Friday 24 July 2015


Skipton canal basin is pretty busy. On our return from Gargrave the first place we came to was past the junction, opposite the CRT service point. Although it's not the most attractive, the moorings are OK and provide very easy access to the town, but where we're tied up it's like Piccadilly Circus as everyone stops for water and widebeams squeeze by. There's quite a lot of hire-boat business, with several yards in the vicinity offering day-trips and day-boats as well as weekly hire.

The day had come for our friend Margaret to return to Edinburgh, but there was time this morning for a quick walk up to visit the Craven Museum. Its material on local history and archaeology was interesting without, to my mind, being stunning. By far the most interesting exhibit is a Shakespeare First Folio, opened to his play about King John in recognition of the Magna Carta celebrations in Skipton (and the rest of the country) this year. I didn't even know Shakespeare had written a play about King John!

Then it was off to "Forage" at the top of the High Street where Margaret treated us to coffee. There's a pleasant garden with tables overlooking the Springs Branch of the canal.

We didn't really need a menu, but they came anyway and turned out to be very unusual. They were The Observer's Book of Music and The Observer's Book of Birds, both from the 1950s. Over several of the pages inside had been glued sections from the menu. I'm not sure who had decided that this page or that was sufficiently unworthy and could be obliterated by a menu section. But we had fun, reading through the entry for (e.g.) the flute, reminding ourselves how educationalists in the 1950s imagined that young people imbibed knowledge. The descriptions were excellent, but rather wordy (a bit like this blog). However, we were also able to confirm that the bird we'd seen in the fields on Wednesday really had been an oystercatcher, even though there was no recognition in the book that it could live anywhere but round the coast.

Well, we duly delivered Margaret to the railway station and saw her off on an over-crowded train. On the platform we met three other travellers. They weren't going to Edinburgh, just down the track a few stations to Baildon. Pat, Joan and Janet are three sisters who had been in Skipton buying brushes and some kitchenware for making lemon curd.

We had a great natter. Nice to chat, ladies!

Wonder who'll we'll meet tomorrow.


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