Yesterday (Friday) we were off at 8am from Chadderton to make our way down to meet a C&RT guy at the top of Failsworth locks where he would unlock the gates and let us through and on into Manchester.
We had one lock and lift bridge to negotiate first, and at that time of the morning managed to hold up about 17 cars. Result! I’m sure they didn’t mind on their way to work on a Friday morning.
Ian, the volunteer lock-keeper was a brilliant help, meaning one of us could walk on ahead, setting the next lock. Ian is a boater himself and with his knowledge of the flight his presence was really useful. He has an historic narrowboat moored at present at the Black Country Museum.
We made really good progress and got to the bottom of Coal Pits locks at about 1.30. We looked into Islington Marina, but there wasn’t much room so we carried on and worked the next two locks down then did a left turn onto the Ashton Canal and snuck into Thomas Telford Basin in Piccadilly Village. Just as we moored up it began to rain, and quite hard. I just hope Ian had managed to walk back up to his car by then.
This morning we were up bright and early again, we were expecting visitors for breakfast!
Doug and James from nb Chance had offered to help us down the Rochdale 9, so after bacon sarnies and scrambled egg, we set off to work these notoriously heavy locks. There was loads of water running over some of the gates, but with 2, sometimes 3 of us to push a gate, and again one going on ahead, we were down the bottom and safely in Castlefield Basin at 10.15 or thereabouts. Thanks guys, lovely to see you both again.
James and Doug racing to get the paddles up!
It’s a busy time in Manchester with ‘Pride’ events all over the weekend, we saw the parade this afternoon, very colourful!
8.5 miles, 29 locks, 1 bridge, 1 tunnel
Rochdale Canal, 32 miles, 92 locks, 9 days