Friday, 3 July 2009

Rochdale Nine.

9 Locks, 1½ miles. Now moored at Grocers Warehouse, Castlefield. Manchester

It was just before 8am that we set off along with Richard and Pam aboard Nb Halcyon. We had teamed up as the Rochdale Nine locks are reputedly easier with 2 boats and crew. The first lock had its anti vandal locks in use but the rest of the flight were a bit hit and miss regarding this.

Manchester 001 Lock 85 Rochdale Canal underneath the 18 storey Rodwell Tower building.

It was never a dull moment with some of the locks having restricted  space for the balance beam and a system of chains and pulleys to open and closed the gate using our windlass’s. At one lock the gate was very high and there was a step to gain access to the balance beam to walk across the lock. I had my windlass in hand and in trying to negotiate this obstacle course I dropped the windlass and it bounced around a bit before falling over the edge into the lock. I won’t tell you what I said because it would get censored. Luckily we have invested in a sea searcher magnet so I dropped it down where the windlass was seen to go and bingo, first time and up came the windlass. Well there’s a first time for everything.

Manchester 002

Locking under ground? The balance beams are too short and are controlled by winch and chain which Derek & Pam are operating.

Manchester 004Back out in daylight but another subterranean chasm awaits.

A couple of the lock’s had no towpath leading up to them so you have to stay with the boat as there is no other access. The boat has to be nosed right up to the lock and the crew then have to jump from the bow onto the lock landing. Just as well we are still fit enough as it must be a devil of a job for somebody less agile.

Manchester 005The Rochdale Nine locks dive under buildings and roads.

At the bottom lock we were assisted by 2 BW staff who were on painting detail. They were very good in taking all our rubbish and quizzing us as to how we had found the flight and did we have any faults to report. They also wanted to know what the rubbish situation was. We told them that some of the top locks had lots of rubbish stopping us from open the gates fully so they said that they would fix it once the painting was finished. For all the bad press about these locks we found them no harder than some on the Fens or the K & A.that we have struck previously They just take a little longer than most.

Manchester 018Railway bridge over the Rochdale 9 locks.

After lunch we all met up again and went for a wander into the city. After a couple of hours we were all dying for a drink so we went into the Wellington pub which is a reconstructed 3 storey Tudor building. The beers and shandy’s were enjoyed immensely.

Manchester 020Lock keepers house at Dukes Lock 92. Beautiful stain glass windows with Dukes 92 and Lock keepers above the door.

1714 locks, 3549½ miles, 66 Tunnels, 52 swing bridges and 52 lift bridges since Nov 2006


brookste said...

Hi Guys, saw you moored at Castlefield this morning as I was on my way to work. Hope the generator opposite wasn't on all night!! Would have stopped for a chat but i was late. Steve

Derek and Dot said...

Hi Steve

We will be here for the weekend at least sightseeing if you would like to call in for a chat. Mr 'Generator' turned it off at 8.30pm after a gentle hint from me.

Regards Derek