Sunday 7 July 2013


A slow start to the morning as we had decided to go to the 11am service at the nearby St John's church. As we arrived, about 15 minutes early, several people were still leaving from the 9 o'clock and they were all, shall we say, more of our generation or beyond! We wondered what sort of mix there would be at the 'contemporary' service. In fact, by the time it started, it was quite mixed with a good sprinkling of families and small children. Overall, perhaps 60-70.

St John's, Burscough
This is a positively evangelical church, very different from Melling last week. They had a music group of four including a female lead singer who also played guitar and was very much the music leader.

Although it was obvious that a lot of time had been spent in preparing for the service, sadly, it never really said very much to either of us and we wondered quite how the songs were chosen other than that the group liked to sing them. All were pretty much identikit versions of each other and in a slow, perhaps contemplative, tempo. Nothing in the uplifting or praise category, really.

A talk by the leader of Mission Paraguay who is about to lead a group going out there for six weeks shortly, raised more questions for us than it answered.

The audio visual equipment was excellent and they have a number of repeater screens around the church as well as the main projector so that the words and images could be seen wherever you were sitting.

Back then to the boat and we make a quick getaway as we were in search of diesel from one of the marinas at Rufford and wanted to make sure we reached there in good time. Mike's car shuffle itinerary tomorrow is planned on the basis of setting off from Rufford by bus.

Burscough Junction
A short distance from the wharf where we had moored we came to Bursough Junction where we turned underneath the splendid stone bridge and started down the short flight of locks. As it was a really hot summer afternoon and there is a pub at the top lock, the first two had plenty of onlookers and some helpers. Two volunteer(?) lock keepers arrived and then left. It is a long walk to the next lock in the direction they headed!

The top lock has a swing footbridge just above the lock - see blog when we came this way last month for further details.

 It was a real 'chocolate box' type of day and, as a result, everyone seemed to be much more relaxed and friendly.

We were following a hire boat down and by lock 6 they waited for us to catch up and share with them. Several boats also came up and most seemed to be new to boating.

A couple of the locks had the same style of lift up top paddles that we have seen on the Pennine section of the Leeds and Liverpool. These were a bit easier to operate than some we have met.

Gradually we could see, a couple of fields away, the embankment surrounding the River Douglas, which flows into the Ribble a bit further downstream from where we will join it on Tuesday.

Just one real swing bridge today - although it was a manual operation, it proved to be easy to operate.

Rufford Lock
We arrived at Lock 7 and Christine went to check out one of the marinas - Mike had called them earlier this morning and they seemed to have some problem with serving us but would be OK by 8am tomorrow morning. Christine discovered that everyone who knows how to operate the pump is at their sister marina in Scarisbrick where there is a music festival this weekend!

After coming down through the lock we turned instead into the other marina directly opposite. IT was difficult to land Christine as the service berth was occupied and the hire craft had also just arrived in front of us to return their boat. A sudden sharp wind also made manoeuvring difficult - and they were also shut on Sundays! A marina shut on Sundays? Whatever next?

We moored just after the adjacent road bridge to wait for morning! Meanwhile we have a roast dinner to look forward to!

3.7 miles - 7 locks

No comments: