Today we’ve seen maybe a couple of dozen boats heading in the opposite direction. Most were Bridgewater Canal registered, probably making for a gathering at Astley Green at the weekend.
The Federation of Bridgewater Cruising Clubs has a Spring Bank Holiday rally; this year’s is at the Colliery Museum.
We had a brief pause at Worsley to make use of the facilities, before pressing on to Trafford.
Worsley, M2L on the services, the Packet House in the distance
Although often sunny, there was a brisk wind blowing from the NW, making it decidedly cool.
Lots of youngsters about now…
No cygnets yet, but it is a little early for them.
There was nothing moving on the ship canal as we crossed Barton Swing Aqueduct
I was amused to see this family group on the towpath near the aqueduct. Mum and dad are obviously teaching the little ones well, they’re all in step.
We pulled up again outside the canal gates to the Trafford Centre, this time resisting the temptation to go retail shopping, instead topping up the food cupboards from the handy Asda.
Across the water from us is an extensive industrial estate. This used to be the site of Metropolitan Vickers, known as Metrovick, the breakaway British part of Westinghouse, an American company. During the last century they were one of the biggest heavy engineering facilities in the country, specialising in industrial electrical equipment.
During the war years they were contracted to build aircraft for A.V.Roe (AVRO) of Chadderton. As a departure from normal work, they built a new factory specifically for the project.
The first aircraft were Avro Manchesters, but 13 in build were destroyed during an air raid in December 1940, and production was then switched to the upgraded version with two extra, better engines.
This was the iconic Avro Lancaster heavy bomber.
All in all Metrovick produced 1080 Lancasters, shipped for assembly at Avro’s airfield at Woodford, Stockport. 79 Avro Lincolns, a bigger, heavier version were also built before production ceased in 1945 but didn’t see operational service in WWII.
Metrovick also built and developed our first jet engine, designed by Frank Whittle.
After the war the company returned to it’s core production of heavy industrial electrical equipment, being finally taken over by GEC in 1967.
Tomorrow we’ll be braving heavy showers and gale-force winds to get to Castlefields for around lunchtime. We’ll be staying there the weekend; my (literally) trial run this morning has convinced that I‘m going to be able to join in the Manchester 10K on Sunday.
Might be a bit sore after, though. My right Achilles tendon is still tight, but I’ve still 48 hours of therapy before the gun.
Locks 0, miles 4½