Living by the canal


Once the navvies had built the canals, lots of hands were needed to maintain and work them. So rows of canal cottages were built along side the Cut for the workers and their families. This part of Lancashire, around Burscough has some very des-res cottages. I’m never sure if it’s the cottages or the gardens that appeal to me the most.

A garden to share

Beautiful they may be, I don’t think I could ever imagine raising a family living in a traditional boatsmans cabin on an old working boat

A traditional working boat

Of course not everyone needs a house….

Setttle down children, time for bed

And where you have canals and wharfs you also need watering holes. This Burscough Pub is the “old Packet House” and it has an interesting information board outside, (no, not the one about social distancing etc). Originally called the Bridge Inn, built in 1775 it became a staging post for passengers travelling to and from Liverpool and Wigan, who wanted to use the stage coach, (known as the Union Machine) to get between Ormskirk and Preston. Passengers travelled by Packetboats, (Union Packets) which carried small parcels as opposed to the Flyboats that carried merchandise. It cost 2/- to travel first class from Liverpool and 1/3d second class. They were allowed up to 14lbs luggage. These packet boats were over 60′ long and 9’wide and were drawn by 2 horses, one of which was ridden. They used a bugle to warn waiting passengers of their approach. Sadly we were a day too early to be allowed in.

The Old Packet House, Burscough

Sadly not all canal side pubs thrive even in a good year, as we found when we moored up outside the Ring o Bells.

The closed down Ring o Bells

However the pub car park is still accessible and it made a perfect for mum to drive down from the Lakes for our first post lockdown “hug”

A get together worth waiting for
Perfect cruising day