About Us

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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Sunday, 31 August 2008

Banks Newton Locks

Again the views were spectacular. Parts of the Leeds and Liverpool canal are diabolical. Wigan, Blackburn and Burnley especially, but the upper part makes the bad bits all worth while.
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Towed away

As we passed these boats we realised that they had been seized by BW for not paying their Waterways licence fee. The craft that were in a bad state of repair would probably be destroyed but the narrow boat in the picture seemed to good for that so we presumed that it would probably be auctioned of.
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One way canal?

Ian and I found this highly amusing. Were we going the wrong way down a one way canal??
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Top lock at Barrowford

We found a small shop selling bacon butties right at the top lock. As we had to water up it didn't take much persuasion for all of us to succumb to this delicious burger.

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The embankment at Burnley is very straight and over a mile long. Not the sort of place you want to stop in. From this picture it looks quite nice but I can assure you it was dirty and we had a few choice words thrown at us as well!!

This reminded us of Coranation street!
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Views from the highest point of the canal

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Neville joins the crew

Neville came to visit Dennis and Margaret. He is there next door neighbour and when he arrived he brought with him an arm full of rhubarb. This was evenly distributed between the three boats and we all had crumble that evening for desert.
Nev at the swing bridge
The weather hadn't been particularly good and it was such a shame for Neville but as normal we all made the best of it, and he did a good job of keeping Dennis company. He was with us for 4 days and was extremely welcome when it came to doing the swing bridges and locks.
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Monday, 18 August 2008

Bank Newton Locks

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We are now on our own as Dave and Heather and Dennis and Margaret have gone home for a week. The view from here was spectacular.
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View through the bridge on the Leeds and Liverpool

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Johnsons Hillock Locks

Just some of the picturesque locks on the Leeds and Liverpool
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Aggresive Swan

We were doing about 4mph when this swan suddenly came from nowhere and started pecking our stern. I can't believe that our prop didn't affect his swimming abilities.
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Being attacked

I managed to grab the camera as we were being attacked and captured these pictures. You can see why he attacked us when the family arrived.
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Sunday, 10 August 2008

Wigan Pier

After leaving the Ruford branch we turned left onto the Leeds and Liverpoll canal.

On the Leeds and Liverpool is the site of the original Wigan Pier where the coal barges were loaded with coal. This is all that is left.

We now have the daunting Wigan flight to look forward to.

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Wigan flight

There are twenty one locks in this flight all in a rise of two and a half miles. I wasn't looking forward to doing this flight and if I had known then what I know now I would have stayed in bed!!!
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Low water

The Wigan flight was a nightmare from start to end. After the 8th lock we ran out of water!!!

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Bracken and Icing trying to cross the pound

With hardly any water Bracken and Icing edged slowly toward the lock
After a lot of pushing and shoving they finally managed to get the boats into the lock
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Getting stuck

After watching Bracken and Icing trying to make it across this pound, I was a bit worried that we would have difficulties as well. We did!!! We got well and truly stuck and it was only after letting some water down that Ian got us moving again.
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