|A club open to anyone who owns a Piper-built boat|
made quite an early start, with so many young early-risers (5). We are
very pleased with the manoeuvaribility of the boat and she has excellent
‘brakes’. We went to take water at Salterforth, where Roger fell
into the canal! He had been
met our first three swing bridges, for which we alternated with another
lost a fender on our way up the locks, which will be £2.50. We nearly
The Deepdale passed us while we were having breakfast, but we met her again later. She had run out of gas and was waiting for help from the yard. We boiled them a kettle and went off to buy milk for ourselves. We hit quite a bit of underwater rubbish in the towns, but came to no harm. We had lunch near to Foulridge tunnel in beautiful sunshine. When we passed Salterforth, Derek went to look for Pat’s keys, which he had left at the water-point, but they had disappeared. We moored at Bank Newton, just below the yard.
We set off today in the Yorkshire direction, passing a small zoo at Gargrave, right on the canal bank! We took on water, which proved to have a peculiar flavour, like iodene. We then came to a long pound which was peppered with swing bridges. For some of these we ‘leapfrogged’ with other boats, but it slowed down progress, and some were very heavy. We moored at Bingley for the night, where we were impressed with the huge five-rise locks which seemed to be much bigger than in the photos.
We started early from Bingley, returning through the section of canal which is so full of swing bridges. We stopped to buy milk and bread at Silsden, where we visited the canal shop. It was a very windy afternoon and we had a job to hold the boat when waiting for the swing bridges. We took water at Gargrave and then locked up, to moor two locks below the base at Bank Newton. The children had a wonderful game rolling in the grass, before bed-time.
We awoke to find that it was pouring with rain, which made our get-away rather difficult. We had to keep the children on board until they could sit in the cars to wait.
We holidayed on Ennerdale in her first season. At 59ft she was the biggest boat we’d built and we’d been so busy building boats and generally getting the business up and running that we hadn’t actually had any sort of holiday, never mind a canal one, for quite some time.
Having seen Ennerdale safely off on her way for completion by Yorkshire Dales, I phoned Susan Binns and asked if we could book a week fairly early on in the next season.
We weren’t doing a great many fully fitted boats at the time and it was so nice to arrive to a fully fitted and complete boat, immaculately presented and with a welcome bunch of flowers and “Have a good holiday” note. Andy and Simon were just 9 at the time and Tim was 4. They had the usual “behave yourself and no going outside without a lifejacket” lecture and Tim was told to stay inside the boat whilst we were given our “handing over” instructions.
I think Ennerdale was one of the first boats to be fitted with more than one toilet and there was an arrangement involving a macerator which macerated and pumped the waste from the second loo to the main tank. While we were busy Tim had been very quiet, but when we tied up after the first couple of locks and went inside he complained he’d lost his new dinky car – it was a tractor actually, with lots of sticky out bits – and guess where he’s lost it! It just went down the loo apparently, as toys do! One advantage of having built the boat is that at least you understand the plumbing and thankfully David sorted it with no harm done.
We had a really pleasant week, only going down as far as Bingley before turning and coming back up beyond Bank Newton and up as far as Foulridge Tunnel and backl. We spent a couple of days in Skipton, which we love. It revived our interest in boating and by the end of the summer we’d bought “Kit Carew” – an oak and elm cruiser built by Len Walton. Not a Piper yet, but getting there.
Dot Piper (December 2012)
Dot is happy to answer any questions about Piper boat verifications; Dot Piper