We cruised away from Manchester last Monday morning and made our way along the Bridgewater Canal with the intention of getting to Worsley,the place where the Duke of Bridgewater had his coal mines.The Dukes desire to get the coal from his Worsley mines to Manchester was the reason for building the Bridgewater Canal.After filling our water tank at the services just outside Castlefield Basin,we made our way slowly Westward along the Bridgewater Canal,on our right was the Manchester Ship Canal,at times only just a short distance from us.We passed the original link between the two canals,the Hulme Lock Branch,now derelict but in use for over a 150 years before it was replaced by the new link at Pomona Lock,just a bit farther along the canal.As we passed under the Throstle Nest Bridge we had Salford Quays to the right and a tad further along on the left we could see Old Trafford,the home of Manchester United,overlooking the canal.
|Throstle Nest Bridge.|
|Old Trafford,the home of Manchester United.|
After another couple of miles we came to the famous Barton Swing Aqueduct,the aqueduct swings to allow tall vessels to travel along the Manchester Ship Canal over which it crosses.The swing aqueduct first opened in 1894 when the ship canal was built,it replaced a masonry aqueduct built in 1761.It is a one hundred metre long iron trough weighing just under fifteen hundred tonnes,it holds eight hundred tonnes of water and swings through ninety degrees to lie parallel to the ship canal.There's the Barton Road Swing Bridge just to the West of it that was built at the same time and by the same company,Andrew Handyside and Co.of Derby.They actually assembled and tested both bridges at the works in Derby before shipping them to Barton.
|Crossing the Barton Swing Aqueduct over the Manchester Ship Canal.|
|Looking downstream of the aqueduct there's the Barton Swing Bridge.Both are controlled from the Control Tower in the centre.|
|We carried on past Worsley for another mile or so till we arrived here just to the East of Bridgewater Marina at Boothstown.Thanks to the wet weather we remained here for three days relaxing.|
|The Pit Headgear at the museum.The pit was worked for over fifty years before closing in 1970.|
|Just one half of the Twin Tandem Compound steam engine.It was built by Yates and Thom in 1912 at their Canal Ironworks in Blackburn and took two years to assemble.|
|The huge Winding Engine drum weighed a hundred and five tons and was twenty seven feet in diameter at it's widest.The wire ropes were over two and a quarter inches in diameter and weighed eighteen tons.|
|Plank Lane Bridge with Lisa at the left end at the Control Panel as she raises the bridge.|
|NB Slievenamon ahead as we travel between the locks.For those of you who aren't Irish,Slievenamon is a mountain in County Tipperary and means Mountain of the Women.|
Well,that's all again for this week folks,since our last blog we have sailed through 4 Locks,the same two twice,and cruised 15 Miles giving us a Grand Total of 1,154 Locks and 1,837 Miles since we set off in October 2012.Take care everyone.