It was a fine morning, giving us tantalising glimpses of the Lake District tops as we headed south.
The River Lune was in a better mood this time as we crossed the Lune Aqueduct on the way into the city.
There’s an old dry dock near Bridge 104, overgrown by shrubbery and overlooked by houses.
And St Peter’s RC cathedral looks across at the Priory and castle as we approach The Waterwitch.
We collected Steve, Anne-Marie, and the children Luke and Courtney near the pub, and set off for Galgate after lunch.
We had a gentle couple of hours cruising, with some interesting moments as the children had a go on the tiller….
Everyone had a good afternoon, but I failed to record any of it. It was only after they’d left to catch the bus home that I realised I hadn’t taken a single photo!
Sorry guys, but it was good to see you all again.
After a showery night we had a dry, bright morning and were off at 09:00. We wanted to get going early(ish) to avoid the showers forecast for later, and also to beat anyone else to the Glasson flight of locks. The first 3 were full and ready for us, as I found out on Meg’s morning ramble.
We filled with water just before the junction then turned right under the junction bridge into the top lock.
There are 6 locks dropping the Branch 52 feet in 2¼ miles from the main line to Glasson Basin and the access to the sea. Built in 1826, there was a distinct lack of imagination when it came to naming the locks. There’re often named for local landmarks; farms, hills, streams. But these are First Lock, Second Lock etc, all the way to Sixth Lock.
The chambers are stone built, in the same way as those up at Tewitfield. The upper paddle gear is of the same design, too.
The lower gear is gate-mounted, using a variation of the Leeds and Liverpool sliding clough arrangement.
The paddle is opened by winding the rack and pinion gearing.
Sixth Lock is an exception. The other five have gates in good condition, although they are heavy. This one is in need of some TLC. The chamber was empty when we arrived although it should have been full as we’d passed a boat on the way up earlier. The lower gates are in poor condition and leak badly, one of the balance beams has rotted and been replaced by a fabricated wooden monstrosity, with no paddle gear refitted.
As you can see, the top gates leak quite badly, too.
Lots of sea going vessels moor in this sanctuary.
You wouldn’t get them under canal bridges….
Below the canal basin there’s the dock with it’s own lock into the Lune estuary and the Irish Sea. There was a coaster from the Isle of Man loading concrete blocks on the wharf.
The dock was opened in 1787. It gave the opportunity for larger vessels to deliver goods to Lancaster, which were too large for the Lune-side wharves in the town. Initially cargos had to be moved by cart, but with the opening of the canal branch and basin the dock became much busier. But then the railway arrived….
The dock is still active, but the railway is now a cycle track. Hah.
Locks 6, miles 11