So we decided to pull pins at 08:30. If the trip went well we’d be tied up by early afternoon, if there were delays we’d still have plenty of time in hand.
Nearing Wigan there are several of those flashes caused by subsidence, Scotsman’s being the biggest.
These locks lift the canal by around 10 feet. If you look at the bank height on the Scotsman’s Flash picture and imagine the canal 10 feet higher? Well, that must have been the water level down to Dover Bridge before the surrounding land sunk into the mine workings below.
Yes the church clock DOES say 10 to 10. We’re not usually moving yet. But today we’ve done 3 miles and 2 locks already.
At Wigan Junction a right turn takes you up the main run of the Wigan Flight, then up and over to Leeds. We turned left for Liverpool but we’ll be turning off before then onto the Rufford Branch.
Strictly speaking the last 2 locks of the Wigan flight are on our route although they are separated from the rest by a ¼ mile pound, in fact inscribed on the stonework is L No XXII and L No XXIII, Locks 22 and 23.
Hand power, that is.
A cruise through Wigan wouldn’t be complete without a picture of Wigan Pier, however disappointing.
Even George Orwell’s “The Road To........” seems to be blocked by a brick wall.
Two more locks take us clear of the town, the first near Wigan Athletics DW Stadium and the second ½ a mile further on at Ell Meadow.
There’s an old lock chamber on the left.
We had a chance of a bacon butty in the 2 mile pound through Crooke to the pretty Dean Lock.
It’s a shame about the M6 motorway crossing just to the east. The old lock cut makes a lovely mooring, apart from the noise.
The 18C canal crossed by the 19C railway then the 20C motorway.
We’d intended to stop at Appley Bridge but were making good time so pushed on a bit further, through the deep Appley Bridge Lock to moor at Parbold.
It’s deep because it replaced 2 now derelict chambers in the cut alongside. We were moored in the cut for a few days last spring, when our starter motor gave up the ghost. Then we only just managed to get below Poolstock Locks, scraping our bottom on the canal bed, before the Leeds and Liverpool was closed due to shortage of water. No such problem this year, better management and the recent rain have kept levels up.
Parbold was busy with moored boats but we got in on the towpath just through the village. Not the best spot with underwater rocks but it’ll do for the one night.
We were moored by 14:30, having had good locks all the way. Only one was against us and that had a boat in coming up. Slowly though. He’d left a bottom paddle up so it stopped filling at ¾ until he realised. Good job we’ve plenty of water……
Locks 8 miles 11