Pollington to Selby

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Pollington to Selby

Postby Chris'n'Dave » Thu Jul 21, 2016 3:01 pm

Our Cruise today is in 3 parts, part 1 is Pollington to Great Heck where we are stopping for lunch at the Bay Horse Inn and having some Heck Sausages in Yorkshire Puddings with gravy and a locally brewed pint of bitter that is well worth a try if you are ever this far North, this pub is renowned for its wholesome food and generous steaks and a typical bill for 4 with 2 courses and drinks is around £60. Breakfast cleared away we notice some friends have joined us and they too are heading for Selby, and after a brief planning meeting we agree on lunch at the Bay Horse and to go up to Selby together, this is a nice way to travel as the locks and bridges after Castleford are all manual so the more hands the easier the journey is for all.

There is a lot of automatic locks and bridges on the main canals, but on the smaller ones they are still manual, that said they are not difficult to operate and even us old goats can manage them quite easily, having a younger pair of hands makes it even easier! the general rule is that you hopscotch each other so the next boat opens the gates or bridge for the following boat and after the following boat has passed then becomes the lead boat, some locks it is possible to get 2 or more boats in the lock at the same time so locks can be quite sociable if there are a few boats travelling together.

As we approach Great Heck the South Yorkshire Boat Clubs marina is on our left and we tie up on the public moorings opposite the club, the mooring here are also accessible by road and is a popular fishing spot and dog walking / cycling route, we secure the boats and take the short walk up the road to the Pub, the Pub is empty but it was only 12.30 so Yorkshire puddings ordered we enjoyed a very nice pint of lemon bitter, quite refreshing but one was enough the following was a Snaith Brewery blonde bitter, again very nice and a great accompaniment to the Great Heck Pork Sausage, they are very high and course meat content with a peppery aftertaste, the onion gravy working very well at holding the flavors together, I could not help thinking a honey and mustard sauce / gravy would work even better.

Through the sunshine we take a relaxed stroll back to the boats and we untie and are underway for 2.00pm we pass the BWSS engineering depot, this is where the waterways keep the lawnmowers and other plant and machinery including some dredging barges, as we approach the Whitley Bridge Lock the M62 speeds along ahead of us, the lock here is huge and we pass through it together, we have not see another boat other than ourselves and we pass under the M62 and ahead of us we can see the power stations and the disused coal mines that used to supply them with coal, Kellingley Colliery was the last to close and it was announced on the BBC that it was to close the last time we passed it.

The reclaimed slag heaps providing a fake landscape that will probably be forgotten how and why these artificial hills appeared in a few generations time,

As Castleford approaches we need to watch for the junction where we will turn off the main Aire and Calder and head for Selby, some of which is on the river and then into the Selby Canal. our first manual lock ahead we tie up and open the gates for our friends, we agree it is a bit tight for 2 so we lock our friends through and we follow on, straight after the lock is a weir with quite a strong flow in the winter months which makes tieing up to pick up your lock mate a little more difficult but today the flow is steady and I manage to get to the floating pontoon and hold the boat on the engine till Chris come and joins me, we then make way and head along to catch up with our friends at the next lock into the Selby Canal, we catch up and they join us in the next lock and we go through, the Selby Canal is like going back in time, there is nothing to see but the splendour of wildlife, the water lillies are vibrant and plentiful, the water is crystal clear and teaming with fish waterfowl are plentiful and the soft shreek of the kingfisher and occasional glimpse of greeny blue flash as they skip from tree to tree, there is a bright yellow weed on the towpath reflecting the vivid sunlight as we potter along, this is a really tranquil canal and as we approach the road bridge leading to the canal head it opens and the Watercraft boat from the Waterways museum passes through and they wave us on and we pass through without having to get off, it is this consideration that boaters show to each other that is just one of the many bonuses of being on the canals, we tie up and help our friends tie up and let Jess stretch her legs, at the canal head is a deep lock that gives access to the Ouse, from here you can head North to York or South Back towards Goole or the Humber and The Trent, the River is quite fast flowing and if you are heading towards the Ports you need to have a radio and be dual crewed, at this time we do not plan to enter the Ouse but we may do another trip up the Ouse stopping off at Selby on our way up to Ripon.

Selby has a Market day on a Monday and we plan to visit it tomorrow but now it is time to organise some food and we head towards the town to find food, there is a couple of bridges cross the Ouse at Selby and we take a look at these as we walk towards the town, we see the railway station on the right but even more importantly we see an Indian Restaurant on the left, we continue into the town and have a sit down near the Abbey and do a bit of people watching, we notice our friends on the other side of the square with bags of shopping heading back to the moorings, we move on and pick up some milk and bread and bacon, that's, breakfast sorted and we settle on an Indian takeaway for tea, fantastic food, funny how it always tastes better when someone else makes it, the convenience of take away's some how seem more practical while afloat, anyway the Raj at Selby, opposite the railway station, highly recommended. just as in Norfolk Mozzies and Midjes are a flipping nuisance but we have found "Jungle Juice" spray available in places like Wilkinsons and Aldi keep the little buggers off you, and it does not smell too badly either. after our curry we sit on the towpath and enjoy a few beers as the sun goes down. smashing day, good food, good company,

We are stopping here for a few days, Selby has taken around 7 hours to get here from Pollington, we have travelled around 22 miles lost count of locks and a couple of bridges, we have encountered the derelict landscapes of the collieries and the beauty of nature at its best, Selby only takes 50 minutes by car from Goole so I would guess half an hour from Pollington, so we will be making mental notes of bits of Selby we might want to visit again by car, we say goodby to our friends tomorrow as they head into the Ouse for the City of York.
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Re: Pollington to Selby

Postby SteveO » Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:30 pm

Another great installment of the holiday tale. I am still salivating over the Great Heck sausages - a treat which, no doubt, my cardiologist would have something to say about.

Thanks and keep it coming.


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