As we were moored up by Dutton Lock we were in now hurry so when the second boat to pen down arrived we doubled up with them and set off to the nether reaches of the Weaver.
This vessel hasn't paid his C&RT licence fee for a while!
For the first few miles the River is very rural with some lovely areas with the woods coming down to the river. After passing the Sutton Weaver Swing bridge it then turns into an Industrial Chemical Plant.
Beautiful scenery just after Pickering's Wharf on the Weaver.
Once past the original lock down into the River Weaver the canal is actually called the Weston Canal as it makes it's way past the Chemical plants of one side and the river, unseen behind the flood bank on the other. After a short while you come to the present lock that lets you enter the Manchester Ship Canal. It is still used, but not as often as it should be.
Weston March Lock.
Christ Church, Weston. This Church was built in 1841 and was originally built on a prominence jutting out into the Mersey. When the Manchester Ship Canal (MSC) was constructed it became marooned on an island between the MSC. and the Weston canal and was said to be the only church built on an uninhabited island in the country. It was built in 1841 and finally declared redundant in 1995. In 2002 it was vandalised and all fixtures and fitting stolen. Permission was granted for it to be used as offices and storerooms in 2005 but when we went it was all boarded up and with holes in the roof despite it being Grade II Listed.
Manchester Ship Canal and the River Mersey from Weston Docks.
In 2007 Eddie Stobart Transport amalgamated with Westbury Property Fund who owned Weston Docks. They have big plans to create an inter-modal transport hub with the idea of bringing cargo in by ship to the rejuvenated Dock system. There it could be transshipped to trucks with a new link road, and they have plans to reinstate a siding from the West Coast Main Rail line to the Docks system. They have built a warehouse at present and the land seems to be used to store pallets of peat and wood bark.
We know where all the top sights are to take our guests. Limit of Navigation on the Weston Canal, River Weaver.
We headed back up river ready for penning up the Anderton Lift again. We stopped for water at Sutton Weaver Swing Bridge and had a bite of lunch at the same time. It looks like they are building another bridge next to the present one. It seems that there is to be a £4.5 million up grade of the 90 year old swing bridge, with C&RT forking out £1 million. To ease congestion during the work they are installing a temporary bridge. This is needed at 20,000 cars a day use it.
Dutton Ship Lock, going up.
We passed through Dutton Lock and straight through to Saltersford Lock. We had hoped to moor at Barnton where there seemed to be plenty of places previously but with untidy mooring and no big enough spaces we carried on and have stopped for the night not far from the Anderton Boat Lift.