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Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Wigan to Liverpool

This lovely duck house might have been on an MP's expenses, but I doubt it

Monday 25th June We took caffeine in Wigan first then I went into BW Wigan Office to check details of our trip into Liverpool and to buy electricity cards. I had intended to get one large card but we are being made to move moorings halfway through our stay so bought two smaller ones. Away around 11 as we came out of the first lock we met Cyril & ?Daphne Blackford from Ashby Canal Association and friends coming up. A few friendly words then it was a scramble back aboard because the towpath is some 5 feet higher than the water. We met other boats at other locks on this day of lovely weather.

Just as we were exiting one lock the charity trip boat Rose of Parbold cast off & made its way in the same direction as us. Well they nearly didn’t move as we struggled to keep behind them even at tickover. Really considerate boating. At the next lock we met the worst boat we came across, an old Norman cruiser being moved single handed from a boatyard on the Lancaster Canal and so he had already managed the Ribble Link.......but I don’t know how! He was complaining that the gear & throttle linkage to his outboard was not working well so needed both gates open (!) but made no effort to help. Just pleased Carol no end after the Rose effort but at least because of his very slow progress through the lock we were no longer close behind the charity boat.
We are stationary here & Rose of Pabold, a widebeam, has just
crashed into another widebeam on a bend
We carried on through three swing bridges, meeting two old flats returning from last weekend’s Burscough Rally. We tied up at 5 after 10 miles, 5 locks & 3 swing bridges.
Meeting a flat close to Burscough

Tuesday 26th and we were able to renew friendships made last year in Burscough, and the coffee was great & I was able to tip my old engine oil at Arthur’s garage. We decided to take a trip into Southport where we were unable to see the sea as we had forgotten the binoculars! Weather was mixed.

Wednesday 27th and fortunately we receive Waterscape Stoppage Notices as through these we knew that less than a mile from Burscough the New Lane swing bridge was mis-behaving and was being operated by BW, but only between 9 & 12 and 4 & 7. If I hadn’t seen this we’d have been stuck the wrong side at 4 & faced with arriving at the collection point sometime after 7 pm! 
A boater has made this floating nest site

It was lovely that the hand cranked bridge that caused me grief last year is now a push button job, but I am contacting BW about the new screens they have for these bridges. They have poor contrast on the screen & no cover to cut down outside glare. 
The pan was moored on the inside of a bend with a road cone as a warning.
I suspect it was placed there to warn of an underwater obstruction.

As it was we got there in good time after a lovely cruise in warm weather, mooring where we did last year just past bridge 11 after 12 miles & 7 swing bridges. We popped along to the two other boats waiting for our trip and found out that they only found out about the limited swing bridge hours when they spoke to someone in Burscough and if they hadn’t they would have been cruising late!
Our mooring below br 10. We could see the towers of both Liverpool Cathedrals
from this spot, provided we looked the other way from the way I took this!

Thursday 28th and at 9 we waited for BW to swing the bridge with Roger & Teresa Fuller on Azelia and Glyn & Rosemary on their unconverted working boat Aquarius, and soon after were cruising alongside Aintree race course. 
Waiting at bridge 9

Thursdays are supposed to be “out” days but for some reason I don’t understand we were going in this day & others were going out on Friday. Part way through we met up with 3 other boats that had spent the night at the Litherland services and we all went down the Stanley Locks, we shared with Tony & Jenny on Josh 2. 
Josh turns by the Jesse Hartley tower.
Birkenhead is in the background

Part of the route through a partially filled dock

The pleasant weather we had enjoyed so far began to change and a fine drizzle started at the locks, but our luck held and it eased, only to throw it down just after we had tied up on mooring S2. The wind got up through the evening and night and  Lily was buffeted and blown making our ropes and fenders creak & keeping us awake, about 25 feet of Lily sticks out from the end of the pontoon! 11 miles and 5 locks and of course as it was Thursday we had a curry!!

Friday 29th and just after 10 Trevor from RCR came to remove our engine alternator to get it rewound, now we were on mains power we did not need to run the engine. He was the man who founded RCR and it was interesting hearing from him about how it happened. He was also glad that the chap next to us came across and told him how wonderful his men are, doing lots of jobs that are not really in the job spec. After he had left we were able to set off for Lime Street to return us to our car in Narborough to spend the weekend celebrating our grandson Sam’s 18th birthday. The trains were on time and we had a really wonderful time, even if some of that time was spent hacking at Himalayan Balsam growing though slabs in the yard of our flat.

Sam at his party. Many of our boating friends know him
from Leicester Festivals, but he has grown a bit since then!

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