I thought of calling this post “What a difference a day makes”, then “Making hay while the sun shines”, or “The Long Good Friday” (cracking film that. When that guy was fed into the mincing machine...). But I settled on something short.
Today was all of those things; an entirely different day to miserable wet and windy yesterday. We did take advantage of the fine day and it was a long day’s cruising on a Good Friday.
Brilliant sunshine this morning at the top of Barrowford Locks
The first job was to descend the flight of seven, and we were in the first at 10:00.
Second one down with Barrowford Reservoir in the background.
The reservoir stores surplus water from the summit level, and it's a fine walk round on a day like today.
New gates part way down are still stiff. They’ll be better when they’ve bedded in a bit
Halfway down the canal runs under a collection of bridges, the largest carrying the M65.
We’ll see more of this motorway later…
I didn’t realise Barrowford was known for it’s exceptional snowfall…
…aah, no, they use wheels!
The dogs look bored.
That’s the lot, out of the bottom lock and swapping with our first boaty encounter of the day.
We saw another six later! Wow!
Top to bottom only took us 90 minutes, but we had the advantage of full lock chambers, often with a gate or two part open. With a considerable amount of water running down, the top gates tended to be overtopped, keeping the chambers filled. Be a nuisance for those going up, though.
The canal below the locks now weaves it’s way around the fringes of Nelson and Brierfield, before there’s a brief interlude of greenery near Reedley Marina. We were thinking of stopping here, but it seemed a shame to waste such a beautiful day so we pressed on into Burnley.
There’s a handy canalside recycling centre near Bridge 141C.
They even have a waste oil tank right alongside the mooring pontoon, Well done, Pendle Borough Council!
Also on the offside, a little further on, are moorings right outside a Morrison’s supermarket. I used these to get a bit of shopping in.
More visitor moorings are provided just after Bridge 140, but I don’t think they’re very popular.
We had a bit of excitement at Reedley Marina. One angler didn’t see us coming and had to run to retrieve his line before we ran it down. And another young lad had cast across the cut, finishing up with his lure on the roof of a boat opposite. I pulled over and untangled it for him.
The canal runs through Burnley, raised on a 60 foot high embankment which pretty much cuts the town in two. It’s known as “The Mile Straight”, but falls a little short of that. It is straight, though.
The Mile Straight from the north end…
…and from the south.
On the right, western side is the town centre, bus station and a retail park, on the other it’s mainly residential, rows of terraced houses typical of a northern mill town.
One old mill coming down…
..And more converted for offices.
Even the chimneys have a new function!
The Burnley Weaver’s Triangle is a preserved area near the city centre which contains examples of the 19th century industry that flourished here. There’s a visitor centre next to Bridge 130B, and visitor moorings on Burnley Wharf.
Burnley Wharf and the Inn on the Wharf
The M65 is encountered four times in the next 2 miles, the first time passing under the canal…
…then over it a further three.
Gannow Tunnel has to be negotiated as well.
High and wide, there’s no restriction on passage as there is at Foulridge, but you can see right through the 559 yard bore. Narrowboats would be able to pass each other, but widebeams would have to wait for a gap in the traffic. Not that there is much…
Rose Grove services and moorings.
I was tempted to stop here, but pushed on another 1½ miles to moor at Hapton.
Fine views north to Pendle Hill from the moorings
I don’t think we’ll see much of the view tomorrow, though. Wet and windy again.
Hi Quaysider. Blimey, they must have been going slow to take a half hour! We must have been lucky with the timing then…
Hiya Sue. As many as that, eh? Well, we’ve made a dent, even if it is a small one!
Locks 7, miles 11