The weather was stormy so we stayed put at Gathurst on Monday, but a walk up to Shevington between the showers brought to our notice the ‘Roburite Centre’ I assumed in my usual silly manner that this must be a government training centre for burglars, ensuring that they would emerge fully competent in all aspects of robbery.
The weather improved by Tuesday and we needed to move on. We took on water just below Dean Lock and continued through one more lock and three swing bridges before Parbold and it’s attractive old mill came into view. A couple of miles later the junction with the Rufford Branch turned off under a stone tow path bridge, this eventually leads onto the River Douglas and for the intrepid sailor, the tidal River Ribble and the Lancaster Canal, but not for us, Liverpool was still our destination. As we approached Burscough Bridge a interesting boat called Elizabeth caught the eye, how the owner managed to get his motorbike perched on the gunnel is a bit of a mystery.
We moored for the night just before the town, but an evening walk with Duggie revealed a decent sized Tesco’s, but most importantly, a car park, with no restrictions that backed right up to the tow path, ideal for when Ann and Brian join us again on Wednesday. The old wharf has just emerged from a major refurbishment, interesting shops, including one selling delicious ice cream, a tea shop and a smart restaurant surround the courtyard and there is also the beginnings of a chandlery. Boaters services have also been reopened with all the usual facilities, but no pumpout.