Tuesday, October 27, 2009

From Yorkshire to Lancashire.

Yes it’s official. Today we left “God’s Country”, and entered that other county that Yorkshire folk don’t like to talk about….

Geoffrey on Scrumble passed us not long after 09:00 this morning, just as we were thinking about getting going ourselves. So we set off in his wake, catching up at Foulridge Tunnel waiting for the lights to change.

Foulridge Wharf.
The once-derelict waterways warehouse is now a smart eatery – the Cargo Café
Foulridge Tunnel is one way only, alternating northbound and southbound every 30 minutes and controlled by traffic lights. We arrived just on 10, and the lights had just changed so in we went without a pause. At 1640 yards it’s quite short compared to a lot of canal tunnels, but, being wet, it has some impressive flowstone deposits, caused by minerals leaching through the roof.

Not a good picture, the white covering on the ceiling is a mass of short stalactites.
Foulridge Tunnel, South end.

Around 1½ miles on a long line of moorings indicates the approach to Barrowford Top Lock. Top lock because we are now dropping back down off the summit level. Not all boats could be classed as being moored though.

Wrecks at Barrowford.
Barrowford Top Lock
This is a pleasant flight of 7 locks, starting in fields and dropping down to a semi rural bit between Colne and Nelson, with a mess of bridges ¾ of the way down.

Barrowford Locks

Geoffrey and Scrumble.

We met a couple of boats on the way up, and made good time till the last but one. A boat was approaching the bottom, so Mags and Geoffrey waited in the pound while I filled the lock with the oncoming boat in. Unfortunately, this drained the pound enough to leave Mags high and dry on some rocks. A lock full of water from above soon had her floating again though.

Out of the locks and we were into Nelson, the first of a string of mill towns on the canal as it drops towards Liverpool. Geoffrey pulled onto the handy offside moorings at Morrisons, while we pushed on, finally mooring just north of Burnley. We’ve stopped here before, with long views over the Calder Valley.

Locks 7, miles 8½

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