Mon 1st Aug Reedley Marina to Barrowford Top Lock
Early morning at Reedley Marina
James returned the hire car to Enterprise. They asked him for any comments so he said a local map showing their location would be helpful. (He says this every time he hires a car from Enterprise). He also said that a full fuel tank would be helpful, as then you just fill it again when you return the car. If given a needle on red, you have to go straight to a filling station and guess how much fuel you are going to use. Because of these two comments, they gave us a 10% discount for use at any branch. That will be helpful at the end of August when we need to visit Aylesbury.
Back at the boat, we were getting ready to leave. The boat next door was filling his water tank, and we borrowed his hose to fills ours, as our own hose would not have reached.
As we moved out of the marina we noticed Bright Angel moored. Outside the marina entrance we turned to starboard, in order to reverse back to the facilities. We noticed a widebeam being pulled backwards towards us up ahead. We asked them if they wanted a tow but they said they were OK.
Leaving the marina
We continued our manoeuvre , and we emptied our cassettes. We also left our pass card, before setting off. By then Matilda, the widebeam, had drawn level with the marina entrance, and they started the engine and steered into the marina. Apparently it was the bow thruster that was not working.
Waiting for Matilda
We passed some more historic industrial buildings and after three miles we stopped at Morrison’s for some supplies.
Covered loading dock
There are moorings right outside Morrison’s, with a passage through a lockable gate into a car park. There is no “Welcome to Morrison’s” sign, or “Shoppers this way” with an arrow. With no obviously correct way into the shop, we went into the part of the car park under the store, hoping for stairs up or a lift. All we found were closed doors and “Trespassers will be prosecuted” signs. It was a staff car park. We retraced our steps and walked up an access road to the right, where we found another car park and the correct way in.
It was only a mile further on to the foot of the Barrowford Locks, where we tied up on the off side, waiting for the rain to finish.
Two single handed boaters decided to go up in the rain. For one of them it was the first locks she had ever done. She had had the boat for three months.
Hugo was happy with the mooring, as he could hide in grass and nettles. At one point James walked over towards him, and he startled a rabbit only two feet from him. Was Hugo stalking the rabbit or were they both lying there unaware of each other? We’ll never know.
There was a hire boat moored behind us, and another boat behind that. A third boat arrived opposite. At that moment, two boats came down the locks, and emerged from the bottom lock. We thought that would be a good opportunity to go up, with the boat opposite, so we cast off. Then another boat came round the corner behind us – they were travelling with the boat opposite, so they were going up together.
Thankfully the hire boat (Drummer Boy) behind us decided to go up with us. This was quite good as they had extra crew, and it made it easier for the seven locks.
Barrowford Bottom Lock
Sharing with Drummer Boy
Barrowford Top Lock
There were lots of boats moored at the top, including the wool boat. We found a space on another plastic pontoon further on.
Plastic pontoon above Barrowford Locks
7 locks, 4 miles
Tue 2nd Aug Barrowford Top Lock to Salterforth
Moored at Barrowford
We made an early start to catch the timing of the tunnel (.30 to .40 from Liverpool side, .00 to .10 from Leeds side). We arrived there at 0925, and were the first in a line of three. At 0930 the traffic light turned green and we were off through to Foulridge, arriving at 0950.
Waiting for the Foulridge traffic lights
We paused at the facilities, and were filling the water tank, and had already emptied a cassette by the time the other two boats came past. We moved on to the visitor moorings, made of the by now familiar recycled plastic, and we went for breakfast at the cafe. It was very well done. We had a good chat with two ladies who arrived at the next table.
Wharf buildings at Foulridge
We had a little wander round Foulridge village, which was quaint, with a village green surrounded by cottages.
Cottages on the green
Terraced houses with communal sloping roof
Short boat Aries
We then set off once more for Salterforth, where we found some visitor moorings of the recycled plastic variety, where most of the mooring rings had gone missing, so we tied to the structure instead.
A dysfunctional family arrived with a small cruiser and a small narrowboat, with seven people and a large dog between them. They spread themselves out on the towpath with a barbecue, and ran a generator so that the kids could watch a DVD on the cruiser. They shouted all the time at each other and at the dog.
We went for a meal at the pub, the Anchor. A very limited menu, but the food was fine. This is a historic pub, built long before the canal. When the road needed a bridge over the canal, the pub lost the use of the ground floor, so they made the upstairs rooms into the pub. Apparently the old pub room is still down there, with stalactites hanging from the ceiling.
The Anchor Inn
When we returned to the boat, the family turned off the generator, and eventually all was quiet.
0 locks, 4 miles, 1 tunnel
Wed 3rd Aug Salterforth / Barnoldswick
The two boats left fairly early. We sorted out all our PA equipment, and Paul arrived to collect us and our instruments. We went to the Gospel Mission where we set up everything and then joined people for lunch. There were about thirty people in the end.
We sang a range of songs, many with a message, and entertained them for about 45 minutes. Paul drove us back afterwards, via a shop for milk, and past the Barlick Beach, a marquee in the square where they have a huge sandpit, and entertain the kids in school holidays.
We just had time to stow all the equipment again before Paul came back with Sue and Tanya to see the boat and enjoy a cuppa.
In the evening we were collected once again to go for a lovely meal at their house. Paul “the taxi” drove us back again to the boat, where we had a peaceful night.
Paul and Sue
No boating today