On Thursday we came back upstream from Devil’s Garden, through the two locks and stopped for the night in Northwich. It was fine but cool as we set off, heading towards Dutton Lock to meet the lockies there at the arranged time of 10:30.
Just downstream of Dutton Locks the backwater returns from it’s detour over Dutton Sluices, under a wooden bridge.
The arches are constructed of laminated timber, probably the earliest use of this method for bridge-building.
We were a little early at the locks, giving me and Meg a chance to have a wander round.
Boats from all over were visitors to the navigation during it’s heyday…
As it says above, the largest ever to come up here was the Dutch-registered St Michael in 1984. She loaded at Winnington Salt Works.
Coming out of Dutton Locks
Danish-registered Iholm at the recently demolished Winnington Works
Photos from balmaha.net/mnavy/merseyweaver.html
Lots more photos on the link.
The lockies arrived spot on time, emptied the large chamber and we were through and on our way again by about five to eleven.
Dredging above Dutton
Acton Swing Bridge.
The old stone bridge across the backwater is still in place and can be seen under the swing bridge to the right. The fixed bridge over the navigable channel was demolished when the swing bridge was opened in 1933.
Abutments of the old bridge.
Saltersford Lock was ready for us when we arrived, and we were up and out by midday.
Leaving Saltersford Lock
The lockies didn’t get mince pies today; instead it was chocolate cupcakes and flapjack!
Our single-boat-sized mooring on Barnton Cut was vacant as we went past, then we ducked under Winnington Swing Bridge and past the boat lift.
The trip boat, Edwin Clarke, is just on the way down in the west caisson…
Plenty of room on the moorings below the lift…
…and in Northwich where we pulled in.
Yesterday morning we were heading back to the lift but not go up just yet, first we picked up our guests for the day.
Meg greets John, Val and Harry the dog
After elevenses we set off, turning around and heading back up through town to Hunts Lock, before turning again to moor on the town moorings for lunch.
John and Harry taking the air.
Heritage boats Ilford and Saturn are tied up near the maintenance depot.
Saturn is 110 years old and is of wooden construction, built for the Shropshire Union Canal Carrying Company.
Ilford is a little newer and of composite construction, having iron hull sides and a wooden bottom. She was built in 1912 for Fellows, Morton and Clayton.
Heading back to the lift after lunch.
I hadn’t bothered booking passage to go up, there’s so few boats about it didn’t seem worthwhile. And so it turned out; after just half an hour we were in the lift with the lower gates shutting behind us.
Last look at the Weaver
We had a bit of a wait while the Edwin Clarke was loaded into the adjacent caisson. Although each side can work independently, it’s more efficient if the rising caisson is counterbalanced by one coming down.
Waiting to exit onto the T&M at the top.
We turned right and moored up, having had a very enjoyable day.
Mags and Val
So that’s it, our annual Weaver excursion over for this year. Back on the narrow and shallow, now. And we’ll have to do our own locks!
Oh, KevinToo, you are an old flatterer…
Hi Carol, yes, and they’re both in pretty good nick!
Hi Steve. We didn’t tempt fate by spending Hallowe’en at Devil’s Garden, just the nights either side…
Locks 2, miles 11½ (2 days)