Sunday 3 July 2022

Coxhead Swing Bridge

Today's Canal - Leeds and Liverpool

The morning was grey but as we set out to walk the road to the church in the centre of the village of Halsall, there was the faintest hint of dampness in the air. Fortunately we arrived there quite dry (and the same on the return walk)

The church is a substantial building capable of seating well over 300 people! There was a positive welcome - lots of people were on the look out for visitors and the vicar came and spoke to su briefly before the start. There  were around 25 people. The service was a mind of BCP liturgy but following a slightly modern adaptation. The vicar preached a very well constructed sermon and was lively and challenging.

There are various interesting features - not all of which could we found out much information and in some cases the local poeeprl hard hardly noticed them! The space where the lectern now is looks as if it had a different purpose originally but we have not seen anything about it.

The pulpit still has a large egg timer. Although we were aware that these used to be commonplace in times past this is the first remaining one that we have seen. However, it was not used today!

We noticed one stained glass window and remarked that the children's' dress style was reminiscent of our own childhood. A closer look told us that the window is memory of Richard and Ellen Shawe who died in 1953 - but there were no further details.

The village has an annual scarecrow competition which was held mid June this year. Some of the entries were still on show. This one looked a well  crafted display - unsurprisingly, most had a Jubilee theme - two scarecrows for the price of one.

This garden went better by having twenty scarecrows - was this a record?

Back at the boat we had a slow coffee break and eventually set off about midday - we are pacing ourselves as we have a booking for the Liverpool Link into Salthouse Dock on Wednesday - only about a day and half cruising.

At the first bridge there is a memorial to the navvies that built the canal. The reason for the cars was that there was a popular fishing competition on the stretch between this and the next bridge.

A little later is where the official ceremony marking the start of construction of the Leeds and Liverpool was held.

We only cruised for about 45 minutes before mooring up for lunch. (Hammering in mooring pins which are needed all along here even at designated visitor moorings, is hard work here and Mike needs time to recover afterwards!)

We prepared most of the evening meal before setting off again for the next short hop. By now the weather was very different and we enjoyed the sunshine for the rest of the day.

When we came here last, Coxhead Swing Bridge was just coming to the end of a difficult period during which it was vandalised several times. We had been prepared for a delay but were delighted that the repair had been competed a day or so earlier and we passed through without a problem. Today there was no sign of these past difficulties. We  moored just beyond the bridge.

4.0 Miles - 0 Locks

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