Sunnybank to Apperley Bridge

More lovely place names, although I suspect there was a bit of reverse phsycology going on. I doubt that life working in a spinning mill was a  particularly sunny experience. We moored at Rodley for a few days.


And I made my first discovery of the old Yorkshire cloth industry. There are old mills all along the banks of the canals and rivers. Sadly the spinning and weaving industrial revolution in this country has been overtaken by the cheaper manufacturing processes in other countries but the legacy of the old buildings remain. Some have been demolished, others gentrified into desirable accommodation and some  have survived to take advantage of the vast space inside.
Sunnybank Mill is one such place, about 20 minutes walk from Rodley into Farsley, it’s full of creative people and artisan eateries. But the area that grabbed my attention was the scrap store.

Sunnybank Scrap store

 It is a social enterprise scheme where local businesses donate their waste, to prevent it going into landfill. The team then sell it at very low prices. It’s like a glorified jumble sale and this huge cavern stretches for as far as the eye could see. And I was left to wander and wonder at such potential. But living on a narrowboat requires strict self control, no superfluous clutter… much to Eric’s relief I didn’t bring it all back to firecrest.
As a reward for good behaviour I was treated to a cream tea at the Tiny Tea room on the canal bank.

A Tiny Tearoom cream tea

It really is tiny. No inside seating, and just a sink and work surface in the tiny stone building.

The tiny tearoom

But the weather was good so we made the most of it, and enjoyed a bit of gongoozling ourselves as we watched to narrowboats cruise past. It really is very pretty around here, hard to believe were only 10 miles or so from Leeds.

Our cruising was to take us through Apperley Bridge, which is the home of Bear Boating. And this is where Eric and I did our helmsmans course before we moved onto Firecrest. 

Bear Boating base at Apperly Bridge

They taught us how to do locks and swing bridges, which is probably a good job because there are a lot of both on this canal.

If only all were automated like this one, life would be so much easier.