June 19

The weather had to break, and it did with a vengance. Torrential thunderstorms overnight, then steady rain through the day. The new canopy proved it’s worth, keeping a great deal of the wet out.


Aquaduct (carries the canal over the river) with Daniel Rothballer

We returned to Burnley, again doing the locks and Foulridge tunnel, but things are different going the other way. Enjoyed a great pub meal when we moored last night (Salterforth), and saw their basement (crypt?) which was the original pub, built before the canal. When the canal went in (1804), they had to raise the pub, so just built another layer on top. The former level, now below canal level, has stalactites formed from the seepage of water. Very interesting, and preserved!L&L30001 L&L30003






Once back in Burnley, we went to the last remaining steam-powered weaving mill, that was the once heart of this whole area of Britain. The one 500hp steam engine ran the whole mill, including more than 1000 looms. Exceptionally noisy and impressive. There were only 2 looms working in the main weaving room, with others in various additional rooms, run by one lady, but to see them all lined up and still capable of working off the drive lines… They run this periodically through the day for visitors, and it was much better than seeing a loom or two in the museum in Manchester. Closed in it’s commercial operation as late as 1982, the mill remains much as it was, with original installations. They still make and sell fabrics for visitors.

There were more than 20 of these mills in the Burnley area, all supplied with cotton by the canals, with coal carried by canal, and shipping their wares back to Liverpool or Manchester by canal. And this is true all throughout the length of this canal, and the Bridgewater that I toured earlier. The vestiges of a bye-gone era.

500hp single cylinder steam engine Queen St. Mill, Burnley

500hp single cylinder steam engine Queen St. Mill, Burnley, still working since originally installed 1894



the loom room, with more than 300 looms, all run off the drivelines above. noisy, but most impressive

About Ed Mortimer

I'm a retired school teacher, now living on my narrowboat in Britain. I'm touring as much of the canal and river system as I can. This blog describes what I do and where I've been
This entry was posted in canal experiences, history and excursions, leeds and liverpool. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to June 19

  1. Sheila Gibbs says:

    Very impressive! Both the pub story – again it boggles a Canadian’s thinking of heritage houses, (The old log church in the Lloyd museum is a complete relic because it was built in 1903!) & the looms. I can’t imagine how noisy it would be with all the looms running.

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