Monday, 29 June 2015

Leeds & Liverpool

Hi again,
This week we are moored on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal a quarter of a mile or so East of the junction with the Rufford Branch not far from the large village of Burscough in Lancashire.We got here earlier today as we make our steady way towards Liverpool where we are booked into Salthouse Dock for thirteen days from this Friday.Our voyage into Liverpool was first conceived last year and,despite being told there was no chance of us getting a booking from a number of other boaters we met over the winter,a phone call to Canal & River Trust at Wigan,early in May,got us booked in without any trouble at all.
The last couple of weeks have been quite busy for us,if enjoying oneself can be said to be busy that is.Together with Pete and Val on Tadpole 2 we came off the River Weaver on the Tuesday before last to make our way to the FAB Festival at Middlewich.FAB stands for Folk and Boat by the way and the festival lasts from Friday evening to Sunday night and this one was the 25th Anniversary Festival.On the Wednesday we arrived and got ourselves ready for what turned out to be a brilliant weekend,many said it was the best ever.Our friends Rob and Suzie on Swamp Frogs were there as was Mick and Marianne with their Sweet Boat,Lollipop,and on Thursday we had Jeane and Pete on Castalan surprise us as they arrived in Middlewich for repairs to their boat.On the Friday Dennis and Ann on Emily,who we hadn't seen since they took us Bell ringing and Line Dancing last year in Nantwich came for a couple of nights.All these visitors meant that Lisa and I had loads of catching up to do.There were plenty of good music acts over the weekend and all the venues that we went into did a sterling job.Particular thanks go to The Kings Lock pub and Middlewich Narrowboats,both of whom had some great entertainment and their Real Ale was excellent.
Earl Grey & the Charwallahs on the stage at Middlewich Narrowboats,this band were the best of the festival for me.
Mark Radcliffe & Galleon Blast in the Marquee at The Kings Lock on Friday night.Mark Radcliffe is at the back somewhere.
A week ago today we set off on our cruise from Middlewich a bit earlier than usual,at eight thirty in fact,in the hope that we wouldn't have to queue at the five locks that we had to pass through to get out of town.It seemed that everyone else must have been having a lie in because it proved to be quite quiet,our three boats,Swamp frogs,Tadpole 2 and Chyandour had the locks to themselves.
Over the following four days we made steady progress along the T&M,the Bridgewater and the Leigh Branch for about fifty miles before stopping at Leigh to load up with supplies for the weekend.We'd spent the first night a Dutton where we met a lovely boater,who's name I failed to get,but who reads this blog so she'll know who I mean.Her boat is NB Henry H and I would like to say thank you for the kind words,they're much appreciated.Our second and third nights were spent at Bollington near Dunham Massey and then Boothstown just past Worsley.Sadly,after three days,we had to say farewell to Rob and Suzie on Swamp Frogs but we do hope to catch up with them again sometime in the future,take care both.
Leaving Leigh on Friday about lunchtime we did a short hop of just over a mile to Pennington Flash where we stayed for a couple of nights overlooking the flash.While there we did some walking around watching the bird life and also did a few odd jobs on our boats before leaving there on Sunday morning.
With just Tadpole 2 and ourselves,we were able to share the locks as we cruised through Wigan and along the L&L as they are Broad Locks,capable of taking two narrowboats side by side.Last night we stopping at Crooke where the local hostelry was holding a Ukulele Weekend.There were a number of Real Ales on sale at reasonable prices so it would have been rude not to sample one or two,the music was half tidy too.
Ahead of us on Sunday morning was a boat who's crew hadn't done any locks before so Lisa & Val had helped them & to show their appreciation the other boat had given them a bottle of wine.Pete & I are drinking Blackcurrant Ribena as if we had opened the wine.Lisa will find out when she reads this.
The Orwell at Wigan Pier.A former Victorian Cotton Warehouse built in 1777 and rebuilt in 1984.George Orwell was the author of a book called The Road to Wigan Pier.

 Well folks that the lot for this week I'm afraid.I'm having problems with my computer and I'm now unable to load any more pictures to this blog,sorry.Since our last blog we have gone through 19 Locks and cruised for 78 Miles.That gives us a Grand Total of 1,184 Locks and 2,019 Miles since we set off in October 2012.Take care everyone.


  1. Hi guys

    Another lovely post and so nice too to have actually had the chance to meet and chat at Dutton. I only wish everyone had your outlook on cut life! I know you'll have a ball in Liverpool and look forward to the next instalment. I'm glad we made the decision to go straight to the Rochdale - the extra time has made things easier as it's been quite challenging at times given Henry's draught, but boy, was it worth it. So quiet and stunningly beautiful

    I hope our paths cross again soon and in the meantime happy cruising!

    All the best

    NB Henry H

    1. Hi Sarah,
      Thanks again for the kind words.I've looked for your blog but you haven't posted since 2011.Is there any chance you could let us know of your experiences on the Rochdale please.We're looking at maybe coming back that way later this year if we don't go up the Trent & I'm curious what it's like from the summit heading West.Did the East side a few years ago.
      Thanks in anticipation,