Monday, 31 October 2016

Mellow meanderings: the canal in autumn 

Pastures grazed by beef and dairy herds and sheep border the stretch between Kildwick and Woodside.  
Tranquility reigns supreme, providing you can blot out the drone of traffic on the by-pass a few fields away. 
 The approach to Woodside swing bridge, which has been resurfaced this year.

 Woodside moorings are a popular parking place.
A distant view of the Nab.
Allotments abound as the canal nears the township; on the opposite side are the Sykes Lane smallholdings.
For Sale signs are evident along the Millfields frontages. Just beyond them are two major and at the moment noisy canalside housing developments. 
Skipton Properties is developing the Harwal Works site between Elliott Street and the canal. The old Walter Crane weaving mill (above) is being converted. The development comprises 12 apartments and 12 houses.
Nearly 50 upmarket houses are to be built on the former Tunnicliffe timber yard off Sykes Lane. The site, which has been unused for many years, is being developed by Harron Homes.
The view from the Keighley Road bridge of the Harwal Works housing development, which neighbours the historic wharf where Silsden Boats is based.
Attractively laid out and lovingly cultivated gardens are an eye-catching feature of canalside homes next to and along Waterside. 
A distinctive development which over the years has architecturally fitted in.
Gardeners' World, also known as Waterside.
A Waterside garden decked out to welcome the barge Kennet on its recent passage from Leeds to Liverpool to mark the 200th anniversary of the completion of the canal.

The Brunthwaite swing bridge with the historic Upper Holden farming settlement beyond.
At Lower Holden, also part of ancient Holden Park, the Canal and River Trust has posted this notice, advising that happiness may rise to explosive levels.
Lodge Hill on the right is a scenic mooring beneath rocks and trees of the kind where in harder but simpler times children would build dens and play games of "cowboys and indians" or Treasure Island.
Part of the perfectly contoured Lodge Hill. 
Booth's swing bridge, No. 195, gives access to Riddlesden Golf Club, which has closed but still includes an attractive public right of way to Spring Crag and Alder Carr woods. The bridge takes its name from the Booth family which farmed this area for the best part of 200 years from 1729.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Canal's 200-year passage from commerce to cruising

The 127-mile canal from Leeds to Liverpoool was completed 200 years ago. Work on the stretch through Silsden began in 1769 and the first two boat-loads of coal arrived in 1773. Buildings at the wharf where Silsden Boats (Holidays) Ltd. are based have not changed greatly in more than 200 years. The following photographs show the post-war transition of the canal from its original main purpose of ferrying freight to become a major pastime of leisure cruising.

The eight photographs above are from the late Kevin Bower's collection.
An historic view of the buildings that are now the offices of Silsden Boats. This photograph and the following five views are from the late Will Baldwin's collection.

The canal at Kildwick (above and below) showing the Priest Bank Lane bridge.

The canal bend at Low Holden with on the left a wooded incline that was a popular play area for Silsden children of yesteryear.

Canoeists pass the Harwal Works mill site which is now being transformed as a housing development by Skipton Properties.

The photograph above and the view below are by courtesy of Silsden Camera Club. 

Above and below: early days of the housing development at Waterside where canal-side gardens have been colourfully cultivated over the years.

The photograph above and the two similarly reflective pictures below are by Brian Whittingham, a member of Silsden Camera Club.

Saturday, 22 October 2016