Tuesday, 25 June 2013

A good cruise if a bit chilly!

We left Boothstown yesterday late morning - and it was cold! We stopped for fuel at Bridgwater Marina - a bit expensive but the next opportunity is at Lorenz Canal Services, Bedford Basin where we didn’t get an answer to our phone call for diesel prices.
 Whilst taking on the fuel this barge passed us, it’s called Pauline and says Lorenz Family on the side - we wondered if it was anything to do with the canal services mentioned above.
Still behind him as we approach Astley Colliery Museum - he’s taking it easy and has to take great care getting all that width through the bridge holes safely
 Mum was keeping the nest tidy whilst looking after the kids - sound familiar?
 A brilliant splash of yellow - laburnum or gorse?
 Butts Mill in the distance as we approach Leigh
 These stop plank cranes which were used to lift and drop the ‘door’ to the left of the picture into slots in the canal side to hold the water in place should there be a breach.  They are a familiar sight along the Bridgwater Canal - this one has been refurbished and looks shiny new!
Brooklands Mill
 Top of Butts Mill Chimney
Cotton spinning mill. 1905 by Stott and Sons of Oldham. Concrete and steel framed with red brick and terracotta facing. Flat roof not visible from ground. Six storey rectangular block with corner stair tower and projecting hoist tower in centre of one side. The lower three storeys are of continuous glazing, large 9-light windows separated only by narrow brick piers and the expressed concrete slab at each floor level. These floors are for the carding machines. The upper three floors have alternate windows and brick panels. These are the spinning floors. The stair tower has arts and crafts detail with clasping buttresses in the centre of each side. The concrete floor bands go round the tower and there are further terracotta bands. Staggered stair windows. The tower is topped by a scalloped terracotta parapet and a copper dome with finial. The hoist tower is one window and one brick panel wide all the way up and is capped by the word 'BUTTS' in white tiling. This mill was designed as a double mill and has one wall unfinished. The mirror half of the mill was never built. It is the only large, early C.20 cotton spinning mill in the Wigan district and one of the best surviving examples of its type in the Greater Manchester area. Information from the RCHME Greater Manchester Mills Project.

 Mather Lane Mill ...
 … and looking up at the mill as we come through Mather Lane Bridge
 Working narrow boat Sweden is dwarfed by the barge Parebella

 Well, that answered that question - the Lorenzo family boat which we’ve been following today pulls into Bedford Basin.
 Under bridge 11 and we shall be leaving the Bridgwater Canal and entering the Leeds and Liverpool Canal - ‘cus that’s our next destination - Liverpool!
 The last one we’ll see, not in quite such nice livery as the previous one we saw today
Passing Pennington Flash in the sunshine (but still quite a biting cold wind) ... 
 … and stopping at Plank Lane Lift Bridge where we take on water.  George has gone to help a single hander with the bridge, two boats have gone through and he’s just lowered it ...
… the traffic backs up a long way - some drivers not so patient as others either!
This picture is taken at exactly the same place on the towpath as the photo above - taken the last time we came this way on Friday 17th September 2010 when work on the ‘marina’ was underway - I wonder what happened to the pontoons etc?

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