Monday, 27 May 2019

Lancaster Canal part 4 - Carnforth 25th - 26th May 2019

Saturday 25th May 2019
Hest Bank to Carnforth
3.75 miles, 1 swing bridge

Monty and I were the advanced guard this morning.  Patch had gone visiting another boat, but he was there waiting to say farewell

The tide was well and truly out this morning

For comparison - I took this at Hest Bank yesterday afternoon

and this from much the same spot this morning

The most notable part of this short cruise is the effort a lot of householders have made with their canal side gardens - some are a real delight

Just one swing bridge to negotiate

Our plan was to stop for three days in Carnforth, so two 7 day moorings would be required.  Cleddau just about managed to get into one, but it must have taken us getting on for an hour to decide where to go and just how far we could get the stern in to the bank.  Such was the stress of the occasion that no photos were taken, but you can take it from me that the stern was a good 2 foot out and access in and out of the bow was none too easy.

After lunch Sue, Ken and I walked up to the railway station with three aims in mind.  First to time the walk to the bus stop as we planned to get the bus to Kendal on Sunday, second to time the walk to the station as we have tickets to travel by train to Ravenglass and then for a trip on the Eskdale railway on Monday and thirdly to visit the heritage centre at the station itself.

This was the setting for 'the meeting' in Brief Encounter.

The scene was set taking you back to the 1940's as you entered

And then there was that all important clock

With all you need to know of its history set out in verse

Sadly the happy ending or miracle mentioned in the 2005 entry seems to have been long gone - there is no sound from the minute hand as the clock now seems to be permanently frozen at a quarter to eleven.  (But is it 10:45 or 22:45 - i.e. morning or evening?)

Inside are many rooms to explore.  One is devoted to the film itself with the film on a continuous loop with cinema seats - a pleasant way to rest aching limbs, but no time to watch it all.

Another to David Lean, the film's director and yet another to the history of Carnforth itself.

There are others we missed, but not the restaurant where tea and one slice of cake to share was purchased.  This was real tea with a strainer and the ginger and lemon cake was a delight.

I somehow doubt they will keep a photo of the three of us in the tea room for posterity!

And a final bit of information - this station has the largest unsupported cantilevered curved roof in the world

There is a lot more to see, entry is free (donations welcome if you feel so inclined) and I would definitely recommend a visit.

Walking back to the boat we passed the Co-op which used to be the cinema

The town's war memorial

An interesting carving of the Guardians of Carnforth

Created by 'A Woman With a Chainsaw'

And finally what I think is the 'Jewel in Carnforth's Crown', or at the very least running the Heritage Centre a close second, a fascinating garden - there is a gate and we were not sure if it was private or not - we were assured it wasn't, so in we went to explore.  Whilst we were in there a couple of young boys went passed and commented that 'we were in their garden'.

So what on earth is so special about this garden?  There is so much to look at - far more than I can add here and to take a small child round to explore must be a delight.  So a small taste - there are gnomes


and behind every door is a child's name

 They even have fairies at the bottom of the garden

and their own small remembrance garden

and flowers abound

So who on earth looks after this little bit of heaven?  The Council?  No, they just cut the grass.  It is lovingly tended by this lady who lives over the road.  Apparently it used to be a neglected patch of grass used as a dog toilet until she started to care for it 5 years ago.  I hope she sees this - I take my hat off to you, madam - you have created something that should be treasured and emulated by towns and villages up and down the land.  The children of Carnforth are very lucky.

Back at the boat it was a noisy evening with a party in full swing behind the pub, The Canal Turn

Sunday 26th May 2019

Rain stopped play!  Not just normal rain - Carnforth rain augmented by Lake District rain.  Kendal (it was decided by both boats) would have to wait!

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