We left Reedley Marina, Burnley, after the electrician and the engineer and had sorted out the bow thruster fuse and rudder position! We refuelled with 64 litres of diesel at £64.
We spotted two beautiful gasometers en route. At 1.25 we passed the milepost indicating Liverpool was 78 miles distant.
We were fortunate in having help from the wonderful lock keeper Michael who helped with the seven locks and we moored up alongside Barrowford Reservoir with fantastic views.
The following morning we walked down into Barrowford which is a long thin village with park, river and road squashed together in the valley. The river wall had planters filled with the most amazing huge begonias along all its’ length. We visited the Pendle Heritage Museum once the home of the Bannister family, ancestors of Roger Bannister of four minute mile fame. Of course we found the butcher for bacon & sausages and whey cream butter for breakfast and Booths (akin to Waitrose) for wine for dinner!!
After a sunny morning the clouds bubbled up late afternoon and we had a very stormy night. This persisted the next morning when we had to take down the awning to go through 1488 yards of the Foulridge Tunnel. Disaster struck at the entrance as we were waiting for the change of traffic lights when I fell in whilst getting back on the boat from a high wall. Not just wet to the waist but bruised ribs too! This was the second time!
Once through the tunnel (it took 35 minutes) we met the Hotel boat Lady Teal – very smart! Then on to Barnoldswick a typical small northern stone town where we moored up outside the Rolls Royce Factory.
This town really surprised us. It had a lovely market place with a huge range of individual shops including an ironmongers (Tony’s test of a real town) and a craft shop where I was able to buy wool to finish the tea cosy I started a year ago. The town boasted two victorian (?) bus shelters with the most amazing hanging baskets. The whole town seemed to be involved in floral decoration. And you can buy a beautiful stone 3 bed villa for £109 thousand.
Friday 12 we moved on and only had 3 locks to tackle mooring up at the bottom lock at Bank Newton. Amazing scenery again.
Saturday began with very heavy rain so we made a late start at 11:00 am and pushed on via locks to Gargrave. This is the sort of village everyone aspires to live in. Fabulous place just on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. We can recommend The White Cottage Tea Rooms. The coffee & walnut cake was rated nine out of ten!
We met up with Colin and Carol of The Wool Boat again having previously met them at Burscough Wharf. Carol knits gansies a jumper worn by boatmen of yesteryear.
We then met Rachel who I used to work with at PCT in Devizes. What a coincidence!
We arrived here in Skipton on Sunday afternoon. We were kept busy as so many people passing by wanted to talk about Matilda or come aboard. Since then and being moored in the town centre, we have explored the town, castle and today had a visit from Ruth & David which involved an outdoor lunch in town visiting many shops, (including Chocolate shop), market and craft fair and eating ice cream.
Needless to say we like it here…….


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