Wednesday 30 August 2017

Welder, Electrician and a Meal Out

Alan, the welder, arrived early this morning with the repaired door. Whilst it fitted on the hinges just fine, it needed a bit more adjustment to close properly. He promised to return this evening  with a revised weld.

Next arrived Steve, the electrician arranged by Beta Marine, primarily to check out that the alternators were working properly, to eliminate one of the possible causes of issues we have with the batteries. He also checked the state of the batteries. Although he discovered that the alternators are putting out just what they should be doing, he also found that two of the batteries are in poor health (only a month old) and another is poor. One of the failed batteries is the starter battery which is charged entirely separately from the domestic bank. As a result we now have to go back up the chain to arrange further investigations. At least the practical evidence is gradually building up to give the experts a better picture.

Mike drove into Burscough whilst Christine completed the clean through, as there a few items needed from a supermarket and also to fill the car with diesel ready for tomorrow's long run back home. Whilst he was in Burscough Bridge he had another wander around the shops and wharf where he discovered a bit more of the local history. (Writing this as we make ready to leave next morning so will add details at a later stage*)

Latter part of the afternoon we sat on the benches at the edge of the marina, basking in warm - even hot - sunshine. The railway line runs just a few metres away at a much higher level. Only the short local trains run along the line but they do so with remarkable punctuality. We have been meaning to include a photo but the train does not announce its arrival until just the last minute, by which time grabbing the camera is usually too late. Just caught something this time.

Alan returned as promised with a revised door hinge which this time fitted at least as well as it did before - this door had always been a bit too stiff for Christine to close at the end of the day. Too say that we were relieved is too much of an understatement!

As a result we felt that we could 'celebrate' by having a meal out this evening. We debated between the Hesketh Arms which is walkable and the Rufford Arms which is a mile away along wither the towpath or the busy main road. Looking at  the menus we had thought that the latter would be the more exciting but in the end baulked at either having to 'go soft' in order to drive there or a long walk back in the dark! So, we went to the Hesketh.

In the end we had a really enjoyable and interesting meal which is well worth recommending.

* Later addition

Soon after the Leeds and Liverpool opened, passenger boats - known as Packet Boats - ran a daily service between Wigan and Liverpool. At Bursough Bridge there was a 'transport interchange'  as it would be called today. This allowed passengers to transfer between the canal and the coach service to places such as Preston.

The pub was originally known as the Bridge Inn but was changed to Packet House Hotel in the 1930's - sadly only shortly before such services came to an end. It later had various other names and reverted to Old Packet House after a recent renovation.

The information board has several other snippets trivia, including this piece about skin darkening, which I had not heard about before.

Also that the two railway lines that crossed over each other just north of Burscough Bridge once had connecting curves so that traffic could pass from one to the other. They no longer exist but the alignment of both can be seen clearly from Google Maps satellite images.

Another comment highlighted a piece of church history that we had not come across before. St John's in Burscough Bridge is said to be a Waterloo Church. This means, it seems, that it was one of a number that were built in the wake of the defeat of Napolean at Waterloo. A Parliamentary grant established a Commission to build a number of churches and to create new parishes. Although the national celebration was perhaps the trigger for this initiative, that lasted around forty years, the church was already facing challenges arising from the impact of the industrial revolution in the 18C. With a major redistribution of the population into large urban and industrial areas, medieval churches were often no longer ideally located. The initial Parliamentary grant funded some 85 churches and a second grant was agreed but this was spread more thinly, demanding greater local participation but it did help over 500 churches.

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