Sunday, 12 July 2015

Sunshine and showers

Approaching Gannow tunnel is tricky – a very sharp left-hander as you hope that nothing is coming the other way.

All was well – no paintwork damaged and the whole 557 yards clear for us to proceed.

At the other end there is a wharf with a pub and notices inviting you to tie up and come in. We've come across plenty of places where we'd be less likely to do so, but this was extremely unappealing. On the other hand, when we arrived in Burnley a mile or so further on, the sun was shining and Burnley Wharf seemed positively welcoming.

The Inn on the Wharf already had a few, friendly customers, but we were particularly interested in the museum in the old toll-house building, also on the wharf.

It's dedicated to the "Weavers' Triangle", a compact area which used to be at the heart of the cotton industry when Burnley was weaving more than anyone else.

That took us a while to go round, and finally we moved off up the stretch known as the straight mile, which sits on an embankment 60 feet above the rest of the town.

You look across the rooftops to the centre where the authorities have been doing a great job of improving appearances,

and on the other side across the rooftops to the moorlands.

But Burnley was not a place we wanted to stop for the night, and the wisdom of our decision was confirmed as we came slowly round another very sharp left-hander to a bridge lined with a score of children of various ages, in the company of (but, I fancy, not under the control of) a woman.

When they saw I'd got my camera out, many of them retreated but then decided there would be little I could do. As we came under the bridge we were pelted with water-bomb balloons.

My best beloved stayed calm and responded with something about being grateful for the cooling effect. But I was anxious, and seething, and nearly grounded Erin Mae on the far side as a consequence. I had no knowledge of what they might have been throwing down – and how many years will it be before the impunity results in water-bombs being exchanged for bricks?

Up until this point I was thinking pretty kindly about Burnley, but now we're glad to be tied up as far away as we could get, just below the first of the Barrowford locks.

Two other things happened to cast a cloud over an otherwise enjoyable day. First, as I was removing the tiller, the tiller pin slipped out of my hand, bounced on the canvas dodger and ended up in the canal. I assume it's made of non-magnetic materials – I couldn't retrieve it wither the magnet or the litter-picker stick we carry. Nothing too serious, but I was attached to that pin!

The other thing was more worrying. As we came through Garrow tunnel I noticed that the auxiliary battery light was on. The manual confirmed that this indicates the domestic batteries are not charging. Now the state of this warning light has been variable throughout the day – not always on and, when it has been, not on full. I think the batteries have been charging, but I don't know what the behaviour of this light means. I think we need to get someone to check out what it's all about, and I'm not sure whether our new RCR membership will cover this issue. If any readers have any knowledge of boatyards up ahead, I'd be grateful for some recommendations. I see that just beyond Foulridge tunnel lies Lower Park Marina at Barnoldswick. After that there doesn't seem to be anything until Skipton. Anyone know anything about these?


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I'm afraid we don't know anything about the local marinas, but as Mike was born and brought up in Foulridge we are greatly looking forward to your post for tomorrow when we think you will be passing through.
    In the 1980s there was an episode of a BBC television programme called Juliet Bravo - the episode was titled "The Cut" - filmed at Foulridge Wharf where the police arrested a video recorder burglar who was based on a narrowboat. Hope you enjoy the cruise,
    Mike and Alison

    1. Thanks, Mike/Alison. Now we haven't really decided whether to go up the flight to the tunnel tomorrow, because it looks as though the weather will be appalling, and anyway it might give the opportunity to work out what to do with the alternator. We want to see this fabulous stretch under the most felicitous conditions.

  3. If you were really attached to the tiller pin you'd have gone in too!

    Sorry not to be able to help with your electrical problem. We'll be following in your wake in a few weeks' time.

    1. Ho ho! I saw your plans – popped over to your blog to comment about John Lewis and found you knew it all. There is reasonable mooring right by the Trafford Centre – perhaps even safe enough for an overnight. But you'll still have to walk half a mile to get to the shops! At the speed you and we are going, and with our August plans, I suspect we'll cross on the L&L.

  4. Will you be retracing your steps on the L&L when you've got to Leeds (or wherever) then?

    1. We're joined by a friend from Edinburgh in Skipton next Monday, so we'll poodle around and deliver her back to Skipton on the Friday. Then the grandkids are coming for 8 days mid-August – Skipton is the plan. A week after they go, Nº 3 son and wife come for two days. Skipton seems a nice place to take them. Can't see us getting down to Leeds until the Bank Holiday!