Wednesday 10 July 2019


Today's Canal - Leeds and Liverpool

We left you last Thursday after we had arrived at Scarisbrick Marina where the boat was to stay - along with Christine - for the next five days. On Friday morning, Christine took Mike to the station where he caught the first of the two trains he needed to get to York by lunchtime. He was attending General Synod which started its first session at 2.30.

It was a busy and tiring experience - York university campus is substantial and Mike was in the hall of residence furthest from the central conference area so he had quite a bit of walking to do! Also, it is quite a bit higher so plenty of steps as well.

That said, it is a very pleasant place with very effective facilities. The catering, given that around five hundred people are served at each sitting, was excellent. However, with a 7 o'clock start most days and a return to the room after 10:30 in the evening, it was exhausting. By the time Christine picked him up from the station at Burscough Bridge just before 5 on Tuesday evening, he was somewhat spaced out!

Christine stayed on board the boat and found the marina to be friendly and staff helpful. She had several chats with other marina residents or people visiting the cafe which was just a few metres from our mooring.

She drove over to Southport on a couple of occasions and on Sunday morning visited the church in Burscough Bridge which we went to a couple of years ago. There is a new vicar there now and Christine found the service better planned and organised than we commented on in the earlier blog (for Take Five).

Burscough also had a scarecrow competition (see Mike's photo some days back of Halsall)

In the afternoon she went for a walk along the towpath and took a few photos of the waterside plants.

And so to today. First, we drove to Booths in Burscough, an upmarket local small chain of supermarkets with a superior range of products. The main reason was that yesterday, on the way back from the station, we called at their filling station an, because we spent over £30, we had a voucher for a free Platinum car wash. We couldn't face doing it then but it was valid for 30 days. It is a long time we have used a drive-in automatic car wash - a slightly surreal experience!

We only went into the supermarket itself for a tub of olive oil spread but we were tempted by a number of other items - they have a particularly splendid cheese counter as well as a range of coffees of their own speciality.

Back at the boat we started to prepare to leave, filling up with water and sorting out things to leave in the car. Then we pulled away from the pontoon but only a short distance to the diesel point. Not only did we want to make sure the fuel tank was full (there are not too many options in the run into and through Manchester, but also to replace a gas bottle that ran out a short time back. We have two bottles but it is as well to replace as soon as possible otherwise it can be forgotten until that one is also empty, usually with no notice in the middle of cooking a meal!

Things happen around here ar a pace that is close to the Cornish dreckly and so it was not until after 1 o'clock that we eventually left the marina, on our way towards Wigan and then Manchester.

Just after passing until Scarisbrick Bridge Mike spotted what seemed to be a milestone but it had no numbers on it. It also seemed as if the ground around it had recently been disturbed.

Compare then with a picture taken by Christine on her walk on Sunday. It seems that someone is raising the post which had become embedded in the base of the hedgerow.

Just before Heaton's bridge we spotted this unusual two storey pill box,

As there were three swing bridges to operate ahead of us we were not disappointed that this one, marked usually left open, is very much in the twilight of its years and unlikely to be closed - even if it was, it seems improbable that it would carry any load. The picture we have from 2013 shows it much less dilapidated - shows how time quickly takes its toll.

At the first working swing bridge, fully mechanised, there is also a popular pub - we were maused by a sign it has on one of the walls.

After we passed through the bridge a trip boat was getting ready to set off back to Burscough with its passengers. They then had an additional entertainment as Mike had to venture down the weed hatch where he discovered a large piece of sodden carpet at least a metre square. Fortunately he stopped the engine quickly enough and it was so heavy that it did not have time to embed itself too solidly around the prop. No photo since as soon as Mike had thrown it onto the canal bank, it decided to slide back into the water and sank without trace.

We made a brief stop at Burscough Bridge services to empty the elsan and to dispose of the plastic that also came off the prop.

Shortly after we passed Burscough Junction where the Rufford Arm sets off to Tarleton and then to the Ribble link over to the Lancaster Canal.

Opposite the junction a new housing estate is rapidly taking shape.

Our final swing bridge of the day has automatic motors to to turn the deck but the gates are manual. The control box initially refused to unlock the gates but eventually, after several restarts, it released them.

We continued until just before Parbold where, a bit earlier than sometimes, we stopped when a pleasant rural mooring spot appeared.

6.9 Miles - 0 :Locks

No comments:

Post a Comment