Tuesday, 21 July 2015


Hi all,
This week we are moored on the Leeds & Liverpool in Wigan, one of the towns that form Greater Manchester. Having got here this lunchtime we've had a walk around the town for a quick look 'cos our plans only have us stopping for tonight before moving tomorrow and going onto the Leigh Branch. At the moment there's a stoppage on the Leigh Branch at the first of the Poolstock Locks which are just after the junction here in Wigan. Somehow a bicycle has found it's way into the only working Ground Paddle and damaged it to the point where it can no longer be used. C&RT have advised that the canal will be open for a short while tomorrow morning to allow passage so we've got our fingers crossed. There are a number of other boats who appear to be waiting to go the same way too. I guess our little group will go for an early drink in one of the local hostelries this evening seeing as another friend who's moored here, Pete, off NB Castellan, has somewhere interesting to show us.
A couple of strange ladies, Lisa & Val, posing at the Tippler that represents Wigan Pier
After last weeks blog we stayed in Liverpool for another couple of days before leaving Salthouse Dock on Thursday morning. During those two days we did a bit more exploring the sights in Liverpool as well as enjoying a few more of the pubs. On Tuesday Lisa and I visited the Library and The World Museum, just a few minutes from Lime Street Station and opposite St. John's Gardens. Did you know that Lime Street was so named because of all the Lime Kilns that used to be there?  In the evening we enjoyed the company of Mike and Carol off NB Electra who showed us around a few more of the Real Ale establishments in Liverpool, few of which we would ever have found ourselves. With Val and Pete we went for a very interesting tour to part of Liverpool's Old Dock on Wednesday. The Old Dock, formerly named Thomas Steers Dock after the engineer responsible for it's construction in 1715, was the first Wet Dock in the world and was arguably the catalyst that made Liverpool  the great city it would become. For anyone visiting Liverpool by boat or any other means, the Old Dock is a must see.
Looking at part of The Old Dock which is underneath Liverpool 1 shopping centre and the Hilton Hotel. It's perfectly preserved and here you can see the brick walls of the dock and some of the sandstone upon which Liverpool stands. This was the only dock to be built in brick, all others were built using stone which withstands impact from ships better. In it's heyday the dock could accommodate one hundred vessels of the size that was common at that time, around a hundred tons or so.
Yazz and Danny, who conducted the tour, give a very interesting and entertaining presentation with their knowledge of the history of the dock. Just go to the reception in The Maritime Museum and enquire about times and days. That afternoon the four of us went on our farewell tour of a few bars, starting in The White Star where they have a Sea Shanty Session every Wednesday afternoon, very good it was too, and ending up in the Cavern Club with a Beatles tribute.

Just to show that we've been in there. The bar inside The Cavern Club.
At a little before nine on Thursday morning we made our way out of Salthouse Dock, which incidentally, was built for, surprise, surprise, the salt industry, mainly Rock Salt from Cheshire, by the self same Thomas Steers, of Old Dock fame, in 1753.We left there in company with a few other narrowboats and made our way back along the Liverpool Link and onto the Leeds and Liverpool Canal as our excellent visit to the City of Liverpool came to an end. I must say here that everyone from C&RT involved in our journey down the Link and back out again was brilliant, they advised us and helped us every bit of the way till we arrived back at Hancocks Lift Bridge 9 on Thursday afternoon. On this trip we didn't have to go down the Weedhatch at all so we got to our mooring above Holmes Swing Bridge 10 in under six hours, which I didn't think was too bad, considering we had to wait for all the boats to assemble before going through each of the two swing bridges that are operated by C&RT.
Chyandour, with Lisa at the helm, and Val & Pete on Tadpole 2 as we waited at the entrance to Mann Island Lock on Thursday morning.
Going through the tunnels past the Liver Building and the Pier Head on our way out of Liverpool.
Friday had Tadpole 2 and ourselves doing eight Swing Bridges and the best part of fourteen miles to get to Burscough, a large village in West Lancashire, where we stayed till Sunday morning. For anyone that's interested, The Hop Vine public house in the village houses the Burscough Brewing Company and they serve some reasonably priced Real Ales brewed on the premises. On Sunday we sailed away from there and cruised for just under six miles to the deep lock at Appley Locks where we passed through the lock and then moored in the approach to the two abandoned shallow locks. The Deep Lock, with a fall of twelve feet was the first lock to be constructed at Appley with the two Shallow Locks being built later. The Deep Lock takes a while to fill so the other locks helped to save water and reduce delays. As I understand it, the two locks were restored in the 1980's but have now been abandoned through lack of use. It was a great place to moor but getting a TV picture wasn't easy, though internet and phone signal weren't too bad.
Chyandour moored on the approach to Appley Shallow Locks on Sunday.

Anyone who has travelled North on the M6 Motorway between Junctions 26 and 27 above Warrington, and has looked down to their left will have seen these locks. This is the tail Gate of the disused Dean Lock with the Motorway Viaduct in the background and the working lock centre right.


There we are, moored for the night in front of the C&RT offices below Henhurst Lock in Wigan, alongside NB Castellan.

Well folks, that's the lot again for this week. Since our last blog we have gone through 11 Locks and covered 36 Miles. That gives us a Grand Total of 1,201 Locks and 2,080 Miles since we set off  on our travels back in October 2012.Take care everyone.

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