‘Jammin’ was the name of the boat that we would accompany on our way up the nineteen locks this morning. We had met up with her crew the night before, Pete, Marie and friend Stuart plus Rebel the huge, but friendly German Shepherd dog. In fact they were all very friendly and we worked together well.
At 8.15 the BW guy was waving us into the first lock and all thought of breakfast was abandoned. One down eighteen to go and Jacquie was at the helm when SKYY came to a stop with a fouled propeller. This was the first time that Bargy Bill, my super duper prop cleaner, came in handy and along with my dive knife, up came underpants, trousers, a tie, fortunately no body parts, and masses of plastic bags. The trick is to use reverse as little as possible and although the water is full of sunken rubbish we only had to stop once more to clear a small amount of plastic.
We had to endure some colourful, jovial banter from the pub gardens along the canal, but maybe Rebel the dog ensured that nothing worse was encountered. Obviously take the usual precaution and lock the front doors and leaves nothing to temp on the roof, but I didn’t feel threatened in any way.
There are still many fine old cotton mills standing, none more so than at Failsworth, once famous for making hats. That might account for the name of one of the locks that we came through ‘Pinfold or Madhouse Lock’. Maybe there had been a lunatic asylum nearby for the mad hatters, a reality as the madness was caused by the use of mercury in the fulling of felt.
The same BW guys saw us through the last of the nineteen locks and wished us bon voyage as we continued under the motorway and pausing whilst Pete operated the Grimshaw Lane vertical lift bridge, it did as its title says lifted straight up, but only after buzzers sounded, lights flashed and the barriers came down. Stuart on the helm of Jammin did a power dance to celebrate actually stopping the road traffic.
One more lock and green country side filled our horizon as we tied up alongside The Rose Of Lancaster Pub. We felt like intrepid celebrities as we celebrated our arrival with Jammim’s Crew and chatted to a very friendly family who wanted to know all about our travels.
As we had so enjoyed the company of Pete, Marie and Stuart, we agreed to set sail with them tomorrow, but at a more acceptable time.