Monday, 13 June 2016

Eldonian Village Canal Festival

We've just taken down the bunting after the festival which was held over the last two days. As the festival is celebrating the 200th year of the Leeds & Liverpool canal I made black & white bunting to represent some of the main goods transported, cotton, limestone & coal, and our knitted bunting to represent wool. This was the first IWA festival we've been to on a boat and we've been quite disappointed with it. It appeared it was a village festival and not much of an Inland Waterways Association one. We had a shopping list of bits to get but there were no canalware traders. PLUS, shock
& horror, there was NO beer tent, just fizz beer in the community centre. We've been to lots of canal festivals organised by the IWA & other organisations and NEVER have we been to one without a beer tent!!!!!

There was quite a celebration on Sunday at the dock side in Liverpool as the Disney cruise liner 'Magic' was in port for a couple of days. There was a big screen erected on the quay showing Disney films and stalls selling goods too. All the little girls were in their Disney princess outfits, there was quite an atmosphere. In the evening we could hear the ship's horn echoing all the way up at the Eldonian Village playing Disney tunes, plus lasers in the sky and fireworks.

We arrived on the festival site last Thursday after spending the night at Litherland CRT services. We absolutely loved the journey into Liverpool as the industrial architecture was amazing. Many of the old warehouses are being still used or have been adapted retaining some character. The canal has water lillies growing in it and the most coot families
we've ever seen.

We are hoping to get to Burscough next weekend for their 200th heritage celebrations.

It seems a long while ago we were at Tarleton and watched all the boats coming back from their trips over to the Lancaster Canal. I think entering the lock looks scarier than leaving it to head up the River Douglas.

Magnus had his first sleep over the day we moved from Tarleton for our slow meander towards
Liverpool for the festival. We did really well and eked out our water for three weeks, thanks to Heather letting us use her washing machine & shower.

Ada and Dale went to stay with Heather & Jason over the bank holiday weekend. This meant we had a nice gathering and big crew to move just a few yards from the 24 hour visitor mooring up one lock at Rufford.

We popped into the Hesketh Arms in Rufford and stumbled across the weekly meeting of the ukulele group. The organiser came to say hello to us as she recognised us from when we filled up with water a couple of days previously, she lives on a wide beam boat near the services. It was a fantastic evening with some 40 ukuleles including a bass one, penny whistles, wash boards and melodian. Then the next evening on John's birthday we toddled to the pub again. We thought it was busy the night before, but Tuesdays are quiz night and there was a guaranteed jackpot and the place was standing room only, and it's a massive pub, fantastic to see.

We moored in Burscough for a few days, where the 'Wool Boat' lives. We went to their knit and natter at The Farmer's Arms and they asked John to model Carole's latest jumper. We caught the train to Liverpool for the River Mersey Festival. The Albert Dock was crammed with narrow boats (most carried on to the Eldonian Village Festival). There was lots going on on the river and in the docks too.

We spent a night at Scarisbrick Marina so we could hook up electricity so I could make bunting for the festival, otherwise we'd need to run the engine the whole time I was sewing. Plus I was able to use their large washing machines too for our bedding & towels.

We had a surprise visit from Heather, Jason and the children on Magnus's 3rd birthday the day before we were booked through the bridges.

We've had some amazingly warm sunny weather over the last few weeks. However, we've been shocked to see flooding in Dunstable and Poynton on the internet. Tomorrow we'll start heading for the other end of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal (which will take us all summer). We'll head back to Tarleton to pick up Ada & Dale next month. They are coming to celebrate her 21st and the boat's 1st birthdays by helping us get up the Wigan flight of 21 locks.

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