Wednesday, 11 July 2012

All downhill from here

Today, at last, the sun shone and we began our long and relentlessly downhill passage back to Streethay.
Moored on the border by a canal feeder stream
Yesterday we completed the final three locks on the climb up through Yorkshire and moored for the night right on the boundary of the county and its neighbour Lancashire and close to where a canal feeder stream arrives from nearby Whitemoor Reservoir. (We walked up there and took a look: it's brimful so no sign of the water shortages that often bedevil this canal in the summers.)
Plenty of water here - unsurprisingly!
The whole atmosphere of the canal seems to change once you change county - like the locks it seems to go downhill: there are more long-term moored boats, more signs of industry and, gradually, more rubbish in the canal. But though one gradually moves away from the empty grandeur of the hills, the views are still spectacular and industry only intrudes sporadically.
And since we were last here three years ago things do seem to be slowly improving. Some of the old canalside warehouses have been renovated and when we moored on a sweet, old fashioned offside mooring in Nelson I walked off to find the local Lidl. My walk took me through Coronation Street style back-to-back terraced streets - the sort with alleyways between them - and they were in the middle of a major regeneration programme. On one side were old boarded up terraces, on the other the refurbed equivalents in gleaming, freshly cleaned and pointed stonework and smart new windows with the children playing football and cricket in the streets like we all did years ago. It was really good to see: not long ago these sort of homely streets would have been flattened and replaced with soulless blocks of flats.
Lancashire - land of the giant mills
Will the imrovement continue? We'll see over the next few days as we head through those grim blackspots of Burnley and Blackburn.


Anonymous said...

hi, i'm in burnley today, just agreed to buy my first narrowboat! hope you don't find trouble here, its deprived but friendly on the whole

Anonymous said...

BUT ...did Starwoman finf Lidl? and has Brian gone AWOL?