshine.


The canal, in its autumn colours, has a completely different feel about it, so very soon, it didn’t feel so bad after all


At Oddy Locks we met Daniel, who was out for a walk with his father. He was very keen to to help so, for three locks, he stayed with us. He was a very quick learner happily raising and lowering paddles and opening and closing lock gates. His help was greatly appreciated and his laughter was contagious – it made me smile for the rest of the day and in fact still does when I think about it.

Daniel2 Daniel3 Daniel

Forge and Newlay are two sets of three rise locks where your passage is assisted by CRT staff.


At Forge Locks, the lockie seemed to be showing a new assistant the ropes, explaining how the locks worked and how to operate them.



When I asked him how well his new trainee was doing, he burst out laughing. It was only when we got to Newlay locks that we found out that the ‘assistant’ was actually their new boss!


The lockie at Newlay remembered us from the day we went down the locks in that appalling weather and was asking us how we’d got on and whether we’d enjoyed ourselves. He also informed us that we were the thousandth boat to go through the flight this season. No plaques or celebratory bottles of champagne unfortunately, just their normal, helpful cheerful service.


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