Posts Tagged ‘bridgewater’

Day 17 – Worsley to Wigan

Friday 10 July, 2009

Due to Michael leaving us today at Worsley, we had a very late start which, combined with the earlier than normal finish yesterday, meant a very welcome long nights rest! We timed our departure to coincide with Michael’s bus, and so left at a prompt 10.15.

We temporarily moored up by the Astley Green Pit Museum, before (fortunately before locking up entirely) realising that it doesn’t open on Fridays! We were very shortly on our way again…

Next we did the biggest shopping trip of the journey so far, for essential supplies which had been running low – Port and Gin!

We stopped for water just short of the Plank Lane Swing Bridge (it’s a lift bridge…), and had a chat with the friendly bridge keeper. It took well over 30 minutes to fill the tank as we hadn’t stopped for water since Hurleston.

Soon after Plank Lane Bridge we passed Smiths Bridge at 3:15, about the same time that Michael should have arrived in Edinburgh. We had travelled 8.35 miles, done the shopping and watered. Such is progress since the industrial revolution!

We plodded on until we finally reached our first lock in almost 48 hours. This, our first full width, full length lock of the trip, was quite a sight – unwelcome after the much easier narrow locks! Having negotiated the locks we made our way to Wigan Junction where we turned towards Leeds (Bernard’s first new bit of canal of the trip) and are currently moored in striking distance of the Wigan Flight, our daunting task for tomorrow.

Menus: Full English; Gammon Sandwiches; Goujons of Cod in White Horse beer batter, followed by melon, then cheese (and Port for Bernard).

Day 16 – Daresbury to Worsley

Thursday 9 July, 2009

We travelled 23¾ miles.

There were no locks.

Robert has cabin fever.

The Bridgewater Canal is wide, deep and mainly straight which enabled us to travel quite fast. We reached our destination at Worsley by 5.30pm and had an early supper. Bernard visited here some 35 years ago and, regrettably, the previously peaceful Worsley is now dominated by the noise of the motorway. The main events of the day were emptying the loo, passing the junction to Manchester and traversing the Barton Swing Aqueduct.

In Stockton Heath we passed under a bridge named Hough’s Bridge. Michael’s grandmother was born in Stockton Heath in 1911 and her maiden name was Hough.

In Sale we passed Ariel and a gratuitous photo of her is below. More info about her can be found here

Michael departs tomorrow morning for the CY Country Meeting in Edinburgh (from a nearby bus stop).

Menu: breakfast similar to yesterday; chicken and lamb salad; chicken curry with poppadoms and naan bread, followed by cheese.

Day 15 – Middlewich to Daresbury

Wednesday 8 July, 2009

We were yards from the Big Lock in Middlewich so we passed through that immediately after setting off just after 8.00am this morning. We breakfasted underway and Robert and I enjoyed a innovative alternative today.

Just north of Middlewich the canal is wide in places at “flashes”. These are caused by subsidence from salt extraction and many have old sunken or partially sunken narrowboats in them. We soon reached the chemical works around Northwich. Not a pleasant sight.

The canal wends westwards into Anderton, home of the famous Boat Lift. Bondy went shopping in Preston so did not join us. We booked passage down for 1.00pm and the earliest available up slot was at 4.00pm so we had some we had some time to mess around on the river (Weaver), passing Weaverham (name check for Claire), before turning at Saltersford locks.

The Anderton Boat Lift lived up to expectations. A magnificent sight and a rather surreal experience being trapped in a caisson of water descending fifty feet to the river at a sedate pace.

Upon returning we headed further north passing through the three tunnels at the north end of the Trent and Mersey. Saltersford was rather twisty and you can only just see a slit of light from the far end. Passage is timed through both Saltersford and Preston Brook – you can only enter during specified times in each hour.

At some point the Trent and Mersey becomes the Bridgewater Canal and we are now a couple of bridges north of the M56 with the railway line noise in the background.

Menu: bacon sandwich or Weetabix and toast; cold meat salad; liver and bacon casserole, followed by cheese. No alcohol was consumed until a bottle of Beaujolais was enjoyed during dinner.