Much of the Lancaster Canal runs through rural scenery with the occasional busy road crossing over and some interesting little villages dotted along its watery way.
Today we stopped at Garstang, walking into the town along the bank of the River Wyre which the canal crosses on a lovely stone aqueduct.
Garstang is a market town, mentioned in the Domesday Book and has a wonderful olde worlde air. With original, independent shops of all kinds, and a market held on 4 days of the week and several supermarkets it caters well for all needs.
Here’s a quick view of the town to give you an idea……..
Now the Arts Centre, this building was originally the Boys Grammar School built in 1756 and closed in 1928.
The Market Hall, not open today, but with food market days Wednesday – Saturday inside and on Thursdays the market stalls spill out onto the nearby streets.
The Town Hall has a very smart Georgian frontage dating from 1755. There was an earlier Town Hall here which burnt down.
The clock tower was a later addition in 1847.
The Royal Oak Hotel was one of the many coaching inns in the town. Garstang was on the main London to Edinburgh postal route and so was a busy stopover place with 13 inns providing a bed for the night for passengers and stabling for the horses on their way.
This house seemed nothing particularly special at first glance but it had a blue plaque on the wall, so we had a closer look. It is reputed to be the oldest house in Garstang, originally it was a thatched cruck cottage. Carbon-dating tests carried out on the timbers dates them to the 1590’s. Just look at how thick the walls are!
Garstang is proud to be The World’s First Fairtrade Town.
An explanation from the Fairtrade Foundation Website.
In April 2000, Garstang in Lancashire declared itself ‘the Worlds first Fairtrade Town’. The campaign caught the imagination of local people, the interest of politicians, and made headlines across the North West. Most importantly, the campaign in Garstang inspired town, cities, villages, islands, boroughs, counties, zones and regions across the country to make a collective commitment to Fairtrade status for their community.
What is a Fairtrade Town?
A Fairtrade Town is a town, city, village, island, borough, county, zone, district or region that has made a commitment to supporting Fairtrade and using products with the FAIRTRADE Mark. Any area can work towards Fairtrade status and everyone needs to be involved! Read more in the Fairtrade Town Action Guide.
Community organisations, faith groups, businesses, schools and individuals all contribute to making their area a Fairtrade Town by pledging to do what they can to support Fairtrade and promote the FAIRTRADE Mark.
There are now 556 Fairtrade towns in the UK.
After a heavy shower when we were shopping in Sainsbury’s, we waited for the worst to be over, then made our way back to Tacet and moved on again to a quiet country mooring. So these are our views tonight……