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Friday, 21 June 2013

Still waiting for the rain.

We have been sitting out reading and supping tea at the end of the day under a clear blue sky. Lets hope that this is a portent for the summer as it doesn't sound as though it will be for the weekend.

It was overcast when we set out but we could see the blue sky on the horizon. Macy again enjoyed roaming on the tow path. She is very good as she just goes until she can still see us then comes back.

Macy walking the plank.

Old canal workers cottages at the Rufford Arm junction.

It is a heritage weekend at Burscough and we passed through with the wide beam 'Ribble' in pride of place. The warehouse has been well converted into a little centre for crafts and a courtyard with cafes and restaurants. Some of the wide beams we have passed are monsters with the after canopy nearly as big as a 6 man tent! I'm not sure how two would pass in a large part of the canal.

Passing through Burscough with the warehouse and the wide beam 'Ribble'.

After talking about the secret project to make rocket fuel out of sewage during WWII we passed a two storey pill box a little further up the cut. I haven't seen a two storey one before so wondered whether it was part of the secret.

Two storey pillbox north of Burscough.

We stopped at Scarisbrick Marina to see if they had a chandlers so we could buy another handcuff key. It is a fairly new marina and has plenty of room in it still, but no chandlers. How ever they had a very busy cafe/restaurant so we had a a latte instead. We then had a bit of lunch back at the boat and then set off again. Not long afterwards we arrived at a nice spot and tied up. The weather was so nice and it was nice and early we went for a walk around the area. We had passed through a shallow cutting and on our walk we saw that this cutting was the site of the cutting of the first sod of the Leeds Liverpool Canal in this area. That was 5th November 1770. The sandstone cut out was used to build the bridges in the area.

Cutting that was the site of the commencement of building the Leeds Liverpool Canal near Halsall.

The walk was over flat land that was a big reminder of Holderness as it was mainly flat and with little habitation. It seems that the area had been low lying, some of it below sea level, and marshy. just like Sunk Island in Holderness. It was called Martin Mere and was the flood plain of the River Douglas. It was drained in the 1780's. Unlike Sunk Island where the regular inundation of the Humber added to the fertility of the soil on this land they used the canal to ship 'night soil' from Liverpool and Wigan to spread on the new fields and now it seems to be largely vegetable crops with a rotation of wheat and barley. We wended out way back to the towpath and lo and behold there was the Ship Pub. It is said to be the first pub built on the canal! In the interests of research we went in to for a drink. The weather was so nice we sat out to drink it. After a search for a post box we got back to the boat and we are back to us sitting out with a cup of tea and a book in the sun.

Helen on Rosemary Lane, near Haskayne.

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