Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Heading into Lancashire on the L & L Canal

We had a very quiet and safe stay at the BW mooring Sunday night.  On Monday we headed on towards Liverpool.

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Out of Wigan on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.  It’s not just these days that you can have a massive block of flats built next to lovely little cottage!

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Out of Wigan some more and passing Wigan Pier. However we didn’t get very far.  The first lock out of Wigan is Pagefield Lock – we got the boat into the lock then Doug suddenly realised that there was no water in the canal after the lock!

We’re sorry not to have any photos of the muddy bottom with all the various debris thrown in over the years but there was much rushing around and phone calls made to BW (who were their usual unhelpful selves).  The double hotel boat Duke and Duchess came up behind us (with their guests aboard) and there was more rushing around.  BW said “it might not be filled until tomorrow” to which we gave a suitable response and started to let water through in order to fill up the 1/2 mile stretch of dry canal – much to BW’s protestations.  Anyway, about 3 hours later there was enough water to float a boat and so two way traffic was resumed once again.  It was certainly a first for us but not for that section as we were informed later. 

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Dean lock – dwarfed by the M6 motorway.

We moored up in Parbold for Monday night – a village masquerading as a town with a strange variety of shops and banks.  A quiet night none the less.

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Some of the odd things you see beside the canal – a (Neolithic?) round house probably waiting for retrospective planning permission.

Today we progressed onwards. We’re trying to tread water this week as we are due to be in Manchester next week to meet with friends so we’re heading west until Wed/Thurs then turning round and coming back.

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We turned onto the Rufford Arm at Burscough Junction where we were fortunate to meet up with nb ‘Evergreen’ with Jackie and Dave for the flight of 7 locks.  Shorter than usual (62ft) they have a variety of paddle operating gear with padlocks on most which makes life hard work if you’re on your own.

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One of the paddle operating mechanisms – a lever which you swing upwards

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We are now moored in Rufford (West Lancashire) – an interesting parish church in the village in red and blue brick with stone mullions and spire.

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