We knew we needed to cover some ground today to get through Sale and Stretford so up at 7am and underway by 8am. All was quiet on the cut and so with no locks to hinder us today we soon made good time At OIdfield Brow just before Sale is the site of the old Linotype works. Hardly anything is left now as a new housing estate is emerging from the dereliction.
|All that is left of the Linotype works. New housing is being built the other side|
|Looks like they are going to redevelop this part of the works|
|Very curved walls in these apartment blocks|
|Old warehouse along new snazzy apartment blocks|
|and still no corner in sight|
|Almost the last of the straight section|
|Good use of the canal. This is a brightly coloured craft is a Waxi. A water taxi that runs along this stretch..|
|Two major roads meeting near a junction|
|Nearing Stretford Cruising club|
|Offices and chandlers|
|This view repeated itself for well over a mile|
|Waters Meeting Junction. Not a sigh or sign post to direct the boater|
|Reassuring entrance to the Kellogg factory|
|Blind corner with the aqueduct off to the right|
|Barton road bridge and in the distance Thelwall viaduct carries the M6 over the canal|
|The original control tower where all bridges were managed|
|Barton Road Bridge is alongside the Aqueduct.|
|Looking back at the aqueduct|
|Phil's Light house overlooking Monton|
|Orange canal water approaching Worsley|
The Bridgewater Canal was built because of the Duke of Bridgewater's coal mines at Worsley. The coal seams ran under the higher ground to the north. The Duke's land agent, John Gilbert, saw that it was possible to connect the canal directly to the mines by way of an underground canal. This in turn could be used to help with draining the mines, providing a source of water for the canal.
The underground canal was constructed from Worsley Delph, an old sandstone quarry near Worsley Brook. At one time a million tons of coal a year passed through this tunnel. To relieve congestion a second tunnel was constructed which met with the original about 500 yards in.
Around 47 miles of underground canals were constructed, on four different levels, connected by a water powered inclined plane and lifts. The main tunnels stretch as far north as Farnsworth, with side tunnels running at right angles along the coal seams.
Specially designed boats were used in the tunnels. These were only four and a half feet wide with protruding ribbed sides and so were given the nickname of "starvationers". These were loaded with coal at the coal face, were hauled from level to level on the inclined plane and brought the coal out onto the canal. The remains of one of these boats is seen near the entrance to the tunnels at Worsley Delph.
|The entrance to the mine can be seen on the right of Worsley packet house|
|The mine exit to the canal|
One noteworthy item are these lock looking structures along the way, only 10 feet long. In fact they are not locks per say but actually stop locks. The canal is too wide to use the traditional stop planks and so these locks were constructed to dam the canal if needed.
|Bridgewater Marina and day boats ready for the party revellers|
Another mile and a second bridge carrying the A580 is nearing completion of its strengthening work. Clearly much done whilst the canal was closed by the looks of it.
|Extensive structural strengthening and a repaint on this bridge|
At Leigh Bridge in the middle of town the Bridgewater canal ends and we join the Leeds Liverpool canal. Only the sign on the bridge alerts the boater to this fact. No lock just one sign.
|Apparently there was no need of a stop lock here.|
|This converted mill is now a trendy pub and is opposite Leigh bridge|
|Five old lock gates make this interesting sculpture here.|
|Our mooring for the night|