I Advertised "Forget me Not" and "Hazel"s journey to across the Pennines on the Rochdale Canal as a Transpennine Canal Adventure, hoping that we could earn some money taking some intrepid waterway enthusiasts along with us. Sadly, there were no takers, so it turned into a Well Being trip instead. My nightmare was that we might not be able to find enough crew, but a lot of time on the 'phone brought in enough to see us through. The first day out from Manchester we had the ambitious target of the Rose of Lancaster at Mills Hill. We were following "Pensax", "Bream" and "The Earl" though the difficult climb out of Manchester. Ian Mac and Chris Kelly,working as volunteers for CRT were shepherding the boats through.
We caught up with the others at Newton Heath where "Pensax"had suffered an epic bladeful, including a mattress.
We had to wait below the lock for ages as she laboured through the next pound whilst Mac went in search of more water. Eventually we got moving and, after dragging our way through Failsworth, spent the night at Middleton lift bridge, which wouldn't lift. We had to get CRT out in the morning to get it functioning again so only got to Clegg Hall that evening.
Once through the gritty grimness of Castleton and Rochdale we were up up and away up the final flight to the summit above Littleborough.
The railway disappears through a tunnel here, but the canal keeps on striding upwards through huge deep locks, some of whiche we had to work twice because the lock walls had moved, to breast the summit, crossing via a short pound through a narrow pass, then down ,down, down through Walsden and Gauxholme to the lovely town of Todmorden.
I'll finish this later as my computer is running out of battery.