Narrowboat Tacet

Silent Movement - Our gap year travelling the inland waterways

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Swinging into Action

As we approached the Barton Swing Aqueduct this morning, we were remembering the first time we came this way and saw it in action.  It was so exciting to arrive today finding a queue of boats, waiting for it to come back into position for them to be on their way again. 
At the risk of looking as though we were pushing in, we moved into a spot where we knew we could access the aqueduct and steps down to the level of the Ship Canal and see the action for ourselves.
Down the bottom we met up with the crew of nb Mary H, who I met in blogland a few weeks ago, you can read their blog here - And Mille makes three.
We were surprised that there were only two other boat crews interested in getting a closer look, there were at least 5 other boats waiting at the top. After all, this is one of the 7 wonders of the waterways!
A Mersey Ferry, actually it was Snowdrop, the one we crossed the Mersey on last week, had just passed through on her way from Manchester to Liverpool.
She is just disappearing from view in my picture, the road bridge was swung back in place first, those of us on the canal have more time.
Almost there...
Joined back up and looking down onto the MSC.

Not ready yet.....

Looking across...

And the control tower on the island.
The sad thing was a team of Manchester Ship Canal workmen were busy repairing the sheds and the mechanisms that move the gates to close off the canal, as last week vandals had forced their way inside and cut out all the copper piping leaving it out of action.  Apparently the Ferry trip along the Ship Canal had to turn around as they couldn't open the aqueduct for them. 
Here is the photo I took last year, the pipes and brass above the round blue pump thingy has all gone and the pipe work cut away too.
They'd done well to have it back in action this week.

9.5 miles, 0 locks, 1 swing aqueduct


  1. Karen,
    I think "thieves" is a better description of the culprits than "vandals", don't you? Your photo of the bus crossing the canal reminded me of the time when I used to drive buses in and out of Trafford Park over that same bridge. The ship canal was much busier then and we often got "bridged" (i.e. had to wait for a ship) which I didn't mind, but most drivers found annoying, especially if they were due a break after that run!

    1. You're right of course, they were thieves, although they also had damaged the sheds in gaining access to the 'brass'. What a lovely bus route to drive on. Specially if you were first in the queue!

  2. I have been over that bridge many times but never seen it open.

  3. They did it again last week (september 20th)