Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Two-way working? I don't think so

We moved from Romiley today (at last), but only as far as Dukinfield Junction where the Peak Forest Canal meets the Ashton Canal.

The first bridge we came to was this marvellous brick specimen carrying a railway line, although you wouldn't know that merely by passing under it.

A little further on a house on the offside has a narrowboat weather vane.

We heard on the news this evening about an incident involving an aeroplane having to be escorted by fighter jets as it came in to Manchester Airport. This wasn't the one, but I happened to take this photo of a low-flying plane overhead.

Rather more interestingly, we squeezed through Woodley Tunnel, grateful that we didn't have a chimney sticking up, to find that the sign reads "Method of working: two-way traffic".

You can indeed get two narrowboats through the tunnel in opposite directions, but not at the same time!

We tied up before the junction, but later decided to top up the water at the cunningly concealed water point at Portland Basin. I'm sure it's not an official water point as it is difficult to get the boat to it, and it has a permanently attached hose (which, of course, was very useful). While there I took some photos of the scene. Here's the junction looking along the Ashton Canal towards Manchester.

And this is the Ashton Canal Warehouse of 1834 which now houses a museum. We looked round the museum in the afternoon. It's good, but the labelling feels somewhat patronising, much of it being geared more to schoolchildren than adults.

Tied up in the basin itself are several old wooden boats, including Southam, which we saw on the Peak Forest Canal.

At least one of these boats is not what you might call a "runner".

After watering up we wanted to get back to the "safety" of the Peak Forest Canal, where there were some boats tying up. I knew there was a winding hole just past the lift bridge, so we headed up there. Before the lift bridge there was a wide which I thought might just be big enough to wind in. It wasn't.

Never mind, it wasn't an official winding hole. So we carried on through the lift bridge to the winding hole as marked in Nicholson and started to wind there. It was a bit overgrown with trees, but I had my bow saw out and cut back as much as I could reach.

At the towpath I used the shears to trim back some brambles to make it easier to get the back end round.

But it wasn't to be. The winding hole was too silted up for the bow to go any further forward. We had to give up and go another 3/4 mile to the next marked winding hole, just south of Warble's Boatyard and just north of Bridge 4, where we got round all right. Then we headed back to our mooring for a rather late tea.

We're ready for our assault on the Ashton Locks tomorrow morning, and then we look forward to welcoming Jim, formerly of Starcross, who we hope will join us as we ascend the Rochdale Canal.

All this, and I haven't said anything about what we did yesterday, which was to visit Andrew and Bekka in Sheffield. We cheated, and took the train. I'll have to write properly about this at some point, as the train went through beautiful Peak District countryside.


Sarah said...

Shall I take that as a report for the HNBC unusable winding holes survey then?

Jim said...

Yes, Looking forward to joining you on the Rochdale tomorrow.

Halfie said...

Sarah, yes, please do. The one we couldn't wind our 55' boat in is that between bridges 2 and 3 on the Peak Forest Canal.

Jim, yes, indeed.