Friday, 21 June 2013

Down the Ashton Canal to Manchester

An early start 07:30 for us on Sunday leaving our mooring (the other side of the boat on the left under the footbridge) at Dukinfield Junction - 6 miles to go today on the Ashton Canal with 18 locks and a swing bridge.
Walk Mill Bridge was the first bridge of the day where we’d dragged along the bottom and so asked the men operating the dredger if they would be doing under the bridge - one of them said they’d not got that far yet and the other said they’d already done it!!
45 geese play follow the leader!
AA bit of colour in the landscape at Jeremy Brook Bridge (27) ...
… and a lot of big rubbish near Guide Bridge - looks as if it’s been ‘dredged’ up to the side on the canal.
Samuel Barlow boat Daphne and ...
… Pilgrim Towing Co. boat Clio moored at the Ashton Packet Boat Company boatyard.
Arriving at Fairfield Junction - George has gone ahead to set the locks round to the left.  The Stone Ginger Boat taking on water has already set the top lock and allows us to use it as they’re not quite ready to go.  They are a group of 6 Americans cruising from Stone to Froghall and once down lock 18 we allow them to pass us as they will be much quicker than us with that large crew.  It was agreed that they would leave the anti-vandle locks off and would open one paddle as they leave each lock making it so much easier for us.
More dredging going on as we slowly approach ...
… Clockhouse Swing Bridge - I’m now through and George is on the left securing the bridge closed across the canal.
Problems at lock 16 - the Stone Co hire boat is just leaving the lock and George is removing a bin bag full of bottles and cans from the canal, in fact he took out 2 bags like this plus a carrier back full of the same and several individual bottles and cans - someone has been so irresponsible!
Laurel and Hardy on their own island put a smile on my face though as I waited for the lock to be ready.
The top gate of lock 16 was really heavy - no wonder with all this water pushing against it!
We’ve lost sight of the Americans, they’re a long way ahead of us now as I wait in lock 15.
Would these steps built into the lock wall be a precursor to the metal ladder I wonder, or are they something much newer?
Some of the lock walls ...
… are in a desperate state
Etihad Stadium, home to the ...
… Manchester City Football Club
Vinegar Lock (10) the deepest lock in England with a drop of 13’ 10” the vinegar factory has long since been demolished and replaced with a more modern structure.

… home of British Cycling
The very handsome lock-keeper’s house at lock 7 is for sale - very nice indeed.
I bet that Ann and Chas and Margaret and Geoff can guess which gate this is that George is having problems opening?
These lock gates have their own arboretum growing on them!
And into the Ancoats area of Manchester - lock 3 - just 2 more after this!
Five and a half hours later and the last lock of the day ...
… with such an assortment of building styles
Looking for a mooring - this is the Thomas Telford Basin but the notice says Private Moorings
Piccadilly Village with a similar notice
Not this way then ...
… perhaps through there ...
… found a mooring but not altogether happy with it.  A couple of hours later George met the owners of  one of the boats who’ve followed us down the locks this morning and mentioned that the moorings in Piccadilly Village although private are free for the first 24-hours so we moved there and had a comfortable night.
Tomorrow it’s onto the Rochdale Canal!


  1. Hi Carol,

    I'm extremely behind on my blog reading and just realised that you have been on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal. We are going up the Rochdale at the end of next week and back down the Huddersfields and would love some advice. Could you possibly email me on so that I can ask you a few questions?

    Good luck with the Rochdale.

    Linda Gifford-Hull

    NB Mary H

  2. Hi Guys, We moored in the Piccadilly village moorings, one of the friendly residents gave us the code so we could walk in and out. Out of interest, what camera do you use, it seems to have a rather impressive zoom!
    Cheers Paul

  3. Hi both, we read your blog re mooring in Manchester but when we saw the ‘private mooring’ signs assumed that you or the boat you were meeting there had booked the births. We did manage to get the code for the bridge though when we moored on the offside of Piccadilly Village. The camera I was using on that day was a Panasonic Lumix TZ40 - 20 x full HD - it does zoom very well! Best wishes to you both. xx

  4. Hi There, we are going to Manchester in July 2014. So when we moore at Paccadilly Village we need a code when we want to go to town?

    1. Hello, I don’t usually publish anonymous comments. I don’t know if you’re a boater or not ... but yes, you will need a code and it will be up to you to find out what it is as I couldn’t possibly give someone I don’t know that information - even if I could remember what it was.