Lock 46 to Littleborough
With the route into Manchester planned in several chunks, today we had the shortest one to do. Move down three locks and about half a mile, the next few days we’ll be covering more ground. After breakfast we started to make ready for our move and as we did so we joked about waiting for the next boat to come along. The last boat we’d seen pointing in the same direction as us was in Todmorden and before that it had been Hebden Bridge. We’d not seen a moving boat in a couple of days, so we didn’t really expect one to come along, but it did!
Being on the little arm meant we could chat with the chap working the lock whilst his wife hovered in the boat. We’d just decided to empty the yellow water tank before moving down to fill with water in the next pound, so we didn’t rush to join them in the lock.
They are also heading into Manchester and would be stopping in Littleborough for the day, they’d come from the summit this morning and only had a few low pounds, certainly nothing as empty as we’d found. We mentioned that we have a volunteer booked to help us on the way to Piccadilly, if they wanted to join us they’d be welcome.
As we chatted I opened the front door briefly, mistake! After being reluctant to spend any time outside yesterday, today’s sun pulled Tilly out of the door. The geese in the field needed stalking and that tree also needed more thought. No point in trying to get her back and anyway we’d not got far to go so there was no rush.
After a while she returned, yellow water emptied and we made our way down the lock. NB Mr Blue Sky was on the water point. No space to pull in by them, so we loitered on the lock landing, we’d not be in anybodies way as a second boat would be very unlikely. But we’d not expected on being in a queue for water today.
We took our turn at the tap and chatted to a chap from the moored boat alongside the services. His boat was the first craned in when the canal reopened, he’d been lucky enough to get planning permission and has a drain and electric hook up right next to a water point. He pointed us in the direction of some skips where he said we could put rubbish, I doubt these are official bins as it is a C&RT maintenance yard, but we made use of them as there are no more bins until Manchester.
New houses face the canal. Their front walls all built in dressed stone, the natural colours and patterns showing, then all other faces have been built in a cheaper more plastic stone, looking like it’s been clad in sheets. £225k will get you a three bedroomed semi here. Wonder what the thin detached one cost?
Two more locks with plenty of on lookers, one chap eager to help with the gates. Ten we’d reached our destination. A fisherman let us nudge in behind NB Mr Blue Sky. Graeme and Clare came for a chat, a New Zealand couple over for two months. We talked about our plans to go into Manchester. They were interested in sharing the locks but wanted to be at Castlefield Basin to meet a friend a day earlier than we’d planned. We said we’d join them for the last nine big heavy buggers.
A shopping trip to the Co-op to stock up for the next few days and then back to work for me. An email to the director with dimensions of how things could work and a finished model box. I just need to clear out my cupboard to store it in now, but for the time being it’ll sit in the corner of the dinette.
Late afternoon, as our roast chicken cooked, Graeme and Clare knocked on the roof. They’d been looking at the maps and were going to suggest to their friend to join them at Piccadilly instead of Castlefield. Those extra nine locks after a long day might just be too much and the following day we’d have an extra pair of hands.
So tomorrow we join forces and start to work our way into Manchester. An earlier start than normal for us, but at least we’ll have company and split the work.
3 locks, 0.52 miles, 1 empty wee tank, 1 escapee, 1 queue, 1 full water tank, 0 rubbish, 1 boat going our way, 1 boat going the other way, 1 lady goose watching our every move, 1:25 theatre ready for a set, 1 roast chicken.