Friday 10 October

We left Burscough in sunshine today, after filling up with water, and headed off through yet more swing bridges.   The Leeds Liverpool Canal is notorious for the number of swing bridges, both manual, automatic or semi-automatic that cross the waterway and all the different methods of operation.

I’m always a bit nervous when the swing bridge is a road bridge with traffic as drivers are not too understanding when their journey is delayed.   Our Nicholsons Canal Guide proved to be a little out of date this morning as it suggested I would need a windlass and a key at our first bridge. It turned out that I just needed a key as it is now fully automatic.

Usually you put your key in to the consul at the side of the bridge, and turn it, then press the ‘open button’ until the bridge is fully open.   This morning, I pressed the button and the traffic lights came on but then nothing else happened.

Thankfully the barmaid at the pub opposite was just arriving for work and she shouted out instructions.   Apparently I needed to press ‘open’ twice, once to operate the traffic lights, and again to open the bridge. Quite a queue of traffic had built up by the time I’d opened and closed the bridge.

Thankfully all the other bridges were quite straight forward and we passed through lovely Lancashire countryside before arriving into Maghull and mooring up.   This is a small dormitory town not far from Aintree, with a sixties shopping arcade at the heart of it and as it was school turning out time, it was full of children milling about.   We scurried back to the boat and put the kettle on.

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