Tuesday, November 03, 2009

A rare treat.

The Worsley mooring was fine apart from the traffic noise. It’s a shame that such a pretty village is marred by having a main road running through it and the M60 on an embankment to the north. Still, the locals probably thought the same when the Duke built his canal….. I guess that’s progress.

We had rain overnight, which eased to showers by morning. Even so, there were some hefty bursts, so we hung on till just after 11 before shoving off.
A good decision as it turned out, we had fine weather all day, even a bit of sun, and moored just before the next band of showers moved in from the west.

Worsley Boatyard has been in existence as long as the canal, and has what is believed to be the oldest working dry dock on the network.

Worsley Boatyard.
It was here that the “starvationers”, the specially designed boats for use in the underground workings, were built.

There’s a lot of new residential development going on on the outskirts, The Boatyard is even using a narrowboat to promote it’s canalside location.

The Boatyard development
Lighthouse? at Monton
I’ve always been a big fan of commercial use of inland waterways, after all that’s what they were built for. So I was delighted when we arrived at the Barton Swing Aqueduct to be told that there were 2 freighters due, heading for Manchester, and the aqueduct was to be opened.

We crossed the span and moored on the holding moorings, and I walked back to watch the operation.

Two gates are closed at either end of the aqueduct to contain the water.

The 1450 ton sealed span is then swung open, pivoting about it’s centre on a huge roller bearing.

The road bridge alongside was opened and the 2 boats allowed through.

“Gina ‘D’” was a bit of a disappointment………..
But the dredger “WD Mersey” made up for it.
Heading for Manchester

Seeing these 2, and the awesome aqueduct in use, made my day.
The rest of the trip was a bit of an anticlimax, but the wide, deep and straight waters of the Bridgewater made for easy cruising.

A right turn at Water's Meeting

Burnt out NB Freedom alongside Edge Lane Bridge. I hope no-one was aboard when that happened.
There’s a fibreglass shell behind, gutted to the waterline. I wonder if it was the same incident?

From north of Sale to Altrincham the navigation runs dead straight, a distance of over 2 miles. The Sale Cruising Club has extensive moorings on the offside of this length.

About ½ way down the long straight, Marsland Road Bridge.
The Victorians knew how to build with style and impact.

The administration building behind is even more impressive.

Linotype was a process whereby a line of type (Linotype- gettit?) was constructed and cast in metal, then assembled with other “slugs” to produce a block which is used to print. It revolutionised the printing process. A lot more info on Wikipedia.
And a bit of history for the factory here.

We moored for the night at one of our favourite spots on the Bridgewater, just before Dunham Woodhouses Underbridge.

Moored near Dunham.
We’ve a Tesco delivery due tomorrow, around the corner near Ye Olde Number 3 pub, so we’ll not be going far. We need to stock up, so it’ll take most of the afternoon to stow it!

Locks 0, miles 11½

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