That’s Back On Board, or Bevy of (Beautiful) Bickerstaffes. Take your choice.
When I last updated it was September last year. We were on the Shropshire Union Canal. After that we cruised up to Chester, where we had a rendevous with Stu and Carrie, two of our American family. We took them to Llangollen before returning Beau Romer to Fettlers Wharf Marina for the winter. Martyn and I spent the winter in Wareham in the house.
Now it’s April and the 2023 crusing season has begun. We have plans to come all the way down to Bristol, and after that, who knows? We have set off with Andrew and Penny on Seren Glas and are right now at the very end of the Leigh Branch of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal at Pennington Flash, which is beautiful and peaceful. Many people are strolling the towpath enjoying a lovely warm and sunny Good Friday. We are moored up with three other Bickerstaffes; as well as Seren Glas, Perfect Harmony with Sheila and Gary on Board, and The Last Derbyshire Miner crewed by Mark. We’re also enjoying canine company in the shape of Yogi and Zac.
We spent two nights in Wigan, as Wednesday was miserable and wet. This early in the season we don’t need to cruise in the rain, so we just hunkered down. Wigan is famous for several things, Wigan Pier I’ve mentioned before, Northern Soul music I haven’t (we’ll save that one) and I don’t think I’ve talked about pies. Wigan pies are reputedly delicious, although I’ve never tried one, and people from Wigan are known as Pie Eaters. I found out why, and it’s nothing to do with pastries. It goes back to the General Strike in 1926 when the miners went on strike in protest about pay and conditions. Wigan was heavily reliant on coal mining and Wigan miners were starved back to work before the miners in the nearby town of Leigh, who scornfully named them Pie Eaters because they had been forced to eat humble pie and give in first. One of the reasons we’re on the boat is because I love discovering these little titbits of history.
This year I think I’m going to add a few cruising stats to the blog. So far we have travelled 19 miles, 3.75 furlongs in 10.9 hours, come through 15 locks, and dealt with 6 moveable bridges.