Canal Adventure #6 – Oswaldtwistle to Cherry Tree

Or, “We’ll never get home if we keep standing here staring at a duck on a roof”.

Yesterday’s canal adventure was a bit of an expedition. Having run as far as Cherry Tree the previous week, we decided that the most efficient way to clock up some miles would be to catch the train from Cherry Tree and run back along the canal. Trains from Cherry Tree to Oswaldtwistle are at best infrequent on a Sunday and if we missed the 10.24, the plan was null and void. As such, I woke up at 7.15 with a mild sense of panic and had to resist the urge to force Ginge to get up, dressed and sit in the car so we would be ready.

Cherry Tree station - deserted on a Sunday morning

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I take no responsibility for this

While we were out doing yesterday’s canal adventure, we stopped and mooched around Bridge 90 for a few minutes. During this short break, we pondered on the yellow foliage of some daffodils and admired a well constructed facility for crossing between towpath and field, which also had a little gate for letting your four-legged friend gain access (on a lead, obviously – I know my Country Code. Ah, it’s the Countryside Code now, I’m showing my age) . Continue reading

Canal adventure #5 – Riley Green to Cherry Tree

Last night it rained. This morning I lay in bed listening to the swish of cars on the wet road outside and wondering how muddy the canal towpaths would be. The answer? Very.

Today we ventured east towards Blackburn. My home point on the canal is Johnson’s Hillock, which the milestone told me is 79 (and a quarter) miles from Leeds and 48 miles to Liverpool and I am convinced that once I have run to Blackburn, it’s only a few miles to Leeds (I know, I know).

Bridge 91A.

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Felting – an upper body work out of sorts.

Today I went on a half day course  at the Turnpike Gallery to learn the basics of felting, or more specifically wet felting and it was fantastic! The process itself is very simple, but the end results are beautiful and even a very simple piece can be embellished or embroidered to make a work of art.

You start  off with carded yarn (we used merino wool, which is lovely and soft thus making it easier for beginners to handle), this can be any colour but white is easiest to work with. Merino wool for felting can be bought from Wingham Wool Work, Texere Yarns and Fibrecrafts.

Natural merino wool

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Presenting my first guest blogger – my mum

Before I even thought about trying to run the length of the Leeds-Liverpool canal, someone else in my family had already been clocking up the towpath miles. Despite what being part of what Jenni Murray described in her recent stand up rountine as “the hip-op generation”, mum regularly thinks nothing of getting up and cycling miles along the canal before she’s even had her breakfast. As someone who cycles on a biennial basis (having failed my Cycling Proficiency, the words “is still wobbly on her bike” are etched into my soul) I am in awe.

Last week I woke up to an email from mum, entitled “canalathon” and  telling me all about her most recent adventures. Mum has agreed to let me share this with you. And so I present, my first guest blogger (who, hopefully, will be joining me on one of the legs of my journey).


Saddled up the bike today and did the 1st ride of the year, hardest bit was the motorway bridge on Moss Lane, as usual!

Managed bridge 80 to 88, got rather distracted by some intriguing steps into the valley/woodland near Withnell fold. It was marked down as a good walk for R and me. How far was that, do I need a bike Garmin ?

Kept being interrupted by jolly old men making wacky comments, like “have you got gears?”.  Why? I said I even had a bell…

Grisly old man being closely followed by a very large duck goose; he actually leapt out in front and asked me to take the bird with me, he couldn’t shake it off. It’s like a strange alternative world down there on the tow path.

May have another try tomorrow, but must try and fit the bike into the car, it gets boring repeating the same bit.