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Monday, 25 October 2021

Autumn time

 It’s been ages since I last blogged, and we’ve gone from super summer to autumn. We are doing our utmost not to moor under trees, but with breezy weather those leaves do blow!


Nikita came to stay for a week and her friend came for a few days too. We were moored just below a pick your own pumpkin farm, so it’d be rude not to.




We have seen this wild bee colony in a dead tree on the off side of the canal several times. We took the opportunity to cruise up to it and hover just beside it, so Nikita could take some photos.



While we cruised to see the bees, Heather, Magnus and Hunson strolled beside us.


This young cormorant was making sure the ducks abided by the rules!!!


I had some friends come to join me for Worldwide Spin in public day.


We had a mini wool festival weekend with our friends Carole & Colin from The Wool Boat. It was an alternative to the big Yorkshire wool event in Skipton the same weekend. Luckily there was room for us both to moor outside The Farmers Arms.



It was a great weekend, except on the Sunday afternoon the lane was closed as there was a fatal incident on the near by railway line. I was prepared to wrestle with any boats that came along wanting to open the swing bridge, as all the emergency services were using it.



We had considered taking the boat over to Skipton for the wool weekend. We are very relieved we didn't as there was a huge breach in the canal between Blackburn & Burnley. It’s very likely we’d have got stranded along the 20-mile section that lost all its water. Things are improving now though, and CRT have dammed either side of the hole and have lots of pumps and pipes in place, to by-pass the problem. We are grateful to Colin for letting us use his photos of the breach and fibre festival.














Sunday, 19 September 2021

Hadrian’s Wall

We’ve spent a week at a cottage on Kellah Farm, Haltwhistle, a few miles from Hadrian’s Wall. My sister Samantha, hubby Paul & Blue the boxer asked us to join them. We’ve never visited the North Pennines and looking at the Ordnance Survey map there was ‘a lot of nothing’ on the page!!!

Haltwhistle has a lovely station. Sadly, the lovely old signal box has been made redundant and the new box is a Portakabin




The bridge and the old water tower were so great to see.

 


While we waited for our lift to the cottage we had a couple of pints in The Black Bull, a tucked away in a corner, gorgeous pub,



Samantha had arranged for us a ride on the South Tynedale Railway. Sadly, the steam train wasn’t feeling too well, so we chugged along behind a battery loco.



John just loved looking at the signal box at our starting point.



He was thrilled to have a look in the signal box at Slaggyford the end of the line.

 



 


It was amazingly quiet in our back garden at the farm, with the occasional baa or moo.

 



We guess because this part of Hadrian’s wall is so remote, it is fairly intact and not been pilfered for re-use. The views are amazing.




Lambley Viaduct, which is disused at the moment, could see trains to Haltwhistle along the South Tynedale Railway.




We’ve walked over many viaducts, but most were double tracked, this is single track.



 

From under it on the shore of the River Tyne it looked as if it could blow over in a strong wind.



We left the boat at Fettlers Wharf Marina while we were away.



Prior to our trip, we spent a great day in Blackpool for Lance’s birthday.






I was thrilled to receive a certificate & badge for my 75th blood donation.



We have been spoiled by the sunsets over the Lancashire moss since we’ve been home.


Tuesday, 31 August 2021

August Bank Holiday

What a glorious bank holiday weekend we’ve just had. We opened Jubilee Fibres all three days, near Rufford Old Hall (NT house). The towpath encompasses the hall’s circular walk, so we had lots of customers.

The Sunday afternoon we had 9 visitors!! Samantha, my youngest sister was staying with Ada & Dale, so Heather & her crew came too. It’s so wonderful to be able to have our big family gatherings in ‘real life’ & not on the computer.




Out trip to Liverpool seems an age away. We stayed a few days at Litherland and strolled to Crosby beach. We’ve never seen the Gormley statues when the tide was in. It was a lovely sunny day, so the sea water was really warm to paddle in.



Our next stop was Lydiate as several boaters had told us how great The Scotch Piper pub was. It’s thought to be the oldest pub in Lancashire (now in the renamed Merseyside).



We celebrated our 39th anniversary there with a massive cheese board.



The following day there was a vintage car meet at the pub, so it’d be rude not to go back to see the cars.




There were lots of huge blackberries where we moored, but they were pretty sour. So, we picked 1.5 kg, made a stock and naturally dyed lots of wool to sell.




It’s good to be able to have the wee ones to stay one at a time (unlike boat school where all 5 of us were crammed in). Lance came first. We moored close to Fairy Glen, one of his favourite places, near where they used to live.


 

We’d had lots of rain and the waterfall & steams were flowing fast.



We stopped off for a pint on our way back from the glen and also did some Himalayan balsam bashing.





On to Burscough, were our bit of towpath had lots of cherry-plum & damson trees. Lance made 5lb jam.




He was a great help when nan walked through the boat with dry mud on her boots, bless him.



He brought a big bag of Hunson’s fluff, which he drum-carded & we spun into yarn.




Being such a little lad he’s ideal to send into the engine bay to grease the stern gland.



John went to Manchester with our friend Colin, who’s a reporter for ‘Towpath Talk’, a monthly publication. Sadly, a boat had sunk in a lock and they went to watch RCR (the boat RAC) pump out the water and re-float it so the canal could be re-opened.





Magnus’ stay was great fun too. His favourite part was picking the cherry-plums and making…...yes, another 5lb of jam.



He was so eager to help with boat chores.



He opened the swing bridges, helped get water and moor the boat. Not only that, but he hammered the mooring pins in all by himself!!



He was fascinated by this sign in someone’s garden!!!



He enjoyed coming to knit & natter at the pub, where he French knitted himself a necklace. The following week at knit & natter I had a very proud nanny moment, when one of the locals asked where he was and said what a very well-behaved lad he was.