Borderline. 24th May

Curley Wurleys to Barrowford Visitor Moorings

Off not quite as early as planned, there was the yellow water tank to empty and the view to enjoy for just a short while longer before pushing off. We then got to enjoy the view this way and that for a while before the hawthorn blossom took over.

The Cross Keys

East Marton Double Bridge, The Cross Keys Pub high above sadly closed.

East Marton Double Bridge

Rolling hillocks of fields, all lumpy and bright green. The farmers were busy cutting the grass in the sunshine, up and down.

It took us a while to reach Greenberfield Locks which would take us up onto the summit pound of the Leeds Liverpool Canal. A chap was busy at the bottom lock, he waved us on as he opened the bottom gates for a big widebeam. He’d been helping his mate down the flight a single hander with the use of only one arm, so a true single hander.

The middle lock was emptied for us by a volunteer and then we were urged to catch up another narrowboat who was waiting in the top lock. These guys were out for a week from Skipton, they’d be going as far as Foulridge before returning.

We were now at the highest and wound our way round Barnoldswick, Barlick if you are local. No time today to head into town for a pork pie, we wanted diesel and gas.

Cobweb and Oleanna together

Pulling in at Lower Park Marina, Oleanna was stern to stern with NB Cobweb. We’d been hoping to meet somewhere, maybe share the Wigan flight. NB Cobweb is owned by Vicky and her husband David, years ago Vicky used to work front of house at the SJT in Scarborough. Earlier this year we’d just missed each other at Bramwith Lock, a comment on a post on facebook made me realise we knew each other. Sadly no-one was onboard today, their plans have changed so we won’t be sharing locks with them, maybe another time.

A fill up of diesel and a new bottle of gas and we were on the move again. We paused at Salterforth Bridge to dispose of rubbish and recycling. The Anchor pub here is also closed. Such a shame that these once thriving pubs are no more.

No longer the border

Now we discussed the border between Yorkshire and Lancashire. Two houses in Barlick flew rose flags of different colours. Was the sign further along the canal in the correct place? It was once upon a time, but today according to the OS map, we’d crossed the border below Greenberfield Locks.

Gongoozling on high

Approaching Foulridge memories came back of a conversation I’d had with my brother nine years ago, Jac his wife had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. Thankfully today Jac was busy celebrating her 60th birthday in London, maybe the festivities weren’t quite what they’d had in mind as Andrew tested positive for covid at the weekend. Happy Birthday Jac!

Waiting for the green light

Mick checked the times for Foulridge Tunnel. On the hour to ten past heading westwards, we’d be stopping for lunch then. One boat came through eastbound, then we pushed off as the lights turned green. The mile long tunnel was damp in places, we’re out of practice as I nearly missed the three air shafts or mysterons.

Now most definitely in Lancashire we pootled on to the visitor moorings. Here we settled in and debated whether it would be too breezy for a barbecue again. The asparagus wouldn’t last much longer.

Tilly burrowing her way through the grass

Tilly was a touch miffed with the amount of footfall until she found the wooded area with fantastic friendly cover. Here she kept herself very busy for a couple of hours, which required being called back to the boat. I got to do my mad cat woman performance to a passing crowd.

We decided to brave the breeze and set ourselves up in a line along the mooring for a barbecue. Maybe we should have stopped a touch further on where the bank was flatter. It was still a very pleasing evening sitting out as the sun fell behind the hill opposite our mooring, just a shame the asparagus went black almost as soon as it went on the grill! The pork and veg kebabs were very tasty.

3 locks, 10 miles, 1640 yrds of tunnel, 3 mysterons, 73.6 litres diesel, 13kg gas, 11 fronds of asparagus, 4 veg haloumi kebabs, 2 pork steaks, 1 jolly good wood, 1 near meeting, 60!!!