Tuesday, 13 November 2012

The canal campaign marches on

My exploration of the Lancaster Canal develops like a military operation - I am attacking from both ends, but this is not a pincer movement. On Thursdays I go south with Pete, and we have plenty to go at - all the way to Preston. In the north I go alone, whenever the chance occurs, but will be finished at Kendal after the next two or three outings. After that,  my one man army will move its resources to the southern end.

Yesterday (Saturday) my temporarily halted blitzkrieg was on the move again from  Farleton Fell to the Westmorland Showground.

Purply, bruised broody autumn skies released doses of localised rain when they could contain it no longer, and the canal towpath was squelchy-gloopy.

Just before the M6 Jct. 36 canal guillotine,  an unexpected view of the filling station I drive past several times a week appeared, only a few yards on the other side of the canal. When driving past the filling station the canal is invisible. I was not aware, approaching from a new direction that I was close to this landmark.  I find such unanticipated views in supposedly familiar territory pleasantly diverting.

This was the least interesting section so far, but there were items of relief: a stone building, headquarters for free canal boat trips (closed until May 2013), displaying some information about proposed reclamation of this segmented canal,  and more attractive stands of larch which relieve the debatable monotony of the canals rigid lines. I understand that larch is threatened like ash - that would be an unfortunate loss to this canal scenery.

I left the canal via an isolated bridge with no road connection and after crossing one field joined a minor road. Here I had another new discovery on my own doorstep that I was not previously aware of: The Dry Stone Walling Association Training Site. The  walling examples contain expertly constructed stiles and those square holes, for streams and maybe sheep to run through. If drystone walls excite, a visit may put you on Prozac.

Once again I was able to return by quiet country lanes and tracks.

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From my previous post - the verse: "They hangs the man that steals the goose..." Research reveals this to be a 17c protest verse (anonymous), with many different versions.





The newly constructed Livestock market near Jct.36 on M6

A new view of my local filling station

Walking under Jct 36 on M6. The canal stops and starts on either side

Free boat trips from here (in the season)




More larch trees (now under threat), this would be a poorer view without them







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