Saturday, 23 April 2016

Over the Top and into Lancashire

Well we're finally off and cruising on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.  We left Skipton on Wednesday afternoon heading West and spent the first night between Skipton and Gargrave near Thorlby Swing Bridge.

Here we are just about to leave our mooring on our adventures for 2016.

We now have a teapot which lives on the roof.  Obviously the teapot has to be in the shape of a lion.  He signifies that Helen is a member of a secret society, but I'm sworn to secrecy.  It is nothing too offensive!

These were our first ducklings of 2016.  We've seen quite a few in the last days and today we even saw a gosling.

This is Thorlby Swing Bridge although in fact the picture was taken the following morning when we set off.  Helen is by the bridge swinging it open so that Leo can pass.

On Thursday we carried on to Gargrave where we climbed our first locks of the year and had a coffee at the White Cottage Tea Rooms before carrying on up the Bank Newton Locks to moor at a favourite place on the Bends, where the canal weaves back and forth across several small valleys.

We popped in to Gargrave Church.  This was the effect of the sun through stained glass there.  We did not know before that  Iain Macleod, one time Chancellor of the Exchequer is buried in Gargrave and we found his grave.

 Here is a lovely view looking back down Bank Newton Locks to the hills around Skipton.

On Friday we climbed the three Greenberfield Locks. At the top is a cafe which of course we patronised.  Having huge portions of cake meant neither of us felt in need of lunch.  If you look to the left of the wall along the canal you can see what looks like the top of a canal bridge.  It is on the course of the old route of the locks here.  We learned that there used to be a two lock staircase here.

Around what should have been lunch time we pulled in to Lower Park Marina to collect our new solar panel which we had arranged to have delivered there.  Sadly the panel we've had on the boat for three years has failed.  Fortunately the suppliers are honouring their guarantee.  The main problem was that it was glued onto the roof and was a real pig to remove (with a saw inserted underneath it to cut the glue).  Anyway when we've repaired the paintwork from this, we will be able to refit the new panel.

We moored overnight on Friday at Foulridge just before the tunnel and today we went through the tunnel and down the Barrowford Locks into Lancashire:

Here you can see us about to enter Foulridge Tunnel.  The green lights show this is OK.  Boats East to West are allowed through at the hour and the other direction at the half hour.  The tunnel is just under a mile and takes about 15-20 minutes.  It was quite drippy. 

Here we are waiting at the top of the Barrowford Locks which come just over a mile the other side of the tunnel.  These 7 locks drop you down to industrial Lancashire at Colne and Nelson.
 This afternoon we stopped in Burnley at the museum for the Weavers Triangle.  This gave an account of cotton spinning and weaving and had information about the canal as well.  It was worth a visit but on what was a cold day it would have been better with heating.  We retired afterwards to the pub you can see here and had not beer but warming cups of tea.

Inside the museum was a splendid model fairground seen here which all worked.

Slater Terrace just beyond the museum is seen here by the canal.  The top two floors were houses with their front doors opening off the long balcony.  The ground floor was a warehouse.

We've come quite a long way today - 13 miles and 7 locks - and we're moored at Hapton outside the less desirable bits of Burnley.  Tomorrow we'll probably have an easier day, well it is Sunday, the day of rest.

Our aim is to get to Tarleton by 3 May for our crossing to the Lancaster Canal over the Ribble Link.  Fingers are crossed as we've not managed to do this before.  Watch this space to see if we are successful.

1 comment:

  1. We too have a tea pot though you have already said to much Ian and we might have to have you silenced just to make sure. ☺