Narrowboat Tacet

Silent Movement - Our gap year travelling the inland waterways

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The Road to Wigan Pier

We were up and ready to leave the mooring at the top of Wigan Locks at 8 am this morning.  We got into a good system with nb Ada making an efficient descent down the 21 locks into Wigan and then 2 more on the Leigh branch.  We tied up for lunch at 12.30pm.
After lunch we went on the hunt for Wigan Pier!

Was this warehouse with the loading bay below, Wigan Pier?
This one, now called The Orwell, and eating establishment?
Another warehouse with covered loading bay?
This dry dock?
Here it is.....
And from the other side....
Wigan Pier has been reconstructed here to show what it really was. It was a 'Tippler'. Coal laden trucks from nearby collieries were brought down tracks to the canal side. They would hit a jetty and tipple (tip over) emptying the coal into the waiting barges.

Along the canal side these statues can be found representing those who worked along the canal in days gone by.

Trencherfield Mill, now apartments but was a cotton mill. There were 5 floors of machinery, powered by the mill engine.  The mill workers worked a 12 hour day with a half day on Saturday.
Children worked too, crawling under the machines to join threads which had broken. Conditions were not good, hot, humid, noisy and dangerous, but lunchtimes could be taken outside beside the canal which gave a short break from the factory floor.
We moored tonight at Leigh Bridge and tomorrow we shall move on into Manchester.
9 miles, 23 locks, 1 lift bridge.

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