We have reached one of our milestone locations, Bingley. Not only is Bingley a waterways wonder, with its Three Rise and Five Rise Locks, but it is where Maggie was at Teacher Training College. This morning the weather was quite different from yesterday, it reverted to its usual dull and damp.

Aqueduct across the River Aire

We left our mooring at Hirst Wood and crossed the aqueduct across the River Aire. It is an astonishing structure with a wide towpath.
Dowley Gap Lock Paddle Mechanism

The first locks we met were Dowley Gap where there is a two rise. We found its operation not exactly straight forward; we found its chambers quite short - we were warned that it contains the second shortest lock on the canal and the bottom chamber lock gates leaked quite badly so we let some water down to ensure we got over the cill.
Damart Mills at Bingley
Bingley Three Rise

We arrived at the Three Rise which is just below the famous Damart Mills. We were expected by the lock keeper. Going up was fine with the lock keeper operating the mechanisms and Maggie looking after the boat lines.

Bingley Five Rise

Brand New Lock Gates, Bingley Five Rise

When we got to the Five Rise the lock keeper was quite emphatic that we didn't need lines. Basically he operated one side of the lock, instructing Maggie how to operate the other. I squeezed the boat into the locks. Surprisingly, despite being in a flight, some chambers were longer than others.

Overflow weir, Bingley Five Rise

After the first chamber we met the new lock gates that had been installed this year and been the subject of the BW Open Day. Although it was wet (drizzle) there were some walkers passing by and some serious gongoozlers who chatted to Maggie as we worked our way up the flight.

Bingley Five Rise

On the lock keepers advice we took on water at the top of the flight and moored up just outside the Five Rise Locks Cafe. The cafe provided us with an excellant lunch and wi-fi access. It is a great spot looking out over the Aire Valley.  Facing west we watched a great sunset.

Mooring at Five Rise Locks Cafe

Dedication to the builders of the Five Rise Locks

The weather in the afternoon improved. We spent the afternoon exploring Bingley, much changed since Maggie was at college. The college closed in 1979 but the buildings remain as apartments and the magnificent halls of residence are now operating as care homes and apartments. We shopped in the town and discovered an inappropriate banner advertising barbeques. They were not exactly flying off the shelf.

As we returned to Albert, walking along the towpath between the Three and Five Rise Locks, we heard a splash. It appeared to come below a tree on the offside and sounded a quite loud for a branch falling. Moments later a grey squirrel emerged from underwater, swam to the bank and very bedraggled climbed the tree looking quite shaken. It had obviously fallen out of the tree and belly-flopped into the canal. If squirrels are ever embarrassed this one must have been. He probably got his nuts wet.