Thursday 10 August

Sunlight filtering through the blind woke us this morning.  We weren’t in any great hurry to move on today after yesterday’s excitement but I got up early to hang the washing out.  By mid-morning this was dry and ways of getting into Preston had been investigated. It was unanimously decided that the most efficient way would be to move the boats 1.5 miles along the canal to Swillbrook from where we could walk about 0.8 miles to Catforth to catch the bus which ran every two hours from there.

We both managed to moor even though visitor mooring space was limited.  So far we’re finding there are limited places to moor and even when there is a recognised visitor mooring site, there is a lot of vegetation making it hard or impossible to get into the side and no mooring rings have been provided. The canal tends to have wooden rails and only occasional armco.   Our plank has been out for the first time in ages to help us reach the bank and we’ve had to double pin as the ground is quite soggy.

The time-table at the bus stop varied slightly to the one we’d found on line and we had 20 minutes to wait.  A return fare of £5.80 was thought to be good value for those of us who had to pay and Storm added this sum to the notional amount he’s saved since he got his bus pass.

Storm was keen to visit Preston’s bus station, built in the 1960’s in a Brutalist architectural style to a design by the Building Design Partnership.   Pip and Mick had an errand to run so we went our separate ways, agreeing to meet up at the bus station later.  We had two hours to spend exploring.

The architectural merits of the bus station, with multi-storey carpark above, have been debated over the years and for many years it was threatened with demolition. In September 2013 the building was finally granted Grade II listed building status which has safeguarded it for years to come.  It is currently undergoing a £23m renovation. We liked the building.

We then walked around the Market Square area to admire some of Preston’s older, more classical architecture, before heading into the Harris Museum & Art Gallery for a cup of tea.   As there wasn’t enough time to visit the Art Gallery we vowed we’d try to return before we leave the Lancaster Canal.

We caught the bus back and the driver was kind enough to drop us off closer to Swillbrook so we didn’t have as far to walk back to the canal.


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