|In Tuel Lane lock, deepest in Britain|
The canal lay derelict from the early 1970s and only after a huge restoration effort was it brought back to life for boat traffic in 2002.
Base camp, as it were, for us was at Sowerby Bridge where the Rochdale branches away from the terminus of the Calder & Hebble. And what a magnificent terminus it is, too, surrounded by massive old stone warehouses that once dealt with the trans-shipment of goods between the two canals, all regenerated now into bars, restaurants and offices but still alive with boats and the base of the Pennine hire specialists, Shire Cruisers.
|Leaving Lock One to begin the assault on the Rochdale|
|Last lock on the Calder & Hebble and the first time we've had a travelling companion|
|One of the unsung volunteer heroes who keep Salterhebble so smart|
|The magificent and bustling canal basin at Sowerby Bridge|
Tuel Lane lock is, indeed, deep – and even deeper if, like Mrs B you are way down in its depths – but with two boats in it and the lockie filling it steadily, the pair of us rose steadily up toward the surface.
Our companions pottered away out of Soweerby but we tied up on the first available rings after the lock.
Let the assault begin tomorrow; tonight it's to the pub! We headed off to the highly rated Navigation, a tucked away pub just back beyond the canal basin where we enjoyed one of the best pub meals we've had in a long time – and at a 'tenner for main and dessert' a delicious bargain too.