Wednesday, March 2, 2011

over the Ship Canal to the dammed cut

This last week we started at Moore on the Bridgewater Canal; then Dunham; up through Sale and Stretford where we then entered the Leigh Branch and through Trafford Park and Worsley.    At Leigh the canal is once again owned by British Waterways (Bridgewater Canal is owned by Peel Holdings/Manchester Ship Canal Company).   We are now moored about a mile out of Leigh right by Pennington Flash Country Park - lovely to see the countryside and Flash through the window.    The Park is a 200 hectare area centred on a 70 hectare lake or “flash” and is a big bird watching venue with loads of hides.    A “flash” is a lake created by coal mining subsidence and flooding.

We had visitors last Friday - Ian and Sarah who live not far from where we were moored came to see us and we had a really nice afternoon catching up and eating/drinking at one of the pubs in Grappenhall.

Celebrated Dai being retired a year - the time has just flown by and no, he doesn’t regret a thing !

Wales won Italy in the Six Nations last Sat so all was well - and we also watched the other games so a rugby filled weekend.

Cruising up through Sale was very industrialised with nowhere really to moor sensibly - same for Stretford and Trafford Park.    Worsley looked really nice but the towpath was very very muddy so we went on through.    Leigh is another town where the canal does through a lot of derelict industry but they are building new housing and other constructions.    The towpath has been muddy for most of the Bridgewater and Leigh branch - more so than anywhere else for such a long stretch of canal, obviously not a lot of path laying around here.   I just have to share with you about Dai trying to bond with the local youth coming through Leigh ---”good morning” shouted Dai; “f--k off” muttered the youth menacingly  (I nearly fell off the boat laughing) but the response didn’t stop Dai trying with the next one which was met with silence and a glare.   The first people to wave and shout greetings were 2 chaps working on a plastic boat ----- “just goes to show” !!

We went over the Manchester Ship Canal at Barton Swing Bridge - the Bridge is only swung for any vessel large enough to warrant it on the Ship Canal - which wasn’t at the time we were there.   

Now have to stay here as there is a stoppage just down the canal at Plank Lane Swing Bridge where the canal is dammed as a new marina is being constructed.    The stoppage is due to be lifted on Friday 4 March so hopefully we shall be moving on after that ----- ready to tackle the Wigan 21 (21 double locks) as we need to do all these in one go.    We will then be on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal “proper” and have decided to head towards Leeds from Wigan.

Oh - and Dai has cleaned up his new dragon tiller pin but I forgot to take a photo ---- next week’s blog!

Since last blog we have done …  28 miles and 0 locks
This makes total since Setting Off ….. 1016 miles and  888 locks

Barton Swing bridge over the Manchester Ship Canal

and Barton Aqueduct we were in which is quoted in Nicolsons waterways guide as one of the wonders of the waterways, it carries the Bridgewater canal over the manchester ship canal built in the early 1890s.  Gates seal off the 235 ft long, 1450 ton section that swings at right angles to the ship canal over a central island.   It replaced Brindley's earlier aqueduct built in 1761 and which carried the canal in a trough over 660 ft and 39 ft above the River Irwell

no water in the cut - can't go anywhere!   you can see the new marina entrance on the left side of the photo

dammed at the Plank Lane side

how many men does it take to supervise the digger ?


  1. Ooooo I was getting all excited then, thinking you were going to pass me on the Leeds Liverpool!! You would only do that though if you were to travel through to the new link in Liverpool Ah well maybe one day, I get a real buzz when fellow bloggers pass my boat!


  2. It is a long time since I visited the Swing Aqueduct, but the operators always used to close it to (small) canal traffic every night, and swing it in case something large wished to use the Ship Canal,

    Best Wishes from Archie, not afloat in Nottingham

  3. Hahaaaaa, the story about Dai and the dude made me laugh :D

    Amy xx

  4. In answer more than that to supervissor a digger at least you need a man to check the man then a man to check that man so on etc