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Sunday, 30 April 2017

Depressing descent into Manchester.

This post is a few days late as we have gone home for a few days. So on Thursday we set off early from Dukinfield Junction as I had a train to catch.

Even if they built a tall chimney like this out of brick these days. I wonder if they would finish it with as much detail as this on top of Junction Mill, built in 1867.

This is the bridge across the end of the Peak Forest canal at the junction and it is a very graceful affair.

We arrived at Fairfield Junction and the top of the locks on the Ashton Canal so stopped and had breakfast before starting down to Manchester. Once paired there is only one lock working now. You may recognise the bridge in the foreground as it it is the image of the one at Dukinfield.

I'm not sure whether it was the very dull weather with occasional spitting rain, the rubbish that was everywhere in the canal or just the general neglect of the area that made it a very depressing run down the locks. I am also sure those b----y hand cuff locks don't make for a skip and a jump at the locks. They ntake so much faffing about with. It took me a while to realise that this was not a foreign language. I wish more people loved their city enough not to strew rubbish everywhere and let their dogs and to the pollution. It was very disappointing after being in Birmingham and being pleased, by and large, that the whole area seems to be much tidier and well kept. This stretch of canal was just depressing.

This is Clayton Junction where the once five mile long Stockport Canal sped off. My spirits were lifted somewhat after the next lock as the environment perked up. We were obviously nearer the city centre and where the Commonwealth Games had been held in 2002, and now the Etihad Stadium stands along with the training ground and the National Velodrome. Lots of money had been spent on the towpath with little solar lights sunk into the surface to light the edge of the path. It was a shame that nothing else had been done to sort out the area to this point.

The tram system joins the canal just at this point and we also met our only other boater at lock 9. It was nice to see another boater. Mind you we found that some paddles hadn't been dropped etc.

I think the honours were even when City played United on Thursday night.

Looking back you can see the words on the bridge, coming the other way it is largely hidden by vegetation.

These are the ungrateful Canad geese whose gosling, our first, we rescued from the lock with our washing up bowl. Following this we saw lots more goslings, most in groups of 5 or 6. So maybe these aren't the best parents.

Nearly at the bottom now, lock No.2 and the Urban Spalsh building that has been christened Chips. It was at this point we realised that we only had 2 hours before my train was leaving.

 In it's hay day this area must have been extremely busy with lots of little arms etc. It is now Piccadilly Village. It seems that you can moor in these basins but we still had more locks to go as we were heading round the Ducie Street Junction and up the Rochdale Canal for a couple of locks to New Islington Wharf. I got to my train with 10 mins to spare. The journey home was swift and as soon as I got home I flashed up the car and was speed back to Manchester to pick Helen and the animals up. The reverse will be done on Monday evening.

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