After a few dog days, sorry about that, I’m glad to get back to canal walking, returning to our Barnoldswick base that we’re using to cover the highest sections of the Leeds Liverpool Canal, through East Lancashire into West Yorkshire. Over this weekend it’s our intention to cross over the top of the Pennines and begin our descent into West Yorkshire and Leeds. Let’s go.
Well, as often as not these big box sheds. For retail or offices and looking, to me, like merely temporary visitors to our urban landscapes.
Now I’m not saying you do this, dear reader of this blog, but people do. You know, the people who blithely leave those little black plastic dog poo bags behind them. Blithely assuming, I assume, that the Poo Fairy will clear up after them?
Michael and his colleagues are Poo Fairies.
So come on, help Michael out by doing the picking up and disposal yourself.
Poo lecture over.
Now a couple of weeks back you might remember we were temporarily pushed off the towpath in Burnley while the canal went through the relatively short Gannow Tunnel.
There are no ‘tow path’ notices like there had been in Burnley. And the potential routes seem to set off in directions away from where we know the tunnel is.
At which point the cameras are stowed safely away as we push on through stinging nettles and sharp bracken to a destination we’re increasingly unsure of. Last thing we want to have to do is retrace our unsteady steps through this quagmire.
Any road up, I only fall over the once and our guesswork is right.
If it could help Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary get to the top of Everest it can surely help us get to Foulridge.
Where, as you’ll know, I’m keen to see evidence of a developing canal-side economy.
Sarah who bought it came back to the table muttering ‘eye watering.’
A conceit between us all along these walks is that now and then ‘the Committee’ (me) will pompously announce:
“A grand photography competition open to all photographers walking along this particular stretch of the canal on this particular day.”
So, open to us two and no one else.
Nice reflection on the second one there and both competition winners, I’m sure you’ll agree. Had there been one.
And as we enter Yorkshire some credit here where it’s undoubtedly due.
When the canal was about to be 200 years old Marie Millward, a friend from Leeds, asked me if I’d walk along it for a bit from Liverpool and write her an article, for the celebratory project she was involved in. Another friend would write the equivalent Leeds piece. Which Phil Kirby duly did. I however never got round to it. So, in a way, this entire series of blog posts could be seen as my penance to Marie for a task not done.
Well anyway, thank you Marie for the original impetus. This has been our El Camino, our pilgrimage through the industrial north and we’re loving every mile of it. Sorry I never wrote the original article but we’ll see you in Leeds before very long at all now.
Where a curious incident occurs after I take this photograph from the tow path:
Joe, who runs this with his partner Helen, good naturedly asks what I’m up to and I of course reply that Sarah and I are from the Dog Agilty Standards Association and have come to see that standards are being kept up.
One dog, Jazz, is selected to do a demonstration run around what they’re all up to here.
Afterwards all four dogs line up proudly for their portrait.
And well done Helen and Joe. A bit of the canal side economy we could never have dreamed up in a thousand years!
The one and only time on this entire adventure so far that we’re arriving at the place we’re staying with no local transport involved.
From where we will not be resuming in the morning. As those of you who’ve been paying attention will know, we walked the next short section, around Barnoldswick to the Rolls Royce engines factory the evening we first arrived here and included it in our Section Nine report.
So see you by Rolls Royce next time as we go over the topper most section of the canal and begin our descent into Leeds.