Crosby, Southport, Parbold and Wigan
Leaving Liverpool north to Crosby. There is U-Boat on stocks at Sefton. Port warehouses are fifteen floors rather than eight. Lifts or post 1910? Sandy Crosby and what was it like here before Another Place? Hightown, Formby and Freshfield are lovely places set in a sea of sand dunes. Southport is a rough noisy place. There is no quiet anywhere. I walked beyond the pier to the tide edge, where strange hand-made hybrid tractors with cabins on them harvest cockles. They follow familiar contours back to base, pausing occasionally. The Southport young landlord ill from smoking 60 a day. At Pinfold join Leeds and Liverpool Canal heading east. Somehow more brooding dark this stretch of canal through Lancashire. Tidy and manicured through Burscough village. A mile further on Burscough Canal branches north to Preston at Top Locks. Parbold, is a secret treasure. A viaduct: wide and duel locks. Meadows and the feel of 1760, remnants and signs of coal, ore, some grandiose sculpturing of the locks, tow paths and shire horses this is ultimate emblematic industrial England. Parbold: Undulating, dark, industrial, well-heeled and 10 miles out of Wigan. Wigan set on hills and sloping with two stations. Take one to Manchester.