Haigh Golf Club
As we had our morning cuppa in bed we discussed what we should do for the next few days. Ahead of us lie three lock flights before we reach the summit pound of the Leeds Liverpool Canal. We’ve been right across the L&L a couple of times, east to west, but never west to east. Our first hire boat together was from Silsden through Foulridge Tunnel and then back across to Bingley for the five and three locks. So on this side of the Pennines we’ve not explored so much, we’ve been looking forward to it.
However. Lock 51, the bottom of the Barrowford flight has a problem with its cill, an attempt to mend it took place on Sunday, but didn’t work. Engineers were due to have a look on Monday, but they were too busy elsewhere so today they would access what would be needed. This meant that until we hear what the prognosis is we won’t be rushing to the bottom of the flight, it’s a 15 hour cruise away.
The other thing that affects our route is C-19. The area that we will be travelling through currently has a spike in cases, not as high as Leicester, but still high. For the last few days the local news has been talking about special measures being imposed in Blackburn and Pendle with the hope that the number of cases can be brought back down, therefore avoiding local lockdowns. Even before we knew about the spike, our current covid world meant we were unlikely to spend much time in the towns and cities, doing our best to avoid being with too many people.
So now we have a slight dilemma. We would quite like to speed through the next 40 odd miles to avoid a possible lockdown but we also don’t want to be stuck waiting for a lock to be mended right in a Covid hotspot.
It was raining, so we decided to stay put for the day and await the engineers report later on. The back doors were open for an excited Tilly who was given a full 9 hours shore leave. Except the damp air didn’t go down too well with her! Much of the day was spent staring at the outside from the dryness of the pram cover, occasional trips out but not for long.
Mick went off in search of milk and bread, retracing our route then cutting across country to Whelley where there was a Tesco Express.
Meanwhile I got on with a touch of work. Vanessa from Separate Doors has asked me to do an illustration for the cover of a Crisis pamphlet. A couple of days ago I’d sent her some ideas and yesterday she’d replied as to which one to go with, luckily my preferred one.
Time to work out the layout and then search for a suitable font. Our new computer has a huge list of fonts, but half of them you have to download. Not a problem, except to see what they look like it means downloading them all! A tiresome task, not one I fancied today. So I just worked my way down the list of those available, selecting possibles for an audition. Once I had my shortlist I then gradually wheedled them down to one. Then that needed manipulating, all taking loads of time.
With the correct size and spacing I then traced the lettering onto the page only to discover that my centre line was just slightly off and some spacing of letters looked a touch odd leaving small gaps! A bit of nudging about and it was better, good enough for a mock up to send Vanessa for approval.
This afternoon Mick took the opportunity to lift the engine board and give Oleanna a service. Her last service had been 250 hours ago at the beginning of March. Just an oil change and filter today along with checking coolant levels and belts. We also renewed our RCR membership which had lapsed in the last week.
Two boats came past today. First NB Billy, Hellos and waves were passed from our dry position at the dinette to Clare’s soggy one at the helm. Then mid afternoon another boat came past heading towards the locks. I think we may have found the quietest stretch on the network at the moment, this of course may change when we reach Yorkshire.
By the end of the day news came through from C&RT that scaffolding would be erected at Lock 51 tomorrow and they hoped that the repair would be finished on Friday, with the navigation reopening in the evening. Great news.
Then on the local news there was more talk of re-imposing measures to try to take control over the spike. We took a closer look at our maps. Pendle covers a large area which includes Barnoldswick and Greenberfield Locks, the other side of Foulridge Tunnel! Hopefully for these communities the measures they are bringing back in will work and for us hopefully we’ll be through should a full lockdown be enforced. We’ll just have to come back to explore this section another time.
0 locks, 0 miles, 3.5 hours for Wigan yesterday, 4 pts milk, 2 loaves bread, 1 stocked freezer, 1 damp day, 4 muddy paws, 1 illustration in danger, 10 fonts down to 1, 51 broken, 9 litres oil, 1 filter, 1 bronze membership, 2 spikes en route, 1 west side still to explore.