Lincolnshire Viking ESU Trip
Date: 5th – 7th March November 2021
We had a great weekend away with you at the start of November and have finally put together a video of the trip. It can be seen here:
We would love to take the boats out again next year, so if any more permit training weekends become available please let us know.
Please pass on our thanks to everyone involved in the canal boat project. Our weekend was one of the highlights of the year for the Explorers, and we appreciate all the hard work that must go on behind the scenes to make this possible.
1st Clifford Scout Group
Trip Report – 1st Clifford Scouts
Date: 14th – 16th March 2014
Crew: 2 leaders, 8 Scouts aged 10-11
Route: Wakefield Basin → Royal Armouries, Leeds → Wakefield Basin
Blessed with sunshine, the leaders left Wakefield Basin for the short trip to Stanley Marina on Friday lunchtime with the aim of picking up the youngsters for a post-school 4:30pm pickup. The rendezvous was uneventful and we left Stanley at around 5pm with the intention of a short leg including a lock before parking up for the night just short of King's Road lock. The wind was getting up but the steel pins went in strongly and we had a secure night in relatively open country. Everything runs a little slower on the narrowboat which surprisingly the Scouts don't mind. Tea was David's best home-prepared meatballs shortly followed by bed. The bunks on JV take a little construction and it's a little like one of those games where you have to move 'A' to get 'B' into place as the four extra berths take shape. Soon everyone was tucked in and the increasing wind served only to rock the crew to sleep.
In the morning, the canal was choppy with white-tops! The daily checks were completed and after a quick breakfast of cereal we headed off on a dash to the Armouries. Much of the route is along the river rather than canals, but we chose to potter along and JV made good headway in the face of still-increasing wind and the modest river current. We kept our eyes peeled for a good overnight location as we passed upstream. Swans normally require quite a run along the water to get going, but today we saw STOL performance with a near vertical into-wind take-off! Through the lock and a very sharp turn to the left (should that be port?) into Clarence Dock. The vistor berths are on the left (adjacent to the Armouries) and were all in use except the last one so we had a confined space, a u-turn and a fiendishly strong wind funnelled by the adjacent buildings and driving us fast into the dock. It was an anxious moment being broadsides to the wind with little space in front or behind, but Keith's excellent training worked wonders and we managed to slot into a 70ft slot without hitting anything. The Scouts had an hour to use the nice, clean toilets and buy some souvenirs before re-boarding and setting off for our return.
In no time at all we were passing Thwaites Mill Museum (perhaps a future destination for us) and then on to our overnight stop above Lemonroyd Lock. It's a beautiful location and is immediately adjacent to the RSPB St Alban's Reserve. The Scouts went exploring a little in the gloaming and we returned to the reserve the next day to find one of the hidden gems of West Yorkshire.
Setting off around 11pm was perhaps a little late but with Sandwiches for lunch, it wasn't too long before we arrived back at Stanley Marina to empty the loo, fill the water tanks and break the back of packing and cleaning. (Note to self, a full portaloo weighs A LOT – well worth emptying every day). Half an hour after leaving we were back at Fall Ings lock – the only manual one that the youngsters had done, and then into the basin comfortably by 4:30pm.
A great weekend with smiles all round. Thank you to everyone in the JV team for providing a fantastic resource. We hope to be back.
3rd Buxton Cubs
4th - 6th April 2014 Camp
Parents drove Cubs and Young Leaders from Buxton to our pre-arranged meeting point at the Navigation Inn just outside of Wakefield for 7:30 on the Friday evening. Chris & Lesley had arrived earlier and prepared things including the food which was delivered by Tesco’s to the pub Car Park. Our thanks go out to all at Wakefield as picking up the boat at this location made the trip possible. A detailed safety briefing took place on the Friday night along with a familiarization of the boat and the Canal. The bunks were erected and all set to sleep for 10pm.
A pleasant night’s sleep saw Saturday morning come all too quickly and following a good breakfast, all were present whilst the daily checks took place below the rear deck. Following fitting and adjusting lifejackets and a safety reminder we got underway for 9am. As we headed off upstream the first lock was only a few minutes away and a demonstration of how to use the lock safely was delivered to willing ears. The boat rose safely and soon we were on our way. We stopped at what Chris called the “Hole in the Wall” but was labelled on our chart as a (former lock and marina) after about half an hours travel. The toilet and bin were emptied and we were soon under way again noting that stopping after the hole in the wall rather that before would have offered easier disembarkation from the boat. It’s worth noting that all the facilities advertised here were usable except for the lock on the toilet door which had been changed preventing use by anyone with the standard British Waterways key.
After three hours travelling we reached double locks at the junction of the Dewsbury Arm and saw a helicopter fly low overhead. We took lunch beside the towpath and afterwards we headed on up the locks and further up the canal and an hour and a half later we went through the flood lock onto the River Calder. The river was wide and fast flowing to compare with the canal, though the marker showed it in the Green. Quarter of an hour later we were at Greenwood lock and looking at the signpost for Sowerby Bridge. We soon were back out onto the river reaching Shepley Bridge Lock mooching on up the canal and up through Ledgard Flood lock and back to the river up to Battyeford Marina where after a break we turned around and headed back for an overnight at Shepley Bridge marina.
Shepley Bridge marina was a great overnight stop where we invested the four Young Leaders and slept well before the domestics including morning bin & toilet emptying. Our journeying back was even more fun than Saturday’s journey upstream and as well as being accompanied along the towpath by a sponsored charity walk. The canal and river was alive with wildlife including toads, ducklings, swans, herons and a kingfisher. We are both grateful to the Wakefield team who helped to make the trip possible and found things worked really well, we were taken aback by the state of some of the locks on the journey which were clearly in poor shape, shame on the Canal and River Trust who clearly are not putting sufficient investment into this area. The young Leaders were doing a project on Water Management and we had covered the need not to waste water only to find some lock gates that fitted so badly that water leaked out nearly as quickly as we put it in. Come on Canal & River Trust, this is a beautiful part of the world, the Calder & Hebble Navigation is a great area of beauty put some more investment in here and fix the leaky locks!
Our view on the whole trip was GREAT ! The next trip in Jubilee Venture is already booked for 10 weeks time. We would thorouly recomend this to other groups so if you have an interest contact the Wakefield team
Thanks to all that helped.
Chris and Lesley