Thursday, July 21, 2011

Weaver Tour

Our surprise guest arrived yesterday. Well, it was a surprise for Mags when her Canadian grandson turned up! The best kept family secret for ages, Corie had arrived in the UK on Saturday, had a long weekend in Ingleton, and then was brought down to meet us by Mag’s grand-daughter Nichola, her husband Arthur and Mag’s great-granddaughter Emma. They all spent the afternoon with us, including a trip up to Northwich and back, before Nickie, Arthur and Emma headed home leaving Mag’s to get to know Corie. We moved away from the lift to Barnton Cut to get a quieter night.

This morning we set off around 09:30, heading downstream. We had a short wait at Saltersford Lock, then were on our way again.

Saltersford Lock

Weedy walls as we drop down.

Acton Swing Bridge rotates about it’s centre, to clear both the navigation channel and the backwater.

It’s around 40 minutes to Dutton Lock, and the lock keeper was expecting us, but he was also expecting three boats coming upstream and had set the lock ready for them. After waiting 10 minutes there was still no sign of them so he decided to fill the lock and drop us down. Of course, as soon as the lock was full the convoy of three narrowboats appeared!

Waiting below the lock

These were the only narrowboats we saw on the move all day.

Corie near Dutton.

And deep in concentration near Devil’s Garden

Pickering’s Wharf used to have a swing bridge across the channel. Since it was removed the houses on the north side of the river have to use motor launches to get to the road.

Pickering’s Wharf.

Frodsham Cut was the old line of the navigation until 1827, dropping the river down through a shallow lock towards the Mersey. There’s no access this way now; the “new” line, known as the Weston Canal, takes the navigation into the increasingly industrialised edges of Runcorn.

Sutton Swing Bridge looks a bit careworn, not much paint, quite a bit of rust.

Sutton Bridge

I wonder why this looks so neglected when those upstream still look fresh in black and white paint?

We pushed on down to Marsh Lock, which links the Weaver Navigation to the Manchester Ship Canal. We turned around here and moored on the lock pontoon for lunch. We knew that we wouldn’t be in the way, this lock is used only rarely these days.

Grandma and Grandson at Marsh Lock

Looking across the water from the lock. The Weaver comes in from the left, the Ship Canal comes in directly across and heads off the Manchester to the right.

The opposite bank of the Ship Canal with Weaver Sluices on the right.

Over the wall is the Mersey estuary, with Liverpool on the far horizon.

Corie on the bottom gates of Marsh Lock

After lunch we retraced our steps, heading back upstream to moor just above Dutton Lock at around 16:00.

Passing the chemical works on the north bank, spotted these two painters hard at work…

And here’s one we did earlier.

We caught up with a bunch of rowers out from the Runcorn Rowing Club.

As we passed they were doing some balance training?

Alas, no-one fell in. I just knew I should have gone faster….

Moored for the night astern of MV Chica.

It's been a good day today, dry with even a bit of sunshine. The weather is predicted to steadily improve towards the weekend. We’re heading up onto the canal tomorrow.

Locks 3, miles 17

No comments: