Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Leigh Branch

The Leigh Branch of the Leeds and Liverpool begins just outside of Wigan after taking a right turn.  And, after just two locks, you have the joy of the next forty miles being lock free!  Music to my ears, may I tell you.

However, to get through the last of those two locks required the shifting of a sleeper sofa so that we could get the gates to the lock open and the boats into said lock.  Having done that, we were good citizens and moved it out of the way of other boaters and using a piece of our rope tied the sofa to a small bollard so that it would not drift back into the center of the canal to bother future boaters.  We weren't scouts for nothing.

I will spare you with my thoughts on those who would deposit an old sleeper sofa into the canal in the first place.  Because, as is obvious, it did not find its way there on its own.  What creatures humans can sometimes be astounds me.

We are now moored at Plank Lane enjoying the scenic views of semi-rural England.

It is difficult to believe that this area was once a scarred landscape due to intensive mining.  It has now been rehabilitated into lovely meadows full of local wildlife.  It must have taken a great deal of time, effort and money but it was definitely worth the work and cost.

Another aftereffect of the mining has been the sinking or subsidence of the countryside caused by the "underpinnings" being mined out from beneath it.  The canal, today, sits above the surrounding countryside due to the need to build the canal up over the years using mine waste.  Otherwise,  I assume, the surrounding countryside would have been awash in canal water until the canal ran dry.  Lucky for us, that never happened.

How full of history is England, as well as how beautiful.

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