Bingley 5 rise locks

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I know this isn't fantastic but it's all I could manage in the grey light and after travelling all that way I wasn't going to come away with nothing. Another under the heading of work in progress with another visit necessary.

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Comments (5)

David Brown Photogra… on July 26, 2013

Well Sam ol' chum..... here's what I see....

It's got action in it, it's got some great subjects (people looking on), it tells a great story because you can see the drop of the locks in it, in one perfectly located shot.

I think its worth another visit all right, but this is going to be hard to improve upon.

A magic shot - David

brian gillman on August 9, 2013

I think it's a super scene, Sam. Y*. Interesting, plenty going on, colourful too. Typical of summer-time. I see the lock is manually operated; they are all mechanised round my way. (Funny how there is always a crowd at a lock, waiting for someone to fall in or something).

Best wishes, Brian.

originalpickaxe on August 30, 2013

How long does it take for a vessel to travel through the 5 locks?

Yorkshire Sam on August 31, 2013

originalpickaxe... The Leeds & Liverpool Canal was the first of the Trans-Pennine canals to be started - and the last to be completed. The length and complexity of the route meant that the canal took an astonishing 46 years to build at a final cost that was five times the original budget.

The canal originates from a proposal in 1765 to construct a canal from Preston to Leeds to carry woollen goods from Leeds and Bradford and limestone from Skipton. Prospective backers in Lancashire argued for the canal to start from Liverpool.

The line of the canal, over 108 miles long, was laid out along the Aire valley by James Brindley, one of the greatest of the canal builders. He was offered the post of engineer but he declined because he had so much other work. Robert Whitworth and his brother started the construction of the canal but they didn't live to see its completion in 1816.

River navigation couldn't solve all the transport problems of industrial Yorkshire, so artificial waterways, or canals, were cut into the landscape. With the Pennines being so hilly, locks had to be introduced to raise or lower the level of the canal. Bingley Five Rise lock, which alters the height of the water by almost 60 ft, is the most impressive in Britain. An amazing engineering feat, this stretch of the canal was opened on 21st March 1774, and the first boat down the Five Rise Locks took 28 minutes.
The lock system was designed by John Longbotham of Halifax and built in 1774 by local Stonemasons. An 18th century engineering masterpiece, these five locks operate as a 'staircase' flight in which the lower gate of one lock forms the upper gate of the next. When completed, thousands gathered to watch the first boats make the 18 m (60 ft) descent.

The staircase locks are slow to operate since all five must be 'set' before beginning passage. For a journey upwards, the bottom lock must be empty, with all the others full: the reverse is the case for a boat descending. It can take up to ninety minutes for a boat to work through the flight. The five-rise is the steepest flight of locks in the UK, with a gradient of about 1:5. The intermediate and bottom gates are the tallest in the country. Because of the complications of working a staircase lock, a full-time lock keeper is employed.

originalpickaxe on August 31, 2013

Many Thanks for the info Sam , next time I get up to Yorkshire I would like to see this for myself, it all looks very impressive , I can't imagine that there are many full time lock keepers on our inland waterways.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on July 22, 2013
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Yorkshire Sam
    • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
    • Taken on 2013/07/21 15:16:23
    • Exposure: 0.010s (1/100)
    • Focal Length: 35.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/5.600
    • ISO Speed: ISO320
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash