Not on our Tod anymore by Todmorden

On Sunday we moved further up the Rochdale to a place called ‘Summit’ – oddly enough it’s at the summit of the locks! There were still a few hurdles to cross en route, but the scenery was definitely improving.

Summit was a fabulous spot for sitting out on the bank and watching the world go by – though only the natural world really, there’s not a lot happening on the canals in these parts. We did have a little explore, and walked around Summit, which didn’t take long. All we could discover was a long and fairly busy road lined with houses, and the obligatory British Pub. What more could you ask for Barry may say? So we popped in for a pint.

The World Cup was on the TV, and we got chatting with a man and his ten year-old son, who asked what it was like living on a boat. He was horrified to discover we live without a TV, unable to comprehend how anyone could survive without said box. A short while after leaving the pub and settling back in our overnight canal side spot, we saw them walking across the bridge for a visit. He must’ve been fascinated to see how it could be possible bless him (the son, not the father – he was understandably more interested in the home brew possibilities!).

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Uh-oh, beached again! Barry opens the paddles to let more water in

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This Amazonian plant was sitting majestically at a lock side – what on earth is it?

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These must be the flowers – gorgeous. Is it a triffid?

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Moored up at Summit on Sunday

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The only sign of life in Summit

On Monday we set off for Todmorden, and soon came across a boater waiting in a lock for us. Our new companion was Phil, in his late 70s, who’d lived on boats since 1976 and been travelling since retirement. He was one of the jolliest, nicest people we’ve ever met, with such a sunny, optimistic disposition. His faithful dog was called Megan, who happily jumped off at locks, and then back on again shortly after when Phil nudged the boat to the side.

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A locking companion again

We’d read and heard about Grandma Pollards in Walsden and its famous fish and chips shop, so we stopped for lunch there on the way …

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Approaching Grandma Pollards, Walsden

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Now these are vanilla slices extrordinaire!

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Very tasty fish and chips – though to be honest, not really any better than other places, we think it’s a lot to do with the clever marketing!

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That night, Monday, we moored up at terrific Todmorden. A very pleasant place. Barry had a couple of parcels to drop off at the UPS collection point he’d researched. Shops around the country have taken this on to earn extra money – which is extremely beneficial for our mobile Home Brew Boat business.

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Phil was delighted to discover the bridge that’s on the front cover of his 1999 Nicholson’s ‘North West and the Pennines’ Waterways Guide

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Barry chats with Phil as they wait for the lock to empty

Talking of parcels, Barry had ordered some stands for his greetings cards and we’d arranged for them to be delivered to a friend of mine who lives in Todmorden. We’d received a phone call from the courier, saying he couldn’t access the house as it was up a steep hill. Barry was trying to get an address in Hebden Bridge sorted, and said we were on the canal travelling there.

Sitting in the lock, a man walked by and said “This may sound silly, but are you The Home Brew Boat?” to Phil, who said “I’m not, but he is!“. Hilarious. He’d driven past the canal, seen the boats, and stopped on the off chance that it was us.

Barry has a short walk to the courier’s van to pick up his parcel – now that’s service for you!

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Arriving in Todmorden – and passing The Great Wall of Tod (it’s a railway retaining wall)!

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Our first ever guillotine lock – incredible structure

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We had a short visit to Todmorden, staying overnight and visiting a Weatherspoons (I know, sacrilege but cheap!) for a pint, and then went to Lidls to do a big shop Tuesday morning in readiness for my next departure on Thursday evening. I’m going to Whitchurch, then Brighton for the weekend with my daughters and grandsons. It was the only weekend we could all be available.

So sadly I shall be missing Le Tour de Yorkshire/France as they whizz past Barry’s mooring on Sunday. Ah well, I can’t be everywhere!

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