We have heard from several boaters that the Blackburn locks can be a virtual “no go”area at certain times of the day and that it is advisable to go through early in the morning to avoid the attention of the local ne’er do wells. So we were up st 5.30am and at the locks by 7.00am this morning. There wasn’t another soul in sight. The locks themselves are very well maintained and a joy to use and we went through all 6 in under 90 minutes even though all were set against us. Pretty nifty!While we had no trouble at all we saw copious evidence of ne’er do well activities especially at the 2 top locks – broken bottles, glass all over and in the locks and piles of assorted detritus -presumably all from just the previous evening. I can only imagine the harassment boaters who ventured down the flight would have been subjected to. So, if you are thinking of going through this flight moor up about 1 mile out of town the night before and go through at 7.00am. Anyone from C&RT reading this blog needs to take note and issue appropriate advice.
Anyway, we high tailed out of Dodge by 8.30 in beautiful sunshine. The countryside outside Blackburn is simply beautiful. I could have sworn we were actually going “uphill” on one stretch but it was obviously an illusion (age, tiredness, stress take your pick)😦
There were stretches of post-industrial decay around Church and Accrington but the open countryside and Pendle Hill soon returned.
Fancying a pub lunch (we had been on the go for 7 hours by now) we moored up in Hapton – a small village in the heart of open countryside.
Sadly, the village does not do justice to its surroundings. It is “dead” Saturday afternoon and virtually nobody around – the only pub was empty and did not look inviting (no evidence of pub grub either). There is one local “corner store” reminiscent of Arkwright’s “Open all hours” so we will have a nice “down time” on WYVERN.
However, there is a superb Chinese takeaway – the Wing Wah about 200 yards from bridge 121 on Manchester road (opposite the Railway pub). Arguably the tastiest we have ever had. Highly recommended,
Tomorrow will see us through Burnley and at the canal summit at Barrowford locks and hopefully through Foulridge tunnel