old paper mill at Withnell Fold

old paper mill at Withnell Fold

It’s pretty up North. The Leeds and Liverpool winds round long forgotten chimneys and worn out mills, skimming fields of cows and rows of cut hay.

Withnell Fold paper mill workers 1875

Withnell Fold paper mill workers 1875

Withnell Fold’s paper mill opened in 1843, expanding quickly it soon had three machines producing various widths of tissue, writing and cartridge paper. Worker’s cottages were built and the area prospered thanks to a reputation for producing the finest writing paper and supplying newsprint for Preston, BoltoLeeds and Liverpooln and Liverpool newspapers. Things eventually took a dip when the old machines struggled to Leeds and Liverpoolkeep up with the speed of modern day production. The last sheet settled at 1pm on 23rd Dec 1967.dumb canoeist

Aside from the beautiful scenery, everyone talks… they’re not shy in telling you they ‘Don’t like Brighton’ or that you’re a ‘Soft Southerner’, they mean it too buLeeds and Liverpoolt in a nice enough way. The roses are still warring, one a guy reluctantly agreed that ‘Skipton should be a good stop off…just  shame it’s in Yorkshire but there’s nowt much we can do about that.’

A flight of seven today, following a widebeam we took our time and met a lovely couple from The Lakes, they chipped in with a bit of windlass work before climbing on for a ride up through a lock.

One thing that everyone seems to agree on is that we don’t want to stop in Blackburn…in fact it’s the first thing most people say. Can’t be that bad surely? Moored two miles out we’ll find out soon enough.

Daylight lasts longer up North…it really does.


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