I’ve not posted since we arrived on the Bridgewater, mainly because we’ve done this trip many times and I’ve run out of new things to talk about!
So here’s a quick précis…
We left Moore on Wednesday morning, passing the south edge of Warrington through the suburb of Stockton Heath.
Thorn Marine is still here, and still under threat of being redeveloped.
We pulled in for a gas bottle and a couple of bags of solid fuel before pressing on while it stayed fine. Wet weather was due to arrive around midday, and we almost made it to Lymm before getting wet.
First thing Thursday morning I was out for my last training run before the Greater Manchester Half Marathon on Sunday, then we were on our way again.
Surprisingly quiet moorings in Lymm
Old canal-side warehouse near Outrington
A brighter day afforded distant views of the Pennines to the north
We pulled in on the offside moorings near the Olde No3 pub for the night, to wait for an early morning delivery from Tesco’s. The pub is open again now after being closed up for a while.
The groceries arrived on schedule on Friday morning, and with everything stowed we reversed to the water tap to top up. An interesting manouvre in the brisk breeze…
Topping up the tank
With cupboards and water tank filled we moved just a short distance to spend the night near Dunham Massey.
Over the River Bollin on the concrete aqueduct
In August 1971 a major breach occurred here on the original aqueduct, allowing the canal to drain into the river below. The canal in Manchester dropped by over a foot before stop planks where installed at either end to stem the flow. With little commercial traffic on the waterway the Manchester Ship Canal Company considered closing the canal completely, but instead a Trust was formed, consisting of representatives from the the borough and city councils through which it passes, and the canal company, to raise money to bear part of the cost of repair. This was successful and canal reopened after being closed for 2 years.The Bridgewater Canal Trust still meets to discuss policy for the canal.
Pulled in after another short trip.
So, on to Saturday, and a pleasant cruise in to Sale.
Seamans Moss Bridge marks the end of the rural and the start of the urban as the canal heads towards Manchester.
The site of the former Linotype Works alongside the canal is being cleared to allow construction of a new housing estate, but it looks like the gable of the adjacent factory and the office block are being preserved.
Timperley Bridge and the long straight through Sale
The plan was to moor on the towpath just past Sale Bridge, but there was one space on the offside, alongside the pub carpark, so we dropped into that.
It’s just a short walk to Sale Metro Station from here, and three stops up the line to the Old Trafford Cricket Ground and the start of the half marathon.
Pretty in pink…
Yesterday morning I was up at 06:30, breakfasted and Meg emptied, and aboard a tram by half-seven. The gun went off spot on time at 9 o’clock, and I crossed the start line 5 minutes later. I’d put my expected finishing time down as 02:15, so had been allocated a start zone away from the start.
And I was pretty well spot on, coming in at 02:14:40. I’d hoped for around 2 hours, but by mile 9 I was flagging a bit so eased up and took it steady for the last 4 miles. I can’t blame the course or the organisation, both were spot on. And the support from the locals later on the route was great. I accepted a Jelly Baby from a little girl stood with her dad.
I caught the tram back to Sale Bridge and was back aboard Seyella by a quarter to twelve. Meanwhile Mags’ son Howard had turned up to keep her company, and he’d brought a load of mail with him too. He left us mid-afternoon and I got my head down for an hour.
This morning, a little stiff but not too bad, I walked up to the Co-op to get a few bits and pieces before our guests for today arrived. Doug and James, late of NB Chance and now with a place in Manchester, were joining us for the cruise into the city. It’s been a while since we’d seen them, so had plenty to talk about.
The lads, James on the tiller.
Water’s Meeting, Leigh and the Leeds and Liverpool to the left, Castlefield, Manchester and the Rochdale Canal to the right.
Moored up near the Y
We had lunch before Doug and James left, mid-afternoon. It’s been a really good day.
Soon after we’d moored the sun made an appearance, the orange tint apparently caused by a combination of Saharan sand, and ash from forest fires on the Iberian Peninsula, all carried on the winds of the rapidly approaching Hurricane Ophelia.
From later on this afternoon the wind has steadily increased, and although we’re sheltered here there are some strong gusts rocking the boat. I wouldn’t like to be in an exposed spot tonight.
The Beetham Tower is visible from the basin, and it has a reputation for being a little noisy when it’s windy. Unfortunately the microphone on my camera wasn’t sensitive to pick up the sound when I tried a recording, but there’s a good video on the link here from 2015. It’s quietened down a bit now, just the occasional howl…
The wind is supposed to die down by mid-morning tomorrow, so we'll head back the way we came.
Locks 0, miles 21