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Narrowboat 'wilvir'

by wilvir

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Whispers on water - a photo journal of our life on the 'cut' dedicated to keeping family and friends informed of our whereabouts.

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Helping to keep our waterways litter-free: www.litteraction.org.uk/narrowboat-wilvir

Drought, pollution and illegal fishing all threaten our waterways. Spotted something that looks wrong? See it, say it, save it. Call the Environment Agency (EA) Incident Hotline: 0800 80 70

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A walk to Bank Hall, Bretherton

Photo:
1. A quiet country lane leading to the estate.
2. The rhododendron lined avenue approaching the hall.
3. Blooming lovely.
4. A glimpse of the hall from the tradesmen entrance.
5. The 'grand plan'.

I set off from the boat the other evening in search of Bank Hall, a local Jacobean Mansion and gardens apparently decaying amongst the trees at Bretherton. After crossing the River Douglas and cutting through fields using an old right of way, I came to a lane leading to a long rhododendron lined avenue and the tradesmen entrance to the hall.

Here a sad and sorry sight met me at a chained and padlocked gate entwined with barbed-wire. Leading up to the mid nineties the mansion had literally been vandalised to the point of destruction. Since then a group has endeavoured to secure funding to restore the mansion and grounds to its former glory. But, as is the way with volunteer vanity projects needing expensive and extensive restoration, time has stood still.

Apart from the scaffolding supporting the buildings crumbling facade it appears to be just an open shell of what once stood there. A Google satellite view of the site shows the extent of the work required.

This project has stood near derelict for too long despite good intentions to save it. Wouldn't it be better to bulldoze this near irrecoverable project and the adjacent concrete outbuilding and replace it with a activity and community youth centre or something else that will be of real benefit to the local area?
The original gatehouse, which once led to the mansion, is testament to what once was, yet stands forlorn, unloved and unkempt, despite 'looking' occupied. A sad indictment of our times.

Thanks to, and for more info go to:
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bank_Hall
23rd May 2012, 11:37   comments (2)

Sollum and the River Asland

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Photo:
1. Leaving Rufford in our wake.
2. On our way to Sollum with little 'Val' leading.
3. The windlassies doing their bit.

After leaving the outskirts of Burscough we stopped off at Rufford to restock with coal at St Mary's Marina and fuel for the genny from Ruffords 'Central Garage'. We also spotted a large alder tree overhanging the canal, which had been cut back recently, and as luck would have it, the wood had been left for the taking. So Jim loaded it onto 'Val' and then split it between us when he came alongside; we've plenty of fuel for the stove what with this prolonged chilly spell we're experiencing as we head into summer.

We're now moored just before the L&L; canal reverts to the old course of the River Asland, more recently known as the River Douglas, at Sollum. The 'new' course of the River Douglas, running between the tidal River Ribble and Wigan, cuts through close to the canal here. We'll be passing down this lovely stretch of the old Asland River to Tarleton in the coming days after we've trod water here a while, so to speak.
17th May 2012, 10:51   comments (1)

My 'Country Seat'

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This is a treasured shooting stick my daughter, Emma, gave me as a Christmas present. Very useful whenever I'm out and about with Gunner and want to sit and admire the world around us, with or without binoculars.
16th May 2012, 08:59   comments (3)

Banksy - Cardinal Sin'

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Of the many exhibits I saw while visiting Liverpool's museums and galleries this one came out tops.

The most direct statement I have seen in a very long time on the hypocrisy of the church by a consummate artist - brilliant!

'The Walker Art Gallery has a new addition to its collection - a statue of a Priest vandalised by Banksy.

The renowned graffiti artist has sawn off the face of an 18th Century replica stone bust and glued on a selection of bathroom tiles. The resulting 'pixellated' portrait is entitled 'Cardinal Sin' and is believed to be a comment on the abuse scandal in the Church and its subsequent cover- up.

" I'm never sure who deserves to be put on a pedestal or crushed under one "

- Banksy

The sculpture has been loaned indefinitely by the artist and has never been seen before.'

Thanks to:
www.banksy.co.uk
www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker/collections/room-guide/banksy-sculpture-liverpool.aspx
15th May 2012, 10:00   comments (3)

Around Burscough

Photo:
1. Junction Bridge.
2. An abundance of Cherry blossom.
3. Moss Bridge.
4. Peace and quiet.
5. Railway underpass.
6. Burscough Mill.
14th May 2012, 19:15   comments (4)

Just Breath it In

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14th May 2012, 17:50   comments (3)

Still a Chill on the Wind

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Photo:
1. 'I'm a lumberjack and I'm ok'
2. My nickname is Woody for obvious reasons
3. Gunner's idea of chillin!

We managed to collect a woodpile to supplement our coal reserves as days and nights are still refreshingly chilly. A good chainsaw and axe make short work of turning out perfect logs for the wood burner.

As you can see, Gunner is happy to be back in the countryside after being confined to the cobbled dock area and floating pontoon we were moored against. There were a few grassed areas about and walks along the sea walls in either direction, so he didn't miss out at all really.
13th May 2012, 11:12   comments (0)

Leaving Liverpool Behind - Our Journey Continues

Photo:
1. With Victoria Clock Tower in the background and having passed through Salisbury and Collingwood Docks we are now in Stanley Dock with the Tobacco Warehouse on the left.
2. Working up the Stanley Lock Flight onto the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.
3. Leigh Bridge.
4. A close-up of the Leigh Bridge commemorative plaque.
5. Open country once again.
12th May 2012, 20:22   comments (0)