Heavenly Hebden – well worth the extra effort

We finally arrived at our destination of Hebden Bridge on Tuesday 1st July. What a delightful part of Britain it is.  Our initial impressions were extremely favourable, especially in the light of all the extra effort of the long and tiring days which we now knew were worthwhile.

We’d also seen some terrific sights along the way, and met lots of interesting and friendly people, so despite the many and varied challenges, it’s been fun and fascinating!


The scenery is becoming more and more spectacular


The Bob Marley flag hanging from the end of the boat says ‘Freedom’ – the occupant’s surroundings certainly exude such an air


We passed a few boat gatherings seemingly living along the canal sections


This one even had a tent with a chimney – not a temporary dwelling then!

Our new friend Phil stopped a few locks before the valley spot, preferring the solitude.

This time we were confident we had a reserved mooring, thanks to Diana and her organisational skills. There’s just three trading boats along the stretch by the town centre, opposite a Thai restaurant – us, Antiques Afloat and the Fudge Boat. Small but beautiful we hope! We’re not sure how good trading will be, but we knew we wanted to visit this amazing part of Britain and the boat gathering and once-in-a-lifetime passing of the famous cycle race, coincided with it.

Catching up with Tony and Heather over a couple of drinks on Tuesday evening, we discovered they’d missed New Islington completely, and had a horrendous journey from Dunham all the way to The Rose of Lancaster on their journey here! Crikey, it’s a good job they’re early starters!

We decided we all deserved a good night out to celebrate our achievement. Initially we walked to a pub called /The Old Gate’, but it looked like one of those dreadful chain pubs, full of youngsters lol! So we carried on to The Fox and Goose and had one of the best nights out for a long time. Such friendly people, and we discovered that it’s a ‘co-operative pub’, owned by local people, with the aim of preventing it becoming a chain pub.

Fabulous! During the evening a ‘Hurdy Gurdy’ band began playing, much to our amusement, and we were soon in the room with them having a fine old time- Barry and I even had a go on the rare instrument that I didn’t even realise existed!


Diana, Tony and Heather (Barry’s propping up the bar!)


The hurry gurdy and drum


The eclectic and merry ensemble


Oh yes I can play!

Diana had provided us with a wonderful ‘welcome pack’, filled with lots of freebies and local information. And to our delight we’d been told beforehand that we featured in the local magazine ‘Valley Life’.


The free local publication – Le Tour de France/Yorkshire edition


Very honoured to be featured in the local mag

On Thursday I’d booked for a mosaic workshop aboard ‘Craft Afloat‘. That was probably a little foolish, as it did mean a bit of a rush around on Wednesday to check out Hemptonstall and Hebden Bridge, as I’m off for the weekend from Thursday evening.

But I’ll be back on Tuesday next week to do some more meandering.

Barry’s photography

Sadly the previous three posts have contained only a couple of Barry’s photography. They’re mostly from my iPhone, to put pictures with the stories, but not nearly as eloquently as Barry’s images will do at some point in the future when I get a collection from him!

He’s also a lone trader on the boat this weekend. As I said previously, I’m leaving him once again to spend four days with my daughters and grandsons – we’re off to the seaside in Brighton to have heaps of fun.

I think I need a clone – to be with Barry, my dad and mum (they’re struggling bless them but the sisters are all doing their share), and my daughters and grandsons. At some point I’ll also have a chance to do some face painting and glitter tattoos. In fact, we’ve got a festival booked for 25th and 26th July at Standedge tunnel just for me. Lovely.

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