Thursday 31 May 2018

Withnell Thursday 31 May 2018

Last night we have another lovely meal at the Calypso Bar and I am getting to enjoy the Reggae music.
Back on the boat I did start to wonder if we had made a mistake mooring here, the geese where really kicking up a racket when we went to bed at half eleven, but by midnight they were asleep, I did hear one call the other about four this morning but then they were away until eight.

We were just having breakfast this morning when nb. Periwinkle with Gill and Steve onboard came by, they indicated asking if we were coming down the locks, so breakfast was finished on the move as we set off to catch up with them just before the Blackburn Top Lock. As we were setting the lock a CRT chap came to clear the bywash and let water down, he said it was ten inches down below Johnson's Hillock Locks and after we left the lock he would let a bit of water down. Although we set ahead the extra water topped the top gates so we had to take care not to get water in the back of the boat, especially Periwinkle at 60 foot.DSCN2803We worked down the flight together and were out of the bottom an hour after setting off, at the bottom lock there were about 6 volunteers litter picking and a bit of painting who were more than happy to lean on lock beams.
Half way down the flight I passed this rolled up hose, anyone any idea what its for?DSCF1364

I wonder how many chicks this Swan will hatch off in any with her eggs sticking out the side like that, if she has been rolling them round and leaving a different one out each time I think she may be disappointed.DSCF1366

I don't recall seeing this tree decorated like this on our way up, there are all sorts from a bat to a monkey including a few birds, I guess they must have used a dingy or canoe.DSCF1367

This is the second terrapin we have seen up here this trip, the other one of a similar size was just above Bingley, it was quite happy sitting in the sun. I don't think they bread in the UK as I have never seen small ones.DSCF1371

We decided to call it a day at Withnell on the 48hr. visitor moorings, these are again a staging made from imitation wood ie. recycled plastic. The forecast was for rain late afternoon but its been a lovely evening up till now, I wonder if we will get it tomorrow.

Today’s Journey map 437½ 6 locks in 3¾ hours

Wednesday 30 May 2018

Blackburn Wednesday 30 May 2018

Well not a great deal to report today, the weather stayed fine until 10 minutes after we moored up so that can't be bad. The Asbo Swan of Hapton paid us a visit rattling the side hatch window and bashing the hull, when we set off he came down and had a quick peck at my toe, but not as bad as the Western one.DSCF1336

A few swing bridges to give us something to do and I am not sure where this chap came from but he just appeared in the slide, he wasn't very big, maybe 15 mm long including his legs, but look at the colour. DSCF1340

I thought the little cruiser would have left the floating dry dock by now, it looks as if he is doing an internal fit out carting sheets of ply wood about.DSCF1346

There are signs to the Moorfield Colliery Memorial on bridges 114B and 114C but we were not sure where it was so didn't stop. It turns out it probably less than 100 mt from Pilkington bridge 114C.DSCF1347

We passed Canal View cafe and what better view of the canal can you get than from these chairs right on the towpath.DSCN2802

The other highlight of the trip was 4 visits to the weed hatch, That is more than all the way to Liverpool and then on to Leeds and it was not in Burnley or Blackburn but in Rishton, all polly so no problem getting it off, just needed a lot of care stopping and pulling away.

As we came into Blackburn to moor once more outside The Calypso Bar we passed this loading quay on the offside, as you can see the platform extends out beyond the wall so goods could be tipped straight into the hold of waiting boats.DSCF1363

The other day I asked if anyone knew what these were for, I hadDSCF1069several good suggestions but nothing positive, they are all at the end of moorings and are bolted to the stone work in several places,DSCF1351 so look very robust if they are just to stop a fisherman in a wheelchair.DSCF1353

Today's Journey map 4211¾ miles in 4½ hours.

Tuesday 29 May 2018

Hapton Tuesday29 May 2016

Not so warm today but still dry. Before we set off I just thought I would show you what happens when people put disposable BBQ straight onto the plastic walkway.DSCF1318

Away at 10,its down hill now with the 6 Barrowford locks ahead of us following a hire boat down who is about 3 locks ahead. All went well until one before the last Warehouse Pool Lock where the water was coming in the top end so fast we had problems opening the bottom gates, I hope its not the ground paddle as the other side one is already bust. Half way down the flight is Barrowford Reservoir, the level doesn't look to good to me for the end of May.DSCF1319

Anyway we passed the hire boat who had stopped on the lock moorings for a rest and carried on our way. As we came into Nelson there were loads of white geese and just one grey one, also two goslings, we counted them as we passed and made it 34.DSCF1321

I am not sure if the old mill is being renovated and maybe turned into flats or if its just a case of vandalism knocking the windows out, I expect we will see next time we pass by.DSCN2796

We stopped at Reedley Marina to fill with diesel, there service point is on the canal so there is no need to enter the marina to fill up, it's semi DIY, you hold the nozzle in the tank while the lady from the office starts the pump and tells you how much you have taken onboard and switches off when you tell her, unfortunately she also take your money, but its the cheapest on the L&L.

As you approach Burnley you have a mile long stretch of canal, at the Burnley end there are mooring rings which are very handy for the large Tesco store near by.DSCN2797

We stopped at Burnley Wharf and visited the old Toll House, this is now an information centre for the Weavers Triangle.DSCN2799Up until last August there was a thriving pub on the wharf called The Inn on the Wharf but it closed very suddenly for some unknown reason. It looks a good location with outside seating and the covered wharf.DSCF1325

Looking back as we exited Gannow tunnel there are loads of hieroglyphics, these are not like any mason marks I have ever seen DSCF1330on face stone work. What a contrast going straight under the M65 fly over.DSCF1331

We decided to moor at the same location we used on our outward journey at Hapton, here the canal loops away from the motorway and the village sits between us and the cars.

Today's Journeymap 41 11¾ miles 6 locks in 5½ hours

Monday 28 May 2018

Barrowford Locks Monday 28 May 2018

Well the wind died down over night and things were much more peaceful this morning. A boat went by early so when we set off at 10 the 3 locks were against us, as I set the middle lock I could just see a cruiser coming into the top lock. At the middle lock I removed a fender from the water that was behind the gate, I wish people would only use them for mooring and not while traveling.
As a boat was coming down we could leave the top gate open ready for them.
We stopped at the top of the flight to fill with water and dispose of the rubbish. There is a notice in the car park about the three locks DSCF1306

and it seems that when the canal was built there was just a double chamber staircase lock, but it was so problematic they built the three new ones beside it. DSCF1310

The old staircase lock was just to the towpath side of the middle lock, No. 43. and there is still a very wet section which is probably now part of the weir stream.DSCF1305As this is the summit of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal it is here that the feeders for the canal come in. There are several sources and this one comes from Winterburn Reservoir approximately 11 miles away.

Once the tank was full we were on our way again. Planning to stop at Cafe Cargo just before the Foulridge tunnel. DSCN2775On the way we passed this strange object in the middle of a meadow, I don't have a clue what it is or for but it was in a lovely yellow field of wild flowers.DSCF1312All the visitor moorings were full when we arrived so we got as close to the bank as we could just before them, needless to say almost immediately a couple of boats left. We had a good lunch and a pint of Tetley's beer before taking a short walk up to the village. As we returned to the canal two boats exited the tunnel, I don't know if they were extra slow or had disregarded the lights but they were well green at the North end when they came out. Some sheep's cheese and pickle was purchased from the trading boat Periwinkle before returning to Harnser and casting off. We arrived at the tunnel mouth at about quarter to three so had a 15 minute wait, there was already a hire boat waiting so we tucked in behind him. I could see two lights approaching very slowly in the tunnel, the first eventually emerged, a day boat on tick over, then to my surprise a yacht appeared, its mast laid flat on the roof only just clearing the tunnel height gauges and no lights at all, then the third boat came out, another Narrowboat which was the second light I could see.
We waited for the lights to change to green and set off, but the hire boat ahead never got faster than tickover, it took us 25 minuets to do the tunnel, I was expecting the lights to be green when we cameDSCN2787out. once in the sunshine again we followed him down to the winding hole where he turned to head back north to his base. We contemplated going down the Barrowford locks, but we had already done 4 hours so decided to stop at the top for the night.

Diana went for a wander and came back with this photograph of winding equipment she fond on the River Pendle.DSCN2791

Today's Journeymap 40 6¼ Miles, 3 Locks in 4¼ Hours.

Sunday 27 May 2018

Greenberfield Locks Sunday 27 May 2018

Last night we walked into the village and had a meal at The Masons Arms, The first courses were very good but not impressed by the sweets I'm sorry to say. It was quite cool as we walked back to the boat, as we sat in the boat we heard a noise and both looked round to see a part bottle of red wine making its way across the galley worktop, before landing on the floor. Luckily we use vacuum plugs on the bottles and also it didn't smash when it hit the floor. The level in the pound had changed, we had floated in over the rocks and the level fallen again. By now it was dark and unlikely any more boats would pass so I managed to push us out back into deep water and ease the stern line a bit more, after that we stayed on an even keel.

This morning we heard a few boats go by in the direction we wanted to go. We gave the last one half an hour and set the 500 yards to the lock only to find they were still in there, it looked like being a slow day, by the time we reached the third lock another hire boat was catching us up, 4 experienced hirers and slid into the lock beside us. We carried on together up the Bank Newton Flight where there was a lock keeper and a Volockie on duty, even so the boats ahead managed to turn a lock in front of a wide beam coming down and there were 4 boats in the top pound trying to come down when we got there. At the top of the flight we let the hire boat go first as they have to be back tomorrow morning in Barnoldswick. We went a short way and pulled over for lunch, this was just the start of the curly bit with the radio mast. DSCF1291We did consider stopping here for the night but it was very exposed with the wind gusting over 25 mph. a little less that yesterday.

As I posted on our way to Leeds this section of canal is very twisty with a radio mast that you get to see from every quarter. Here are some photos, I have included a bit of the boat to give an idea where it kept appearing.

 DSCF1286 DSCF1296  DSCF1295 
DSCF1290  DSCF1288  DSCF1285 


We carried on passing a steam powered Narrowboat on her moorings, you don't expect to see a modern Narrowboat with a steam plant , this one is called Whistle Down the Wind.DSCF1299It was then on to where we had hoped to have moored on our outward journey at the bottom of the Greenberfield flight, this time it was empty. Once moored a little after 4pm we walked up the flight and bought ice creams at the small cafe at the top of the flight. It was just as well we did as just as we were walking back a boat came up and had both bottom paddles and all 4 top paddles wide open, the ironic thing was, when he was emptying the lock to come in he had to give the top paddles a touch as they had been left slightly open.

Back on the boat we had a BBQ with the BBQ tucked behind aDSCF1303bush against the dry stone wall to try and keep out of the wind.

Today's Journey map396 Miles, 9 locks in 4¾ hours.

Saturday 26 May 2018

Gargrave Saturday 26 May 2018

The day started much nicer than yesterday with sunshine, but it did cloud over badly at lunchtime threatening rain, but it never materialised. As well as sun we have had a very stiff breeze gusting over 30 mph..

We backed out of the Spring Branch around 10 am, there had been quite a bit of activity at the hire base opposite for some time. We didn't go far only through Brewery Bridge and then moored up to visit Morrison's. Just to the end of the visitor moorings there is a set of stares that lead straight down to the same road that Morrison's stands on.

We were very fortunate with all the bridges today only having to work one ourselves, the rest of the time we were able to follow someone else.

Once the shopping was packed away we were off again, this time behind a hire boat with 6 chaps onboard, this was especially handy as Gawflat swing bridge is a heavy one, shortly after this we met one of the fat trip boat on bit of a bend but no problem. We did have to work Niffany swing bridge and let the hire boat full of chap pass, but I was just able to keep up with them ready for the next. By now the wind had picked up and they had a great deal of trouble getting off the bridge moorings and through the bridge hole. When we arrived at Holme Bridge lock two boats had just gone into the lock and one was waiting below who we paired up with and it carried on like this all the way into Gargrave. The pound below Gargrave was very low and we had to wait for a broad beam boat to come down with no chance of getting close to the bank, but he got by.

Just as when we came down all the visitor moorings were full in Gargrave and we are moored somewhere near the bank just a short way below Anchor Lock near where we moored coming down. The problem is its a very rocky bottom and when the lock above is emptied we float over the rocks, when the lock below is filled we sit down on the rocks with a good list. It was just as well there was a stopper in the bottle of red wine that slid across the worktop landing on the floor.

Today's Journey map 385¼ miles, 3 locks in 3½ hours

Friday 25 May 2018

Skipton Friday 25 May 2018

lay in bed this morning contemplating getting up and it started to rain, decision made, stay in bed a bit longer . Once up we ambled over to The 5 Rise Cafe for a cooked breakfast and very good it was too. £5-50 including toast and coffee. By the time we had finished it was really raining and muggins didn't have a coat on so my beloved wife went back to the boat and fetched one for me.

As we were in no hurry to get away we hung around until the rain stopped just after 12 o'clock, needles to say once on the move it started again for real, just look across these hills.DSCF1247

At Lodge Hill Bridge the bridge hole was full of goslings and a few adult geese, but they soon left the water as we approached them. DSCF1248

By now the weather was a bit of this and a bit of that but no sun, a real change from the past few days. When we reached Brunthwaite Swing Bridge Diana paused so that a CRT van could cross, she then tried to swing the bridge but couldn't move it. A boatman working on the towpath gave it a swing from the towpath side but it stopped dead, It took the efforts of the two CRT guy's who luckily she had let across the bridge to the offside to help her move it. When we left one was crawling underneath it with a red can of something.DSCF1253

We have passed several allotments, very few seem to grow food and most are sheds and pigeon lofts, I was rather taken by the sign outside this shed.DSCF1255

St Andrew's Church, Kildwick stands on the south side of the canal and the grave yard on the north side, it has its own bridge connecting the two across the canal and at the end of the bridge is a Lychgate into the grave yard.DSCF1259

Our next stop was Hamblethorp Swing Bridge where there is a large memorial plaque to the 7 Polish Airmen who died there. DSCF1266

The plaque gives the details of those that died.DSCF1267

A little to the south of the bridge on the side of the towpath is a much smaller one with just a small inscription at the bottom.

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When we have moored at the head of the Thames there is always the worry that the cows will eat your mooring ropes and anything else they can wrap their tongue's around, well at Bradley Swing Bridge they were merrily licking away at the roof of a cruiser.DSCF1275

We carried on to Skipton for the night mooring in The Springs Branch.

Today's Journey map 3713 miles in 5½ hours