Thursday, 31 July 2014

Out of Burnley

Tuesday 29 July, zero

We took a bus to the Queen Street Mill Textile Museum. Well worth a visit. It is an old mill that has been kept in operation as a tribute to what made Lancashire. The steam engine still runs and drives a sample of all the different processes required to make textiles.
Later on we did a self guided tour of the Weavers Triangle. This is the area that was full of mills and is now being developed into accommodation and services. Has the potential to be a boaters destination like Birmingham and Liverpool.
The Steam Engine at Queens Street

Rows and rows of looms
 Wednesday 30 July. Zero

First up a bus trip to Padiham for a quick look around the town before walking to a National Trust property, Gawthorpe Hall. A small but well presented Jacobean house. The best feature was a the textile display. The last owner was a textile artist and collector. Her stuff was excellent. In her later years the house was used for her to teach classes on all forms of textile art. I have seen stuff just as good in Diana's sister, Lynn's, house in Cambridge.
Gawthorpe Hall

A bit of the Gawthorpe Hall garden

After Gawthorpe a bus ride back to town and then up to Towneley Hall. A large house gifted to the people of Burnley. The house had several rooms as they were and others were now used as an Art Gallery and Museum. Once again worth the visit even if it was a rush. But we can go back our tickets are valid for a year.
Towneley Hall.

Thursday 31 July, 13 miles, 3 swing bridges.

We went into Burnley town centre for a quick look around before setting of through a mixture of countryside, villages, derelict mills and motorways to moor up outside Blackburn where we had stopped on our way north

Tuesday, 29 July 2014


Monday 28 July 7 miles 7 locks

The day started at the top of the Barrowford locks with a couple and their 2 kids in a hire boat "Ruby". They were nervous about the decent as they had not done it before and jumped at the chance to have help. After the second lock, while filling the third I look around at Molly Rose which I had left tied up on the bank, to see her with a 20 degree list. Yep we are on the bottom and the pond is short of water. Problem eventually solved by filling the pond from the lock above. Not sure how much confidence this instilled on the newbees. At the bottom of the locks they left us to get their boat back to the hire company. We stopped for lunch and were joined by a couple we meet crossing the Ribble. After hearing how they had spent a couple of nights in Burnley (Don't stop in Burnley from everyone else) and what they had done we decided that was the destination. Stopped at the supermarket and B&Q on the way. Later that evening "Ruby" turns up with a mother and 2 kids. She was going to moor behind but was afraid of hitting us so went on to moor in front of a couple of other boats but kept on going and couldn't get to the bank, so out I go to help and eventually we have her tied up along side. She was embarrassed but I do hope she is not put off narrow boating.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Ready to start down

Sunday 27 July. 3 3/4 miles.

Spent the morning waiting for the Pub, Anchor Inn, to open for Sunday roast. On our way north they told us about the quality of their sunday roast so we had planned that if we were passing on a Sunday we would stop.The Roast was worth stopping for. after lunch off we go through the Foulridge tunnel and stop at the top of the Barrowford locks. Took a walk into the Pendle Heritage centre which had three topics: Park Hill farm and house, The Pendle witches and the Bannister family. Roger Bannister being from that family.
Pendle Heritage Centre

The ancient art of taxes

Barrowford from across the reservoir 

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Crawling through the country side

Friday 25 July, 4 1/2 miles, 9 locks

A hot day. Slowly climbed up the first three locks before being taught up by another boat to help us up the next 6. Found a tree to moor under for a late lunch during the heat of the day. Moved on to East Marton. On the way north we had noted that this place had a historic connection to travelling Monks. All that was there was a restaurant and horse agistment centre The restaurant was a stopping place for the Monks during there pilgrimages. Two large cold drinks were on order. Moving on a couple of bridges we moored up in one of those nice to be by ourselves places.

One of those nice to be places

Saturday 26 July, 4 miles, 3 locks.

Lovely peaceful morning, that was until we put the generator on to wash some clothes and charge up the electronics. Got away about 1100 and as we entered the first lock another boat comes around the corner to join us. "Tane Mahuta". As he came alongside he said sorry we are Aussies, bought the boat from a Kiwi. My reply was bought ours from an Aussie. As we left the last lock I told him of the Pub down the road where we would be stopping at tonight. We found a mooring before the pub and Diana went ahead to see if the pub mooring was available. No all full so we stayed where we were and had a quiet afternoon. A few ZZZZ,s for me. Later on I took a walk along the towpath to find that Tane Mahuta was on the pub mooring so had a chat and meet them in the pub for a couple of pints later. Sharon you can expect to meet Ann Blanchford on the Gibb River Challenge next year. It's Karaoke at the pub tonight so guess we have the better mooring.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

A change of pace

Thursday 24 July, 0 miles (on canals) 4 1/2 miles cross country.

 The morning started with a plan to wait at the bottom of the first lock for a boat to pair up with. Before we get going a CRT bloke comes past and we start talking. Have you been to Malham? No, why should we? Its the best place in Yorkshire, Bill Bryson chose to live there, Some of the Harry Potter films were filmed there and a few other points were made. It is only five miles away and the bus goes once a day. We decide to see what it is all about. At the bus stop we find bus only goes Mon, Wed & Friday. Call in for a coffee at a tea rooms and have further discussions about Malham so grab the only cab in town and take a ride out there. No cell phone coverage so arrange a pick up at 1700. The area is limestone country with stunning waterfalls. Not this summer though, no recent rain. We set off on a gentle climb to the base of Malham Cove. Then there is the 440 steps to the top which looks like a glacier in stone. Not that easy to walk on. From the top we go cross country to Cordale bridge where a refreshment truck was doing great business on this mid 20's day. Up the road a bit further and walk into a chasm to Cordale Scar. Reminded me a bit of walking into the Bungle bungle's. The return trip was down a stream, bush covered for the first half then out onto farmland . I do enjoy the public paths across farmers land in this country. Back to Malham with 20 minutes to spare before the taxi brings us back to Gargrave. Should sleep well tonight.

The walk into Malham Cove
The steps came up the far side of the escarpment
Th top looks like a glacier or similar to the Giants causeway in Ireland
The track in from above.
A typical dry stone wall scene
More dry stone walls

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Gargrave and the Britz are wilting

23 July, zero.

Today has been a catch up day, Diana did 4 loads of washing and I did a bit of painting. Temp in the mid to high 20's but we were lucky moored under a tree. It was 1400 before we got to take a wander through Gargrave, another of those pretty villages with a mix of old houses and new but built to look old.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

You have to ask the right question.

22 July, 4 3/4 miles , 3 locks, 5 swing bridges.

Up this morning and down to the boatyard to pick up two oil filters that were going to be available last Friday. Sorry, no they have not got the Fram PH3950, it has to come from the manufacturer. So we have a long discussion, there is a similar filter that we could have here in an hour or we could have two this afternoon. Do you want the small or large version. Who knows so lets get the small, the large might not fit. As it has all taken so long I ask that they do the oil change when the filter arrives. On schedule the filters arrive and the mechanic removes the oil, looks at the filter and says this is not the best filter we should use the one we have in stock since last week. If I had asked if they had a Fram Ph3950 or a substitute then The oil change would have been done over the weekend and we would have got away yesterday.
We left Skipton at 1600 on a hot calm day. It was nice to get some air moving through the boat. An ice cream van parked at a swing bridge helped. Passing through the area adjacent to the Yorkshire Dales is rather pleasant, it was cloudy and windy last time we were here.

Yorkshire Dales
From the back of the boat with a drink in hand

Monday, 21 July 2014

Time to turn around

19 July, zero.

A wet morning in Skipton following the thunder and lightning in the middle of the night. Market day, Went to get some oil filters that had been ordered. Someone forgot so they won't be here till Tuesday. Wandered around the market and shops. Fined up a bit later in the afternoon so went to the supermarket for food and source oil for the boats scheduled oil change. After tea went exploring the suburbs, we went at least  2 streets away from the main street.


20 July, zero.

Bit of a domestic morning on the boat. Meet Pete and Sue for a Sunday Roast. I have had better. We all took a walk up the Springs canal that goes under Skipton Castle. Finishing the day with a coffee and Cider on the towpath beside Sokai.
Castle from below

The long drop
21 July zero.

Pete & Sue leave today heading for York. They pull up alongside with 2 pork pies for me. Pete had been up early and gone to "J Stanforth" The  celebrated pork pie establishment. Well know in the area for the quality of their pies. They brest up and stop for a coffee while we sample a pie. Their reputation is justified. It was sad to see them go, we even had a thought about heading to York with them. I'm sure we will see them again. Skipton Castle was next on the list. A well preserved Castle and very well presented. After the castle I passed the Pork pie shop so topped up with another couple to keep me going. Next was a model shop where I was tempted to buy a canal boat for the train set but at 40 quid decided not to. Back on the boat to do a bit of maintenance then off to Bizzie Lizzie's for tea. When you find a good F & C shop you must use it while you can.

Pete & Sue head for York
The Gate to Skipton Castle
We have decided to change our plans and will turn the boat around tomorrow and head back to Wigan then down the Bridgewater onto the Trent and Mersey, up the Macclesfield and home to Furness Vale. In time the trip is about the same but the comparisons are 93 miles and 151 locks or 150 miles and 106 locks. We keep hearing how hard the locks are on the shorter route so think it would be better to get back onto a narrow canal. We have found the canals different this trip so it would be nice to travel over some we have done before to see if the difference is where we are or have things changed with the shift from "British Waterways" to "Canal and River Trust" control.

Saturday, 19 July 2014


17 July, 5 miles, 3 locks

We set off about midday and pulled into a boatyard at Barnoldswick to check out what they had in their chandlery. Another boat pulls in so we get talking and join up to go through the locks. At the end of the locks we had become quite chatty with the other crew and spent a long lunch with them under a tree on a hot day. Then we toddled off together until finding a nice spot with a view and moored for the night. After a joint BBQ on the towpath, Pete, ex Navy produced a bottle of Navy Rum. We were still there well after dark and it doesn't get dark till quite late.

Interesting bridge at East Marton

18 July, 8 1/2 miles, 12 locks, 5 swing bridges.

Away at 1000 with Pete & Sue on their boat SOKAI, did the 6 locks at bank newton and pulled up in Gargrave for lunch. Very windy and stayed in our boats. Off again down through well spaced locks then the series of swing bridges into Skipton. Today is friday and there are hire boats everywhere with some stressed people on board. I hope they settle into canal time and enjoy their boating experience.Sokai & Molly Rose find separate moorings and we meet up later for Bizzie Lizzie Fish and Chips. They have a good name for themselves and they lived up to that. Diana had a Jumbo Haddock and finished with a Raspberry Dream for pudding

More locks, Going down now.
A must do in Skipton

Guess who felt a bit full.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Top of the hill

16 July, 4 1/4 miles, 1 mile underground. 7 locks

Started the day coming up the Barrowford locks. Teamed up for the climb which always helps. There were some very leaky gates and low water in many ponds. Interesting there are notices everywhere telling us how to save water and tons could be saved with a bit of maintenance. At the top of the locks we head towards the Foulridge tunnel. There are a number of boats heading off as the tunnel is one way and controlled hy lights. You get a green for 10 minutes every hour. We were lucky to follow an old boat towing a butty. Once through we stopped at Foulridge for lunch and a walk around a small village. Now we are on, what they say is the prettiest section on the canal so we take it slow and pull up at Salterforth, the rain comes down and we sit it out. About 5pm rain eases and we go to the village, takes about 10 minutes to see it all so back to the boat. Fortunately there is a pub, Anchor Inn, above the boat so call in for a pint. The most friendly we have found so far. The pub has an interesting history. When the canal was built the basement flooded so what had been the bar is now the basement,the first floor is now the bar and an additional floor has been added above.

View from a dry place
Inside the tunnel

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Clear of the Bad Lands

Tuesday 15 July. 4 miles

After a peaceful night north of Burnley we had a slow start with me fiddling on the outside and Diana fiddling (cleaning) on the inside. We set off along a meandering canal through countryside and industrial sites. then at a convenient bridge I spied a B & Q, very much a Mitre 10 store. I needed a bit of ply so we stopped and I found what I needed. Also we now have flower pots on the boat!!!! Then less than a mile on we found a secure mooring alongside a Morrisons supermarket. We needed our handcuff key to gain access but this meant we could get our trolley to within 10 yards of the boat. It beats carrying bags of food along the towpath. The boat is now restocked with heavy nonperishables. We set off with 3 bridges to the bottom of the 7 lock Barrowford flight. Even with a great evening ahead we think it is a bit late to start up so spend the time on the back of the boat for drinks, nibbles and dinner.

My view with flower pots
The locks can wait till tomorrow
One of the best sights today was a recycling depot, exclusive to boaters, with a waste oil collection as well. If we want clean canals this is a good way to start. lets have them every 50 miles or so?

Monday, 14 July 2014

Joan & Dennis join us

Friday 4 July, 8 miles, 5 swing bridges

Saturday 5 July, 3 1/4 miles, 2 swing bridges

Sunday 6 July, 4 1/2 miles, 2 locks, 2 swing bridges

Monday 7 July, 5 miles, 25 locks

Tuesday 8 July, 4 1/4 miles

Wednesday 9 July, 0 miles

Thursday 10 July, 3 1/4 miles

Friday 11 July, 2 miles, 6 locks

Saturday 12 July 5 miles, 1 lock

Sunday 13 July, 6 1/2 miles, 6 locks

Monday 14 July, 15 miles, 3 swing bridges.

watch these spaces. may be I will add detail later

Check Google Maps to follow our progress

Saturday, 12 July 2014


21 June, 0 miles.
Our sea level apartment at the Hilton.

Did the 24 hr, hop on hop off bus tour to suss out the layout of the town. Went around for a second time and hoped off at the Catholic Cathedral, known as “Paddy's Wigwam”. A modern building. There was a service of presentation from a group, like Rotary, who do a lot of funding for the parish. Service finished with a great peel of the bells. Most impressive. Moved down the road towards the Anglican Cathedral stopping off at the Philharmonic Dinning Room, a pub. A well known haunt of the Beatles so had a coffee in there. The Anglican Cathedral is the biggest one in England. Built of stone to a Gothic design but only finished last century. A huge building which makes me wonder where else the money could have been spent. As we left they provided us with another peel of bells. We must be important.
Paddy's Wigwam

Anglican Cathederal

22 June, 0 miles.

Used the hop on hop off again and got off in an area of town the furthest from the boat. Checked out an old church near the water front. Turns out there has been a church here for at least a millennium . The present one was built in a stile of late 18th century. Rebuilt after the war. Walked into Mathews Street and wondered down into the Cavern where we sat and watched 2 acts and had an ale. You could feel the atmosphere of how up and coming performers and bands got their start. Wondered around the old buildings of the St George quarter. Most exciting was the library. An old stone building that when you went inside there was this most dramatic 21st century four story high atrium of glass.

The Cavern
23 June, 0 miles

Boat Maintenance day. Molly Rose has been vibrating badly and I am concerned that too much of this could cause all sorts of problems. Fixed up some window catches, got stuck into cleaning out some rust under the shower floor and spraying it with rust killer. Walked down to the nearest boat yard to talk about the vibrations. They are coming to look in the morning.

24 June, ½ mile.

The mechanic arrived by boat at 0900. had a good poke around and didn't think it was the gear box although he detected a bit of gear box oil in the bilges. He came to the conclusion that the next thing to check would be the shaft but the boat has to come out of the water for that. The lifter was available. After the pump out boat had been and done his job and we got a fill of diesel it was down through all the docks to the boatyard. Lifting out was interesting with me backing in between the straps, helped by an RIB as there was a bit of cross wind. Once we were positioned in the straps we got off and watched as Molly Rose took to the air. The engineer has one look at the rear end and says shaft is OK, propeller is the problem. Yes it had plenty of dings but it also looks like a bit of wood has been stuck between the prop and the rudder stern post. A bit of a discussion and few phone calls later we are advised to go and have lunch and come back by which time they hope to have some options available. Lunch, a good idea there is a Marina a block away with a restaurant. No money, every thing is on the boat which is hanging out over the water. The boss of the boatyard gives me 20 quid. I meant to pay him back, maybe one day.
After lunch we are given 3 options. 1/ Take the prop off and have it refurbished. Take about 3 weeks. 2/ there is a refurbished prop available but it would need the hole bored out and that could probably be done by a mate of the engineer in about three days. 3/ the prop manufactures have one off the shelf of the right diameter but with an extra inch of throw, think that is what it is called. The hole would need to be tapered to suit.
Coming up.
Molly Rose can fly.
Option 3 was taken. The prop came off and a number of photos and measurements were taken and sent to the manufacturer with a delivery date of next Tuesday. We leave Liverpool on Thursday. The old prop is put back on, we are lowered back into the water and wander back to our pontoon in Salt house dock. I relaxed in the Maritime museum till it closed and then we went up town for a feed before going to the Royal Court Theatre to watch “Lennon” the musical. An excellent production.

25 June, 0 miles

Back to the Royal Court to watch a lunch time variety show. Good fun but not a patch on Lennon.
From there it was a quick walk back to the docks for a guided tour of the old docks. The first wet dock in the UK. It increased productivity of goods across the docks so much that Liverpool became the most important dock in the country. The dock is now under the Hilton Hotel.
Under the Hilton

26 June, 0 miles

Today's adventure was to Port Sunlight. A village established by Lever Bros. who decided that employees should be properly housed and treated. It was a well laid out town/village with all amenities provide. I bet they didn't have staff retention problems. From Port sunlight we took the long way home via New Brighton at the mouth of the Mersey. Fascinating watching the shipping entering and leaving.
Sunlight Factory

A street in Port Sunlight
Port Sunlight Building
Fort Perch, New Brighton
"Art Work" on the Mersey River bank.
27 June, 0 miles.

3 tall ships entered the adjacent dock this morning. Makes the place look a bit like it would have a couple of centuries ago. Spent some time in the slave museum before back to the boat for a quiet afternoon. Need a day off every now and then.
The Tall ships
This yacht arrived with the Tall ships.It had sailed in from Ireland.
Owned by a Kiwi living in Liverpool. His plan is to prepare it to take his family back to Wellington
28 June, 0 miles

It was Armed services day on the docks with many military vehicles to check out. Stumbled across a field kitchen and had a second lunch. The police also had a large presence and ended up checking out some of their emergency vehicles. Craig I have some ideas to bring back. As the weather wasn't the greatest spent some time in the Museum of Liverpool. Probably the best of what we saw. After tea we walked up to the Anglican Cathedral to an Organ rectal with organist Ian Tray & special artist, Tine Thing Helseth on the trumpet. At times the organ was overpowering but it is a huge place to fill. The trumpet was superb. Tine has been to Australia, I will be watching for her coming to NZ.

An Idea for you Craig
29 June, 0 miles

“Ferry Cross the Mersey”. It's pretty hard to get the tune out of your head while on the ferry. A good trip and we found out more of the history of the area. Had a look over a Steam Tug that is being restored in Albert Dock.
Reflections of a Ferry passenger

Steam Tug. All working parts working.
Interior fit out still to be completed.

30 June, 0 miles

Maintenance day on the boat, a general tidy up and primed a few bare patches on the back. With head down I hear a voice, Hello there”. Heather from Napier has just arrived in Liverpool and come down to see us. That evening we all went out for dinner.

1 July, 0 miles.

Marmite for breakfast! Heather had brought me a jar from home.
Up early waiting for the call to take the boat down to get the new prop fitted. The call came to say the prop wasn't here yet but would be tomorrow so went to town to buy some hardware and took the opportunity to go up the radio tower. What a great view of Liverpool and the surrounding area. Should have gone up there a lot earlier in the visit.
Catholic Cathedral
Anglican Cathedral
Looking across the Mersey.
 That evening we went to the Empire Theatre and watched “The Lion King” from the cheap seats in the gods. Great show but missed some of the expressions being so far away. Still think Lennon was the pick of what we saw.

Ceiling light. Empire Theatre
On the way home we went to the “Amazon Locker”. Since arriving in Liverpool I have been trying to buy a battery for the laptop. The best advice I got was to get it from Amazon. Great idea so now to find somewhere to send it. Information centre, No, nearest Coffee shop, No, local PC retailer, No. Eventually the Harbour Master said he would accept it but I am a bit concerned as he spends a lot of time out of his office. I go to the Amazon site and order the battery and when it comes to delivery they offer delivery to an Amazon Locker. One is located in the car park across the dock. After completing the purchase they send an email with a code when the goods are delivered. You put the code in and a locker opens, goods inside. A great system for those on the move.

2 July ½ mile

Dennis and Joan join us today so we tidy up the engine room to make room. Up town to the supermarket to fill the fridge and cupboards as we have no idea where we will be tomorrow. Diana goes to meet the train and I wait for the call to get the prop fitted. They all get back to the boat just after I have a discussion with the boat yard about when we are leaving. Eventually they agree that I should have the boat down at the yard by 1600. A quick cuppa and away we go. This time all 4 of us get to experience Molly Rose being out of the water. New prop on, back in the water and back on the pontoon within 45 minutes. The new prop must be fast as I lost my cap on the way back.
Shiny new high speed prop

3 July, 16 ¼ miles, 6 locks, 7 swing bridges.

6 boats left the dock, 2 pairs of narrow boats then us by ourselves as the 6th boat was a wide beam and couldn't fit in with us. Once out of Liverpool we travelled on for a while and enjoyed and evening moored in the country side.

To sum up Liverpool, I would go back again and stay for the 14 days.