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Sunday, 9 June 2013


I treated Helen to a cup of tea and a cooked breakfast before we left our mooring by the Hyde Bank Tunnel. When I went down the weed hatch before setting off I got a bit of a surprise as the rubbish that I thought was round the prop turned out to be a large crayfish. Unfortunately I didn't get time to study it before I put my hand in the water and it shot off. The size of it makes me think that it was a American Signal Crayfish. These carry a crayfish plague and are loads bigger than our own crayfish. I will have to see if you are allowed to catch them and eat them.

Since getting through the Harecastle Tunnel the bottle kilns have been replaced with mills (of all types). There are far too many of them to photograph but some are more spectacular than others and surprisingly most of the remaining ones seem to have found a use.

This is not strictly a mill as it was a steel engineering business that was set up in 1874 manufacturing steam boilers. This part of the building was to expand into hydraulic press work.

This again is not a mill but a canal warehouse built in 1828. Next to it is a railway transfer warehouse that was built in 1879. This one has been converted to apartments.

Portland Basin Chimney. The chimney belonged to the Junction Mill built for Samuel Heginbottom and Sons in 1831 and 1890. They were cotton spinners and weavers. The factory shut down in 1930. The buildings were knocked down bit by but but the octagonal chimney with it's crowned top has been preserved.

We were booked into Portland Basin Marina for a week and so pulled in to the narrow arm just before the aqueduct and Portland Basin. We were unaware that the moorings would be down at Droylsden! Whilst we were there though I filled up with fuel and took a gas cylinder to keep us full up. I also took the time to check the weed hatch as there had been several times it seemed we had got stuff taffled. There was a bit of stuff down there but nothing that took too  much to get clear. That is the first stuff I have had to remove from the prop since we started on April 13th! Long may it continue. We were soon away and heading down to the Fairfield Locks. Helen was fed up that we would have to go down some more locks but the marina is just before the top lock in an arm that used to the course of Hollinwood Branch. There area is now being built up with apartments and we were told that there are plans to re-water the branch and push it through to the Rochdale Canal as a shortcut.

Portland Basin with the museum dead ahead. Turn right for the Huddersfield Narrow Canal and  left for the Ashton Canal to Manchester.

Our berth in the Droylsden Marina, surrounded by building sites but very handy for the shops and Metrolink.

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