Monday 4 July 2022


Today's Canal - Leeds and Liverpool

Our schedule for the run into Liverpool has to take into account suitable mooring places. Although almost all is no longer the treacherous cruising that it was back when we first came here over 50 years ago, it is still sensible to be careful, just as on any canal. Also, we need to take into account the possible direction for a tv signal, even though nowadays we have the alternative of streaming services via a mobile phone - but that of course requires a decent signal and it is surprising how many rural areas are 'not spots'.

The outcome of the above considerations is that we are only going a few miles today, ending up at a spot we have used several times before on the southern edge of Maghull. 

Hence we did not set off until a quarter to eleven! The morning was chilly, windy and very overcast. At one point it also threaten to rain but fortunately nothing came of it.

We have heard reports of The Wool Boat but never come across it until today. However, we were not looking for supplies so just passed carefully by.

There are four swing bridges on the way through Lydiate/Maghull and each of them is different. Christine went to operate the first one as she thought that it was mechanised. Having pushed the start button the barriers came down ans she waited but nothing more happened. Queues of traffic either side so she re-opened the barriers to let them through whilst she worked out what to do. As they were sorting themselves out she re-read the instructions and discovered in small print the instruction 'and then open the bridge by hand'. Fortunately it did not take much effort. 

The next lock proved to be fully mechanised - much easier. However, the strong wind made it difficult to hover and in the process of waiting for Christine to close the bridge Mike forgot to take a picture!
We stopped for lunch just before Bridge 14A as we thought that this was the best access for the small shops in Central Square as well as Morrisons. We locked up and set off only to discovered that there was no way out at this bridge despite reading our map as indicating an exit point. Still, it was not far to the next bridge, which is closer to the supermarket. As a result we did all our shopping here.

At the entrance to the store car park was this sculpture. There was no explanatory board but the inside of the frame work is gradually being filled with plastic bottles tops!

When we set off after lunch - now back to pleasant sunshine - Mike walked ahead to the swing bridge as we knew that this one is just a footbridge and wholly manual. having wrestled with the anti-vandal lock, it was then very easy to open and close.

The final bridge, perhaps the busiest of them all, was fully mechanised. However, Christine found that she could not turn the key in the lock - reminiscent of 2019 when several boats had to wait here for CaRT to come and reset the system! Mike was summoned and after 'jiggling' (a canal technical term!) the key finally unlocked the bridge. He waited while a queue from either side passed over until he pushed the button to start the barriers - the traffic was pretty constant. Two cars, no doubt aware of the length of the delay, jumped the lights and the second was very lucky not to have the barrier crash down on top of it. In fact this was also by far the slowest we have come across in a while and several cars and vans turned around to find an alternative route. Short cut it may be but not if the bridge opens.

Not much further and we arrived at our planned mooring. Since the forecast is for another day like the last three - dull in the morning and sunny in the afternoon - we included a shot of the mooring now rather leave it until tomorrow. On the right is a row of very neatly kept old persons' bungalows (can we still use that term?) - they have a pleasant area to catch the afternoon sun - and on the other side is a large playing field.

3.4 Miles - 0 Locks

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