1984 and all that
When we sold our house and moved onto Gecko we bequeathed a large ornate chimney pot to our younger son. Along with our friend Annie we acquired these from a council depot somewhere on the L&L when cruising past on a hire boat back in 1984. The staff on duty were only too pleased to be rid of these pots cluttering up the yard and so we reversed our boat up to them and manhandled the pots on board. They look considerably smaller when perched on top of a chimney but down at ground level they seem to grow.
I was reminded of this episode as we passed through Heath Charnock near Chorley. The name rang a bell and when I saw the tumbledown shacks of what once was L&L Hire Cruisers the memories of that trip cam back. The toffee-coloured hire cruisers seem to have disappeared and the buildings are no smarter than 26 years ago but there is a business there still.
Why do I remember the year? Well, do you remember Garden Festivals? One of the first of these attempts to breathe new life into run down urban areas was in Liverpool and whilst on this canal holiday we took a train to the Liverpool Garden Festival. The site chosen for this treatment was the south docks area of the Dingle. It was billed as "a five-month pageant of horticultural excellence and spectacular entertainment" That is not quire how I remember it but it was an enjoyable day out away from the rigours of cruising the L&L. There were 60 gardens and a variety of public pavilions. Whatever happened to the area? About half of it is housing and the other half is about to go the same way. It is intended that some of the original gardens will be incorporated in the housing development bu I think we should wait and see before applauding. As they say, "It's not over until the fat developer sings"