Narrowboat Tacet

Silent Movement - Our gap year travelling the inland waterways

Tuesday, 28 June 2011


It was a very hot, sunny, Monday morning as we left our quiet mooring in Rishton and made our way to Blackburn, a town built around the cotton mill industry. So having to find new business for employment now.
We passed this canal side factory building, which had Imperial painted over the canal facing frontage. Could have been a cotton mill, maybe someone will be able to tell me. It seemed to be largely deserted now although there were some signs of life in parts of the building.
Eanam Wharf, an attractive, well maintained building.
And the wharf house, which I think was empty.
Loved this bridge, unfortunately the reflection didn't come out as well as I would have liked, there was a bit of breeze on the water.
Looking over the town from the canal embankment.
There are 7 locks down through the town. On some of them the bottom gates were fitted with a mechanism like this, so the gate opens and closes by turning the windlass.
Nearly missed these lovely stone steps up to the lock, as they were hidden under a modern bridge.
Mind your head!
A rather ugly concrete bridge hiding the old stonework and those lovely steps.
We stopped quiet early and moored at Riley Green where Ian got down into the engine and changed the oil and filters and topped up the batteries.
Tuesday again dawned bright and sunny.  At Withnall Fold we stopped to look around the estate village built there to house the workers in the paper mill beside the canal. Again it is no longer working as a mill, but used as industrial units.
The chimney has been preserved and saved from demolition.
The estate workers cottages were built along 3 sides of a square, the first one being completed in 1848.  A school was built in one corner, it is still there and being used, it was playtime when we were there.
A statue of Thomas Blinkhorn Parke, legend has it that he was very fond of hare pie, and this carving shows "the one that got away".
After working through Johnson's Hill Locks, we stopped at Botany Bridge, Chorley.  We can leave the boat here, while we go back to London for Ian's dad's funeral and to spend some time sorting out the house. 

12 miles, 14 locks

Sunday, 26 June 2011


Friday morning we locked down the Barrowford flight with nb Rumba Tumba, very smoothly, we made a good team. It's a very pretty flight winding round the reservoir and dipping under the motorway.
We stopped for diesel at Reedley Marina, then moored up for lunch and took the opportunity to visit the retail outlet facility in the old Barden Mill building, (shopping in other words).
Then moved on through Burnley where the canal is built up on a 60' embankment giving dramatic views over the town. The embankment is known as 'the straight mile' although it's only 3/4 mile only.  
It is said to be one of the wonders of the British Waterways. It is impressive.
 The roof top view of the straight lined streets.
Out to the hills beyond.
An old wharf crane, not sure this was it's original position, at the edge of the aqueduct stretch.
Ian, Jumble and Tacet up amongst the rooftops.
Loved this view of the chimney pots.
And the tall chimney.
Looking back along the straight mile.
Round the sharp bend at the end of the embankment is Burnley Wharf, now a pub, museum and offices, I think.
And this little family, as I've not put any aahh pics for a while.

11 miles, 7 locks, 1 tunnel.

Saturday we stayed put at Hapton as we had visitors arriving. My brother and his family were coming up from Sussex to Manchester so joined us for lunch. It was the first time they have seen Tacet, it was good to see them all.  Weather was not good, very rainy all morning.
After they had gone it was dry again so we moved on to Rishton, where we moored for the night.
8 miles, 0 locks, 3 swing bridges.

This morning we went to the Rishton Methodist Church, where we were made very welcome and enjoyed the Bible teaching and especially the organ playing, the organist obviously loved playing and made a good job of leading the worship. Today the weather has been warm and sunny, but we only moved on a little way out into the countryside, we shall tackle the locks and get through Blackburn tomorrow.
2 miles.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

The view from our window this morning. Rather cloudy and threatening rain, but could still see a long way over the hills.
Last night as Ian was putting away the computer he got that  'twinge'  again in his back, causing him to stop and wait for the pain to subside. Annoyingly he was only bending down, not twisting or moving anything heavy. 
As a result we had a lazy morning, getting up slowly, putting his socks on started off the pain again. So it took a while to get going. When he was able to move again walking seemed a good option so we walked into Barnoldswick, past the Rolls Royce factory where they test and build aircraft engines. The town is pretty, with lots of hanging baskets, think they must be entering Village in Bloom competition.
At Foulridge Wharf it was raining hard, but we had a wander round the village here too. The cafe looked tempting but we had had lunch and thought tea on the boat was just as good, we were rather wet with a wet dog too!
We were intrigued by this........
It is the top of a lime kiln, apparently in use at the time of building the canal. The kiln dates from the 1790's and was in continuous use until the 1860's.  It produced lime for the mortar needed in  building the canal locks, wharves, bridges, tunnels and reservoirs.
Limestone and coal were loaded in layers from the top. The burnt lime was drawn out from the bottom. Limestone and coal were of course transported by canal.
This cheeky fella helping himself to a snack when we were feeding the ducks.
Much to Jumble's disgust, 'What about me?'
The views from both sides of Tacet tonight. 
We got to Barrowford too late for the locks, they were already locked (to save water).
Shame as it was a lovely evening for cruising and doing locks. So instead we had dinner and then Karen and Jumble went for a walk around the reservoir, Ian was resting his back, which hasn't been too bad through the day. Walking and laying down is ok, sitting though is not very comfortable.
Tomorrow we leave the summit of this beautiful canal and start the journey down towards Liverpool.
5 miles, 0 locks, 1 tunnel

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Going round the bend

Today's journey has been just that, going round the bends through the beautiful rolling hillsides of North Yorkshire and into Lancashire. The weather has been good, dry with quite a bit of sun, its still not dark and it's 10pm. Yes, I know the days are getting shorter from now on........
Looking back from the one of the Bank Newton locks, the hills in the background.

An unusual bridge at East Marton,
 with a rolling post at the side that the ropes from the horse drawn boats could run over as the canal bends sharply through the bridge.
Through the tunnel of trees and out into the sunshine again.
A lovely stone lock cottage, with the date 1791 over the door.
And to show who has done all the work today.......
No bridges to open today, just 12 locks, locking up with nb Grace through Bank Newton locks.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011


We returned to Tacet on Sunday evening, it felt good to be back and we could relax.
Monday was bright and sunny and we had planned to do the famous Settle to Carlisle train journey that had to be postponed last week.
So after returning the hire car to Keighley, we caught the 9.12am train to Carlisle and settled to enjoy the views.
We got off the train at Ribblehead so that we could see the famous viaduct, 104 feet high with 24 arches. It is quite something.
The two carriage train from Carlisle crossing the viaduct.
A freight train going over.
Through the arches.
The memorial to celebrate the finished reconstruction works.

Then onto Carlisle where we had a look around the town and some lunch.

Back on the train for the return journey, this time we stopped at Appleby and walked down into the village.
 Famous for the Appleby Horse Fair (which was held last week) where many Gypsies and Travellers come to meet, do business and trade, especially their horses.
The river Eden where the Travellers wash their horses to prepare them for sale. Jumble had to have a paddle/swim here too.

At each end of Boroughgate is a 'Cross' like this, with sundials at the top. They date from the 17th century.
Never seen this road sign before!  Apparently the population of red squirrels is growing in the north.
Very quaint little almshouses halfway up Boroughgate, set in a little courtyard with gardens behind. They were built in the 1600's by Lady Anne Clifford for poor, old women, and known as Hospital of St Anne.

Then back to the train and 'home' to Skipton, where we just had to try the famous Bizzie Lizzie's Fish and Chips! Lovely.
We've had a lovely day, great to be out in the fresh air, open countryside and beautiful scenery again.

This morning it was raining hard, so glad we did the train journey yesterday, so we waited for the rain to stop, before moving on this afternoon to Gargrave.
Again the views are lovely, though it was a bit cloudy still. 
The locks at Gargrave have some different ground paddles, they lift over in an arc.
In the closed position.
We will explore this village tomorrow before continuing on our pilgrimage.