Saturday, 22 June 2013

Subterranean Manchester!

We left our Manchester mooring at Piccadilly Village on Tuesday morning in the company of Diana and Mike of nb Tamarisk
We had only just managed to get in there!
Dulcie Street Junction ...
… where George, Diana and Mike check out the vandal locks and gears on the top lock of the Rochdale 9
A quick peek under the archway into the mysterious underworld of Manchester
Waiting for Dale Street Lock (85) to be ready
That’s the first one done as Mike moves Tamarisk between the pillars towards Piccadilly Lock 85 in the middle of the tunnel
Looking back from lock 85 towards Dale Street Lock
What a place - interesting yes, but it did stink somewhat!
Light at the end of the tunnel
Looking back where the tunnel emerges from under Piccadilly’s buildings
Approaching Minshall Street where the towpath leads up to the street above which George and Diana discover has no access via the NP car park.  Diana, roughy, toughy that she is climbed the fence and dropped over there wall while George telephoned me to reverse to the bottom of that incline to pick him up...
… but there’s nowhere to drop him off so he has to wait while Diana and Mike sort out lock 86.
Chorlton Street Lock (86) There are no by-washes between these 9 locks which can make the lock gates difficult to open and close as the excess water rushes over the top gates.
George now back at his post as we descend Chorlton Lock where Diana was a bit perplexed at the lack of a balance beam to open the lock - instead there are windlass operated chain mechanisms due to lack of space!
Looking through the lock gates as we descend towards Princess Street Lock 87
Tried to discover what the lovely turreted building in Princess Street is just to left of centre - anyone know?
Grade II listed Lancaster House on the left built between 1905-10 in the Edwardian Baroque style for Lloyd’s Packing Warehouses Ltd., now converted to apartments
Emerging into the back of Oxford Street ...
… to what looks like a dead-end at Oxford Street Lock 88 but down and under we go!
Looking back at the frontages of Oxford Street after exiting the lock ...
… and looking towards Tib Lock 89 ...
… where here on the right is what’s left of the opening of the former Manchester and Salford Junction Canal
Top of Beetham Tower’s 47 floors above the new development
Waiting in Albion Mills Lock 90 for nb Tamarisk with Gaythorne Bridge in the background
loads of water here!
You can see beauty in the most unlikely places if you look close enough
We do - often!
Top gates under water at Deansgate Tunnel Lock 91 ...
… a real torrent!
Under Deansgate Tunnel ...
… and the railway arches in the process of being repainted
Someone with a sense of humour has created toadstools on the capstans!
Dukes Lock 92 so named because the Duke of Bridgwater insisted on having control of the structure and the operation of his canal!
Just look at all that water - Diana (nb Tamarisk) had just found a very small C&RT notice informing that boaters may have problems opening the bottom gates - chain mechanisms using the windlass ...
… due to all this pouring over the top gates - it took a good 10 minutes of really hard work for George and Diana to manage to open the lower gates against the pressure.
Last lock of the day done - in just 2.5 hours!
What a fantastic lock keepers house here
Stained glass panels ...
… in the lock keepers house - beautiful!
Out into Castlefield Junction waiting to pick George up under the footbridge after he’s closed those lock gates

Saying cheerio to Diana and Mike - they’ve been good company today and will catch up with us again in the next couple of days.
And onto the Bridgwater Canal - but that’s another story!

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