Monday, 29 June 2009

Portland Basin.

16 Locks, 9 miles, 4 Tunnels, 1 Lift bridge. 

Peak Forest 090Lock 2 Marple Flight, only 14 to go

With the idea in mind that Sunday would see more boats on the move we set off down the Marple flight. The first few locks were set in our favour and we did pass a couple of boats ascending the flight which made things easier. Near the bottom of the flight some of the locks were leaking so by the time we reached them they needed a top up.

Peak Forest 095 Half way down, notice the depth of the locks, 214 feet over 16 locks

Going down the flight we were also assisted by a local family where the parents were educating the daughters as to what canals were all about and how locks work. Other assistance came from the crew of a day hire boat who had left the boat at the bottom of the flight and walked up to Marple. They felt that they should at least attempt to do a lock or two even though it wasn’t their boat. They all enjoyed the experience.

Once off the flight progress was not much quicker due to silt build up in the bridge holes and continually having to reverse thrust to clear the propeller. At one point coming through an industrial area the engine faltered and nearly stopped had I not flicked it out of gear. A quick reverse thrust and a hunk of carpet floated to the surface, I thought I had cleared it but the engine was still labouring so we pulled into the bank. In the course of manoeuvring into the bank I must have cleared the rest of the obstruction because when I went down the weed hatch I was only rewarded with some string, rope and plastic.It remained like this all the way to the end of the Peak Forest Canal.

Peak Forest 098 Woodley Tunnel, the sign says its a two way tunnel, Yeah right

At Portland Basin we turned right onto the Ashton Canal as our map book showed the visitor moorings to be there. As we passed the moorings we worked out where we would moor and then carried on to the winding hole which involved going through the tunnel beneath the ASDA supermarket twice, once each way. Just as we were preparing to pull into the moorings a gentleman on a boat on the permanent moorings opposite told us to moor in front of the first boat on the permanent moorings as we would be safer than on the towpath side. This we have now done but the downside is that we cannot get a TV signal from either the satellite or aerial, apparently its a common problem here.

Peak Forest 101 Asda Supermarket Tunnel on the Ashton Canal at Portland Basin

1687 locks, 3542 miles, 66 Tunnels, 50 swing bridges and 52 lift bridges since Nov 2006


Martin said...

The photo with the Asda supermarket is on the Ashton Canal, not the Huddersfield. The Huddersfield starts at the bridge just after the winding hole where you turned. There is a big sign there saying "Welcome to the Huddersfield Narrow Canal".

Derek and Dot said...

Hi Martin,
We stand corrected thanks for that. We have come down the Huddersfield a few years ago but not heading this way so thought it started at the basin.

Martin said...

An easy mistake to make - several high-profile websites have got it wrong!

The winding hole is the original terminal basin of the Ashton.

The Asda tunnel has a bridge plate at each end showing 31, which is part of the sequence of bridge numbers on the Ashton Canal.

Do I gather that you're heading towards Manchester rather than towards Stalybridge?

Derek and Dot said...

Hi Martin
Thanks for your help both here and on the forum. Yes our plans are to head down to Piccadilly tomorrow morning and on to Castlefields on Thursday.
Fingers crossed.
Regards Dot