Monday 28th. July, 2014 --- We journey south. 

This evening we moored just outside East Marton in a lovely spot on this most beautiful of canals

The alarm went off at 5.30 a.m. and we were up, abluted, dogs exercised, packed – Rachel, Mix, Rowan and me – and on the road by 6.20 a.m., arriving uneventfully at Barnoldswick by ten.

We installed the dogs on ‘The Young Rachel’, unpacked the car and organised the boat, disconnecting mains electricity, removing the covers and so on.

James arrived to help us move ‘The Young Rachel’ from her berth, turning her around so we didn’t need to go a mile or so to use the turning circle.

We refuelled and were all organised, sitting opposite the marina shop when Tom and Dorothy arrived. They parked their car, unloaded their stuff and embarked. Time for a quick coffee and then we were off – the adventure had begun. It was an adventure for us – Rachel hadn’t driven her boat for a while; an adventure for Tom and Dorothy in a canal boat for the first time, and for Mix and Rowan for whom the experience of a home moving on water was a new one.

Our destination for today was East Marton. There is a double bridge there (one on top of the other); there is also an excellent little restaurant called The Cross Keys.

To get to East Marton we had to negotiate the three locks at Greenberfield. This too is an interesting place. You can still see where the original locks were, off to one side. We moored at the head of the locks and went for a cold drink and an ice cream (ginger beer and chocolate mint chip) at the little log cabin which serves snacks there. It was a really warm day.

Going down the three locks was no problem at all, not least because we travelled in tandem with another boat – father, mother and daughter from England with the daughter’s cousin from Glasgow, down for the school holidays.

Soon we had moored up in a lovely spot just two or three hundred yards from the East Marton bridge. We walked the dogs and left the boat to Tom and Dorothy and then, on our return, we all went off to the Cross Keys for a really good meal, Rachel’s ‘thank-you’ for all of the work on the Loom Room. I had mushroom soup followed by eggs, ham and chips all washed down with lots of ice-cold coca-cola. It was grand.

Rachel, Tom and Dorothy in front of the double bridge at East Marton

Tom is perplexed by all the salad that he has been given, Dorothy is perplexed that I keep on taking photographs

A view of the outside of the Cross Keys

On the way back from the Cross Keys we wandered across to St. Peter’s Church – old, not very large and in the middle of a field but with a splendid collection of hatchments on the walls. It was just getting dark but the Church was still open and welcoming.

St. Peter's Church -- in the midldle of nowhere but very active

Back at the boat, we found the dogs well – the only untoward moment of the day had been earlier when Mix had tried to escape. He had eluded me, he had dodged Rachel and as he tried to get off the stern Dorothy had grabbed his hair. He snapped at her and caught her hand – she will have a big bruise tomorrow, I’m afraid.

Rachel and I walked the dogs and then we all went to bed: Tom and Dorothy in the master cabin; Rachel and I, with the dogs, in the double-bed which opens out of the sofa in the saloon. We were extremely warm and comfortable and I slept extremely well.

A view of 'The Young Rachel' from the bridge we crossed on the way back from St. Peter's Church


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