Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Blackburn Canal Festival

We booked last minute to go to the Blackburn Canal Festival and what an excellent weekend it was too. We offered to help before and after the festival, which pleased the organisers.
We arrived Wednesday and had to pull the boat into the bank as the prop was clogged with weed, John got a black sack full off. The water is beautifully clear with huge fish and tons and tons of weed.
Eanam Wharf has been regenerated over the last few years and is a vibrant area including a Caribbean restaurant with a pub, dance school and offices. As it's the 200th anniversary of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal the dance school did a show of 200 years of dance and performance. The performances were along the tow path, on the foot bridge and on the other side of the canal. There was a music stage which had a very varied programme culminating in an excellent Ska band on Sunday afternoon. In addition the wide beam boat in front of us had impromptu performers on, our boat hook was used to run the electricity wire from the wharf cottage's tree to the amplifier.
Heather, Jason and the children joined us on Saturday afternoon.
We treated ourselves to a little traditionally painted water-can for the roof.
The arts initiative 'Super Slow Way' that is organising a varied programme of events along the canal for the bicentenary had made huge origami swans that were tethered just behind our boat. Plus the kids could make small swans and launch them down a mini waterfall.
I thought it was about time I dusted off my new Ashford Joy spinning wheel as I've not used it since we've been aboard. As Eanam Wharf was used to load & unload cotton I thought I'd better
spin some, so I did a wool/cotton blend on my hand carders. As Saturday was warm we got some solar dying started too, one with the onion skins we've saved since we moved aboard the other weld that Yvonne had given me. Sadly the sun wasn't out for long but the yarn's looking pretty good in the jars. The jars on the roof and me spinning were quite a talking point.

Blackburn is a mini Luton, in a valley with hills on a couple of sides, shopping centre called 'The Mall' and is the most multi-cultural place we've visited so far on our travels. However, Luton's grade one listed St. Mary's church knocks spots off the rather plain Blackburn Cathedral.

Since our last blog we stayed at Chorley for three nights and Riley Green for five nights before heading to Blackburn. On our way to Blackburn we were a bit delayed at the Blackburn locks as there was a dry pound near the top. We were at the water point for a couple of hours while the CRT chap ran more water through.

We'll be heading eastwards now to get to Skipton for Yarndale in September.


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