I believe most kids in Rishton will have walked the canal at some time or other, and I don't mean on the towpath!
Once the canal was frozen a few bricks would be thrown on, the bigger the better, and if the ice didn't break or crack, it was safe to walk on!
There have been several reports of people drowning on the reservoir while ice skating, click the link above to read about them.
The canal was the safest bet, its only 20 feet wide and once it froze it was solid. Kids would walk from one side to the other as if it was a footpath, those goodies seen on the other side could finally be examined, what was it that had been teasing us all that time? pieces of scrap metal usually, thrown out bits of loom, but finally within walking distance.
Several people have wrote to me telling me about when they went walking on the ice at the bottom lodge.
A few steps in and everything was fine, then suddenly, an ear piercing crack! This happened to me as well, and it must have took me an eternity to get off, sliding my feet rather than walking in the hope of stopping the ice from cracking further.
I never made it across from one side to the other, the furthest I remember walking out was about 10 yards, and it was the weirdest feeling!