Tuesday, 23 September 2014

No locks whatsoever

Moored in the attractive canalside of Lymm
To paraphrase Danny Baker's 'sausage sandwich game', do we want broad locks, narrow locks or no locks whatsoever?
Well after all those broad locks of the past few weeks, we would prefer no locks whatsoever and that's what we've got today. We are heading out of Manchester on the Bridgewater Canal, a waterway notable for being the first industrial age canal built in England and also for having no locks at all. So, it's been a quiet day of standing at the helm: ironically on a chilly day when a bit of lock wheeling would have warmed us up.
More Banksy than banks on the canal out of Manchester
The run out of Manchester hasn't changed a lot in the 4-5 years since we were last this way. The smart new blocks of canalside apartments soon give way to a battered industrial wasteland that has ben claimed by graffiti artists(?) who have covered virtually every accessible surface with their multi-coloured work. The big landmark along the way is Old Trafford where huge posters of Alec Ferguson holding up trophies remind fans of happier days!
Old Trafford – those were the days, eh
At Waters Meeting the line out of Manchester reaches the main Bridgewater and it's turn right for Wigan and Liverpool or left – like us – for Preston Brook and the top of the Trent&Mersey Canal. The sprawl of Manchester's suburbs continues for several miles, some of it smart, like Sale, others less so.
Not long after Sale the canal passes a pair of very striking 'boat shaped' apartment blocks, somewhat poignantly sandwiched between a couple of what must have been in their day equally striking commercial buildings now in ruin.
This striking old canalside ruin...
...flanks these dramatic apartment blocks on one side...
...while the famous Linotype building lies derelict on the other side
Quite suddenly Manchester's suburbs are left behind and the canal is out into the Cheshire plains, passing the National Trust's Dunham Massey Hall and running along a heavily embanked stretch with far reaching views all around.
Finally we reach our destination for the day, the pretty and pretty posh little town of Lymm where even the moored narrowboats seem suitably spick and span. It's a likeable little spot and, despite its chic appeal, co-exists happily with the canal and the boats that run through its heart.
PS But what is it about Kiwis and canals? Having spent the last week in the company of two New Zealand crewed boats, we find ourselves moored next to another one, Tane Mahuta

1 comment:

  1. I guess the anonymous "Stealth Boat" was just right for the Manchester passage(-: