It was a lovely bright morning and we set off towards the Foulridge Tunnel at 9.20. The traffic lights to allow us to enter the tunnel would change to green on the half hour for ten minutes. It was a brisk passage through the tunnel and we stopped for water at Foulridge Wharf. We set off before NB Blue Point, towards Barnoldswick, passing on the way a smallholding with a delightful clutch of little copper coloured piglets. There were very limited mooring options at Barnoldswick and another boat came in just before us so Blue Point had to breast up with us when they arrived. The approaches to the town are functional but not entrancing to someone approaching Barnoldswick as a casual tourist, but the actual town centre was delightful. We managed all our shopping without recourse to a supermarket. There several diet busting bakers, an excellent greengrocer, a hardware store where we got the stiff hand brush we were looking for and several hairdressers. Alan was delighted that the one he ventured into (he says having his hair cut is worse than going to the dentist) couldn’t cut his hair that very minute. He had been seen to try. Strangely enough Robert did manage to have his hair cut and it was considerably less needy of the shears than Alan’s is! Of course there were many other excellent shops and cafes.
After lunch we headed off towards the triple Greenberfield Locks, our first descending locks on the Leeds and Liverpool. There was a lock keeper on duty so we didn’t have an opportunity to make our first use of the clough ground paddles,which are long wooden levers, in fact about six feet long, apparently lifted in one move. As we moved into the first lock the sky became dark purple and the wind whirled round us. That particular downpour was blown past us but the next clouds brought heavy and very cold rain as we went through the bottom lock and we were all soaked. It was just before 4.00 and the lock keeper came down to lock the gate padlocks because new water saving restrictions have come into place. We had thought that the last passage of the day through the locks was 4.00, to be completed by 6.00, but apparently new instructions had been given that morning.
We should perhaps have stopped on the moorings at the bottom of the locks but instead went on to East Marton. It was very unpleasant as we went along so we couldn’t enjoy the surrounding scenery. It did stop raining after we moored here and the surroundings are pretty though there is considerable road noise from the A59. We will explore more tomorrow.
Today we did 8.24 Miles, 3 Locks and 1 Tunnel
Statistics so far:-
2572.91 Miles, 1510 Locks, 137 Swing Bridges, 90 Lift Bridges, 45 Tunnels