Thursday, 4 October 2012

Upwards and very wet!

The Ashton Canal – built 1800, and re-opened in 1974

Again, we delayed our morning's start for the rain to ease and began the 18 locks upwards to Dukenfield Junction just before 10am.
We knew one boat was ahead of us so had to empty the locks that weren't leaking.

Then we passed a boat on it's way down and had the benefit of locks in our favour for a while. Although an important necessity, the tedium of unbolting each paddle delayed things.

Sticky overlays herald the new Canal and River Trust

  Lock 1 of the Ashton Canal – by a left handed worker?

Amazing architecture – Urban Splash

A typical Ashton Canal Lock – No.4

Boaters doing this section will have seen from the various maps (Nicholson; Geo Map) that Bridge 21 is given as very low. We found the two bridges leading into Lock 4 also very low, especially the rail bridge no.7, coming around the curve into Lock 4. It can only be about 6 foot clearance (depending on full water levels) and has metal girder plates jutting down. Thankfully, we were using our smaller exhaust chimney and got through OK.
Having arrived at the lock, there was a warning notice on the lock gate warning against opening the lower padles before getting through the bridge! Too late for us and no good for anyone heading into Manchester!
Manchester City Football Ground – previously the Commonwealth Stadium 2002

Chemical Works

An old pair of bottom gates with vegetation (Lock 11) – probably 20 years old?
Also, see typical leaky gates.

A wet steerer passes Bridge No.15 – a swing bridge opened by the photographer

Top of the flight – Lock No.18 – showing the handsome footbridge and paired locks of which only the righthand one is in use

After 7 hours of travelling, we turned south into the Lower Peak Forest Canal and then Chris reversed us into Guy Holding's Portland Basin Marina for an overnight berth (£5).
We shopped and had fish and chips at the nearby Asda and were asleep early, ready for tomorrow!



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