Monday May 31 through Blackburn to Wheelton (12 miles, 6 locks)
Another sunny morning saw us start off into Blackburn, soon to stop after the transmission to the propeller became intermittent. Our hydraulic gearbox was clearly short of oil, so John got his overalls on and topped it up. Blackburn still has lots of mills, some in use for industry and some converted into attractive stone housing or offices, Imperial Mill and Daisyfield Mill among them. A wallpaper firm had decorated a telephone box for publicity.
Eanam Wharf had a few boats moored. Reaching the six Blackburn locks, we were helped down all six by a lovely CRT Volunteer and other boat crews, passing wide beams, Narrowboats and cruisers on the way! It was surprisingly busy.
We stopped for lunch in the sun on the high embankment which crosses the valley, echoing that at Burnley. We overlooked Elwood Park, home of Blackburn Rovers, and the skilful players at the local crown green bowling club.
Continuing out of the city through Mill Hill, Cherry Tree and Feniscowles, loads of the canalside gardens were looking splendid, with both expensive and imaginative patios plus lovely plants, many being finished now during the COVID time many find themselves at home. Also, loads of families and couples have been walking past, enjoying the sun. Liana reckons we have passed at least ten boats travelling today, too.
Apart from the distant hum of the ever present M65, the countryside is lovely from now on. After the boatyard and hire base at Riley Green, the canal leaves the M65 and heads South through peaceful pastures and woods to Wheelton, where we moored between bridges 84 and 83, relaxing on the bank in the late afternoon sun.