The Burnley Embankment, half a million tons of earth hauled into place by horse and cart, piled up with shovel and wheelbarrow to a height of up to sixty feet, and carrying the canal through three quarters of a mile past the rooftops of Burnley. They call it The Straight Mile, because after you build something like that you’re entitled to a bit of exaggeration.
Yes, that is a bush growing out of the side of that chimney. I’m guessing it’s eco-terrorism by the squirrels.
There’s no rain today, but a vicious wind was blowing at 20 to 25 miles an hour this morning, which made steering difficult all day. For our very first move, Paula had to stand on the bank with a long pole and push my bow out into the water to get me round the boat in front. It took us two attempts. We started the day with a flight of seven locks going down. We had arranged with our friends in Festina Lente to go down together, and we made very good time down the flight.
We stopped for lunch and shopping in Nelson, a depressed former textile manufacturing town, where you can pick up a two bedroom terraced house for less than we paid for our boat. There are no official visitor moorings there, and the place we moored had a lot of motorway noise so we decided to press on to Burnley.
Burnley Wharf was once a thriving dock. The overhanging shelters for unloading cargo have been restored, but there is not cargo shipped by canal any more, and few pleasure boats want to stop in Burnley. Tonight there is just Festina Lente and us.
There is a nice crane in case we need to do any heavy lifting, and a pub directly on the wharf, though, so the mooring is not without it charms.