Showing posts from July, 2012

Leeds & Liverpool/Lancaster Canals. Burscough to Preston

Predictably the crossing of the River Ribble didn’t go quite to plan, but we’re pleased to report that the minor hiccups that occurred were not of our doing, and we are now safely moored up on the on the Lancaster Canal, albeit two days later than we expected.

Prior to what we now refer to as “The Tidal Episode”, we’d left Legend near Burscough at the beginning of the Rufford Branch of the Leeds & Liverpool canal to attend the festivities surrounding Frankie & Harry’s stag/hen weekend. Here are just a couple of photos to give you, dear reader, a glimpse of the differences between the sexes.
Blokes having a laugh. Girls having a laugh. When we got back to Legend she was perched on the mud and gently listing, but otherwise unharmed. With one of us hanging off the outside and the other one pushing, stability was restored and we set off towards what ten years ago was the limit of navigation for non-seagoing craft. At the end of the Rufford Branch is the little town of Tarleton. It…

Bridgewater/Leeds & Liverpool. Manchester to The Rufford Branch.

On the way from Manchester to Leigh there is a wonder of Victorian Engineering. This is the Barton Aqueduct which takes the Bridgwater Canal over the Manchester Ship Canal.
Aqueduct? What’s so unusual about that? Well this one swings.
Then the road bridge next to it swings.
Then the Manchester to Liverpool ferry sails through the pair of them.
We just happened to be there.

We stopped at Worsley, partly because it’s a nice place to be, and partly to have a look at the entrance to the 48 mile labyrinth of underground waterways that were tunnelled into the coal seams around it. These were the Duke of Bridgwater’s mines; to drain the water and to transport the coal from here to Manchester was why this, the first significant canal in the country was built, and why, more or less, all subsequent canals are the size they are. We moored up behind NB Hadar; a beautiful working boat that we’ve been leap-frogging for a couple of weeks, and met her very friendly owners, Jo & Keith.
This is Jo’s…

Trent & Mersey Canal. Bridgwater Canal. Northwich to Manchester.

Is this the end? Has God had a word with Noah? We don’t care, we live on a boat.

Whatever, it’s turning into a miserable summer. We’re trying to look on the bright side though; a task made a lot easier when your chosen life-style makes “water, water everywhere” an advantageous state of affairs. The good news is that, apart from the rumour that one reservoir somewhere has only been allowed to be ¼ full, because of a badger’s set in the bank, there seems to be no hint of navigation restrictions due to drought this year. (Said badgers will, no doubt, be culled at some stage to prevent tuberculosis in cattle.)

British Waterways’ jurisdiction extends up the river Weaver to a bridge at Winsford, beyond that you are on your own. The Nicholson guide vaguely says it can be shallow in parts. Helpful - not. Undaunted we went under the bridge, taking Legend out of BW waters for the first time. Straight away there was a twisty narrow bit with trees overhanging both sides that reminded us of Yellow…