Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Wet, wet, wet!

Wet when I went for my morning run; wet when Meg and I went for a walk; wet as we travelled from Parbold. I’m getting a bit fed up with this now. Can we have a bit of dry weather please? Or at least send the rain down south where they need it!
Heavy showers and a blustery wind kept Meg unsettled last night, as a consequence so were we. It’s hard to sleep with a hairy dog sitting on your head…..
Still much the same first thing. In my 6½ mile run this morning I must have got wet then dried out 3 or 4 times…
It was looking better by late morning, so we pulled pins and set off through and out of Parbold.

Leaving Parbold

To be fair, we did have some fairly good dry periods today, even a glimmer or two of sun. But when it rained…. boy did it rain!

Appley Bridge Lock was our first of the day.

The now derelict pair of locks at Appley Bridge….  

Replaced by this very deep new lock alongside

Leaving the village of Appley Bridge through the new Finch Mill swing bridge, the canal runs through some beautiful scenery around the Douglas valley.

Cruising towards Wigan in a sunny spell.

This was the last swing bridge we dealt with; there are a couple more but they are redundant and locked open.

Fishers Swing Bridge, not likely to close any time soon.

At the next lock, Deans, we caught up with another boat, NB Imagine, and shared the rest of today’s locks with them. We’d intended to only go to Wigan, but the opportunity to share the locks with a competent crew was too good to miss.

Into Wigan, just past Seven Stars Bridge

Trencherfield Mill, now apartments, is on the skyline.

It got pretty wet coming up the locks through Wigan, hence the lack of photographs. The old Nokia phone is doing good service as a substitute camera, and I don’t want it going the same way as the Fuji!

At the bottom of the “thick” of the Wigan flight we turned right, onto the Leigh Branch and down the final two locks at Poolstock.

Seyella leading Imagine out of Poolstock No1 (top) lock. It's raining again...

We’d been climbing up the valley to Wigan, now we’re dropping down again towards Manchester.

Dropping down Poolstock No2

Heading away from Wigan the canal passes through an area that was mined intensively for coal. The industry has now gone, but it’s legacy is still visible. Subsidence into the old workings has caused vast areas of land to sink, forming flashes which have filled with water.
The sinkage also affected the canal, and it had to be re-levelled, the banks now secured with high steel piling to counteract any leakage.

Scrub vegetation has colonised the old industrial landscape, but the canal edges are still harsh.

We pulled in at a regular stop near to the Dover Locks Inn. It’s busier here than we’ve seen it before. Our locking partners passed us shortly after, heading for Astley Green if they make the manned swing bridge at Plank Lane before the keeper knocks off at 16:30. Sorry guys, didn’t get names, but it was good to share the day with you.

Hi Carol, no, I’ve not got the new camera yet, as you’ll have gathered from the above. The Nokia’s  surprisingly good for a phone camera, but I do miss the optical zoom and anti wobble!
Locks 8, miles 11

I’m running The Great North Run to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

1 comment:

nbchance said...

Hi Geoff and Mags

Are you heading into Castlefield in Manchester? be great to meet you after following your blog for so long, just realised you are following the same route we came along from Wigan. Plenty of mooring in Castlefield this week, seem to have had a clear out! Doug