Saturday, 26 May 2012

To Wigan and beyond !

Yesterday we had an early start in order to beat the commuter time that closes Plank Lane bridge between 8am & 9:30 am.  We were up at 6am and off at 6:45 on a fine but windy morning.  We had a pleasant cruise into Wigan sharing the last couple of locks with another boat.  We moored outside the BW Offices and went for a walk into Wigan Town Centre, its much of a muchness with other towns, not unpleasant.  We returned to the BW offices met Linda, who has been really helpful, purchased a couple of electricity cards and got our Skippers Guide for the Liverpool Link.  We then continued our journey through and out of Wigan mooring for the day at Appley Bridge.

Today we awoke to sunny skies but hight winds.  Just what you want as the coutryside flattens out with no barrier to shelter from the wind.  We continued along through Parbold and turned onto the Rufford Arm, stopping at lock/bridge 1 for water, thats interesting! not ideal place for a water point when heading the way we were, and by the way (for fellow boaters the elsan/pump out point is closed now).  We set off down the 7 locks and discovered at lock 1 that our bow thruster had ceased to be.  It was an ex-bow thruster, dead as a parrot!  The winds were now increased (gale force?) from the east which made lock approaches shall we say - interesting, with or without a bow thruster.  These locks are big, the winding gear odd, and yet again very little traffic, which made for hard work on a hot a day.

We have moored for the evening at Rufford, after a rest and shower we have walked up past Rufford Old Hall (which we couldn't see) to the Rufford Arms  where we had a lovely meal and a few drinks to rehydrate ourselves!  Felt somewhat under dressed compared with the other clientèle but hey ho!  We then walked back down Liverpool Road to see if we could see the Old Hall from the otherside (which we couldn't) and partook of a swift one in the Hesketh Arms.

Hindsight yet again, why didn't we specify a weed hatch in the bow thruster tube!

Plank Lane

 Anyone any ideas as to the huge winding hole or what is it going to be?

Lots of flashes along the way

Wigan Pier 

Its like being at home, you can see for miles!

I let 2 horses over one of the swing bridges before closing it, but one refused to go over, no amount of kicking it on, worked, in the end a lady come out of the cottage and gave it a carrot and led it over, why the lady riding it didn't get off and lead it across I have no idea

 We passed this today, an iron age round house?

with a wooden henge in the garden and lots of  carved statues??

Great use for a dead tree an owl box on it

Friday 9 miles 8 locks 3 swing bridges
Saturday 8 miles 8 locks 3 swing bridges


  1. Have you tried checking the terminal connection on the bow thruster battery? It will give John something to do? And that big winding hole was supposed to be a marina like the Bridgewater one...

  2. Could be that the control panel, same as ours did. We took the panel off, took the plug off and tried a piece of cable between the connections, bow thruster worked, panel fu...... broken.


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