|Ferrybridge cooling towers rise out of the morning mist|
Soon after starting off the huge cooling towers of the Ferrybridge power station loomed hazily ahead in the morning mist and once we were through the massive flood lock we were soon passing the sprawling site – a site which until not too long ago was supplied with a million tons of coal a year by barge from north east England's mines, as the long lines of mooring bollards stand rusting testament to.
Of course the mines have now gone and in less than ten years the coal fired power station will go too as it fails pollution standards. It's the third generation station on the site and has passed through numerous hands since being privatised in 1989. New biomass and wood multi-fuel power stations are in the pipeline to replace the coal station.
The Aire & Calder is part canal, part river and all of it a grandly proportioned commercial waterway. Evidence of its working past is all around, from huge bollards to derelict coal chutes to part overgrown steps and jetties.
|The sprawling Ferrybridge power station|
|The rural charms of the river hide old coal workings|
|The pedestrian bridge and Castleford's famous flour mill|
|At the edge of the huge weir is this fish ladder - even salmon are here now|