Saturday 6 July 2013


A beautiful, warm, sunny day - almost like summer! Another short hop, this time to Burscough. Our original plan was to go on to Parbold for Sunday service but yesterday we were told about St John's Church in Burscough, next to the railway line and so we decided to look for a mooring after the wharf.

First, we had to turn the boat around - after our visit to Scarisbrick we came back and so were facing towards Liverpool. This meant going back a couple of bridges to the nearest winding hole.

When we returned to the bridge where we were moored - and the car was parked - Christine dropped Mike off so that he could move the car up to Burscough Bridge where he had spotted a likely car park adjacent to the canal. In the pavement close to the wharf there is a pavement decoration which recalls the old Lancashire tradition of pace egging each Eastertide.

Emma Vickers was a noted accordion player who helped revive the tradition - sadly it seems to have lapsed once again. Although there seem to be many versions of the Pace Egging Song, her version begins:

There's one or two jolly lads all in one mind.
We have come a-pace-egging, if you will provide.
With your eggs and strong beer, we'll come no more here
Until the next year it's pace-egging time.
Chorus : Fol the diddle-ol eye-day,

After parking the car, Mike walked back along the canal to meet Christine as there were a couple of swing bridges, one of which is rather difficult to do single handed. The fully automatic one can be done that way but not the first she would meet.

There was a third swing bridge but, although he thought it was a 'left open' bridge, Mike continued towards it just in case he was wrong but shortly afterwards Christine arrived so he walked back to open thee bridge for her.

Arriving in Burscough our first priority was to call at the wharf for water, rubbish and elsan as it was several days since our last service stop at Scarisbrick Marina.

Once that was complete we moved about 100 metres further on to moor until tomorrow.

We had a rather tasty lunch of eggy bread - using up a loaf that was otherwise a bit past its best. We should have eaten it yesterday but bought rolls out instead!

After lunch we walked to the nearby Tesco for a few food items and then set off by car to find somewhere pleasant for the rest of the after noon. We fancied a shady woodland spot to sit and read so we headed to Martin Mere wetland Centre, one of a couple of places mentioned to us yesterday. Although it looked quite substantial and certainly had extensive car parking and a good play area for (real) children, we were put off by the £8.50 entrance charge! (And that's the oldies concession as well)

A short distance was the other place, Mere Sands Wood Nature Reserve. Apart from a 'suggested donation' of £2 for parking it was otherwise free. However, there was just the nature reserve - it did feel that the woodland's sole purpose was to keep the humans away from the lakes (left over from sand and gravel quarrying). There was a good path around the perimeter for about 1.25 miles and half way we did find a seat in the sunshine and stopped for a half hour read!

Time then to head back to the boat, but Christine navigated a longer way around through Rufford. After thinking about several alternatives for tonight's meal (we had looked at a restaurant above the Wharf but were put off by the surly manner of the proprietor) it looks as if we have homed in on a Caesar Salad with garlic bread but this will mean that Christine will have to walk back to the shops for some chicken!

Oh, confession time: when we parked the car Mike could not find the boat keys in the rucksack, or indeed in his pockets. (He had taken the Tesco shopping back on his own) On return to the boat he found them still in the padlock which he had carefully put back on the rear doors! At least they seem to be honest people around here.

Unfortunately, when today's pictures were downloaded from the camera we discovered that most were not usable as the result of something on the lens . . .

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