Narrowboat Tacet

Silent Movement - Our gap year travelling the inland waterways

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Along the Ashton

Come with me along the Ashton Canal, leaving Ducie Street basin at 9.20am
The sun has been shining, but now the clouds have come over, but it's not cold or wet! Here we are looking towards Piccadilly.
Peeping into Piccadilly Basin, notices say Private Mooring, but (in smaller writing) you can stay for 24 hours.
Along the way, take a look at the buildings, a tall, modern block of flats here,
but between the first two locks is this lovely old canal building, reminding us the canal has been here a long time.
Now take a step back and see the modern building behind, more flats with office space at the bottom.
At lock 2 look back and the old canal building is dwarfed by the glass tower.
Do you love it or loathe it?
Another old canal building waiting to be rescued, I wonder what it will end up like.
I hope the outer skin is kept and restored. What would you choose?
Now we are in the middle of Sportcity, built for the Commonwealth Games in 2002. We are standing on a terrace looking back at Tacet in the lock and Manchester behind.
Looking at the tennis stadium (is that right for tennis?) maybe it should be courts there were some outside, with bright blue painted playing surface.
The main stadium from the roadway,
but the approach to the lock from the towpath is lovely with the narrow unevenly, worn steps. Elfin Safety has not been here yet.
and for the horse, a cobbled turnover bridge with iron sides, shame about the graffiti though.
On each side of this lock there are modern blocks of flats, round and
square. Can a block be round?
A little further along and we come to Manchester's Velopark, the national cycle track apparently.
Nine locks done, it's time to swap, Ian's turn to do the locks, we can have a ride up the rest,
with Jumble making sure we do it right. We arrive at the top lock just after 2 pm, so we've done 18 locks and only 4 miles in just under 5 hours, the wind is picking up now, so it feels a bit chilly. We'll stop here for lunch and then we'll take a walk around.
At the top of the 18 locks is Fairfield Junction. In Fairfield village is a group of houses built around a church and school which were founded in 1785 as a Moravian settlement.

The streets are cobbled and wide, with terraced houses along each side, 
Some had grassed areas between. They are very attractive.
The unpretentious Moravian Church building, the pastors house is next door, and across the next street a school building, now a girls' high school.

Just outside the settlement buildings stands this lovely old Victorian pillar box and bronze statue (unfortunately there is no plaque of explanation).
Now we are on our way again to the end of the Ashton Canal at Dukinfield Junction, Ashton-under-Lyne. 
Hope you enjoyed the journey.
7 miles, 18 locks, 1 bridge


  1. We lived in Manchester for 12 years, but left in 2001, just before the Commonwealth Games. That's what you call bad timing!

    I'm not sure whether I like the triple tier apartments or not. What does the writing on the wall actually say? I could only make out a few letters.

  2. The writing as I remember were canally names,
    Rochdale, Castlefield, Ashton, Trent, Bridgewater.

  3. That makes sense I suppose :)