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Tour 2002

Index

21 - Littleborough to Chadderton - Rochdale Canal.

Wednesday 17th July 2002

Because of the timings through the BW controlled areas (contractors still hard at work) it meant that we only had to get to above Lock 65 in Failsworth for the next morning, so we had a late start at 10:10. The BW staff we met yesterday told us to make out own way to the Rochdale Locks, where they would join up with us, to work the locks and travel with us down through the Edinburgh  Way works.
So off we went, through the New Ben Healey Bridge, down to Manchester, something that seemed inconceivable when were here a couple of years ago. No problems down to Rochdale, having passed through the new rebuilt bridges - Smithy Bridge, Little Clegg Swing Bridge, Firgrove Bridge and Kingsway Bridge. The old Kingsway Bridge was still of navigable height, but was in a poor state, so it was rebuilt while the canal was still un-opened. 
We met up with the BW guys at Moss Upper Lock 49 at 11.30, who worked the two Moss locks for us. On our way again at 12.05. From here one BW guy ran shotgun on NB Frogmoore II, that led the way. The rebuilt narrow section at the Sealocrete works was a hive of activity with much towpath landscaping underway. Next was another new bridge -  Dicken's Green, followed by a rebuilt footbridge - Hartley Lane.
The new box culvert tunnel under Edinburgh way was still being worked on, just after this is a sharp turn, then you travel in a narrow culvert section beside the road, until you pass under the new Gorrells Way bridge, built at the end of this section. Back again on the old route of the canal. Directly after Blue Pits Highest Lock No 51 is the rebuilt Manchester Road Bridge. 
Next is Blue Pits Middle Lock No 52, the next lock is straight through as the canal has been raised and re-routed to use an existing culvert under the M62 Motorway. After the culvert the new bit of canal passes through the re-sited Blue Pits New Lock No 53. This looked as though it had only just become operational a couple of days before. The BW crew left us at Slattock's Top Lock and we descended the flight with a good few still interested people about.
Here the canal becomes fairly rural, as you skirt both side of the River Irk valley, to get over the aqueduct. At the end of this section is the Rose Of Lancaster pub, complete with bollards and reasonable moorings. Just one more lock to do that day - Kay Lane Lock No 64. Just after this is the site of Grimshaw Lane Swing bridge. Here the fixed low level bridge had been removed and the new concrete vertical lift bridge was in the last stages of construction, by the side of the canal.
The next section is a bit drab, beside new warehouses. We tried to moor on the towpath, just upstream of the Boat and Horses pub, but this was terribly shallow. There was another boat on the only deep section, a bit prone, near the new White Gate Bridge. So after a John Chapman negotiation, it was a safety in numbers bit of triple breasted mooring, finally stopping at 16.45.
The pub, though newly rebuilt was a Lees establishment, so OK real ale and well presented bar food.

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The wharf at Littleborough, just below Littleborough Lower Lock No 48. The best and deep mooring spot was just in front of Frogmoore, but this was taken when we arrived. Rochdale Canal.

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Ben Healey Bridge, Littleborough, the start of new territory! The Navigation Inn, just to left. Rochdale Canal.

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Ben Healey Bridge, Littleborough. Rochdale Canal.

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Rochdale Canal.

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Smithy Bridge. Rochdale Canal.

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Rochdale Canal.

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The new Smithy Bridge, Smithy Bridge. Rochdale Canal.

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Smithy Bridge. Rochdale Canal.

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Little Clegg Swing Bridge. Rochdale Canal.

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Little Clegg Swing Bridge. Rochdale Canal.

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Clegg Hall. Rochdale Canal.

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Clegg Hall. Rochdale Canal.

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Clegg Hall Bridge. Rochdale Canal.

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Clegg Hall Bridge. Rochdale Canal.

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Clegg Hall Bridge. Rochdale Canal.

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Cutting leading to Coppy Bridge. Rochdale Canal.

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The new Firgrove Bridge. Rochdale Canal.

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Looking back at Coppy Bridge. Rochdale Canal.

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Looking back at Firgrove Bridge. Rochdale Canal.

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Rochdale Canal.

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Deepdale or Moss Swing Bridge. Rochdale Canal.

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Deepdale or Moss Swing Bridge. Rochdale Canal.

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Kingsway Bridge. Although the old one existed the opportunity was take to replace it while the canal was being restored. Rochdale Canal.

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Looking back at Kingsway Bridge. Zen Internet in building to left. Rochdale Canal. 

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Moss Upper Lock No 49. Rochdale. Rochdale Canal.

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Moss Lower Lock No 50. Rochdale. Rochdale Canal.

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Looking back at Moss Upper Lock No 49. Rochdale Canal.

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Moss Lower Lock No 50. Rochdale Canal.

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The truncated Rochdale Arm. Rochdale Canal.

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Moss Lower Lock No 50. Turnover bridge attached to Oldham Road Bridge. Rochdale Canal.

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Well i'th Lane Bridge. Rochdale Canal.

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Sealocrete works narrows, returned to navigable width. Rochdale Canal.

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Dicken Green Bridge. Rochdale Canal.

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Hartley Bridge has yet to be restored as a footbridge. Rochdale Canal.

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Edinburgh Way Tunnel. Culvert pipe marks the old route of the canal. Rochdale Canal.

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Edinburgh Way Tunnel. Rochdale Canal.

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Edinburgh Way Tunnel. Rochdale Canal.

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Edinburgh Way Tunnel. Rochdale Canal.

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New narrow bit of canal hugging the A 627M. Frogmoore is just passing under the new Gorrels Way Bridge. Rochdale Canal.

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Gorrels Way Bridge. Back on the original course of the canal. Rochdale Canal.

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Castleton. Rochdale Canal.

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March Bridge Castleton. We are bring shadowed by the BW weed protection force! Rochdale Canal.

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Blue Pits Highest Lock No 51 and the reconstructed Manchester Road Bridge. Rochdale Canal.

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The cranky top gate opening mechanism. Blue Pits Highest Lock No 51. Rochdale Canal.

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YUK! Northwich style gate and paddle gear! Rochdale Canal.

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The cranky top gate opening mechanism. Blue Pits Highest Lock No 51. Rochdale Canal.

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Manchester Road Bridge, Castleton. Rochdale Canal.

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Blue Pits Middle Lock No 52. Castleton. Rochdale Canal. 

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Blue Pits Middle Lock No 52. Beyond is the now straight through Blue Pits Lower Lock No 53. Rochdale Canal.

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Looking back at Blue Pits Middle Lock No 52. Rochdale Canal.

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The old Blue Pits Lower Lock No 53, now straight though and onto a new embankment to enable an old access culvert under the M62 to be used. Rochdale Canal.

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Looking back at the old Blue Pits Lower Lock and Blue Pits Middle Lock No 52. Rochdale Canal.

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The M62 Culvert. Rochdale Canal.

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Blue Pits New Lock No 53. Rochdale Canal.

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The old course of the canal to the left has truncated end against the M62. Blue Pits New Lock No 53 to the right. Rochdale Canal.

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Blue Pits New Lock No 53. Rochdale Canal.

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Approach to Slattocks Top Lock - 1st Laneside Lock No 54. Rochdale Canal.

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Looking back at the Pennine Ridge from Slattocks. Rochdale Canal.

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Slattocks Top Lock - 1st Laneside Lock No 54. Rochdale Canal.

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Leaving 2nd Laneside Lock No 55. 3rd Laneside Lock No 56 beyond. Road bridge carries the A664. Rochdale Canal.

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Leaving 2nd Laneside Lock No 55. Rochdale Canal.

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3rd Laneside Lock No 56. Rochdale Canal.

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Looking back at the A664 Bridge and 2nd Laneside Lock No 55. Rochdale Canal.

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3rd Laneside Lock No 56Rochdale Canal.

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4th Laneside Lock No 57. Rochdale Canal.

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Looking back at 3rd Laneside Lock No 56Rochdale Canal.

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4th Laneside Lock No 57. Rochdale Canal.

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5th Laneside Lock No 58. Rochdale Canal.

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Looking back at 4th Laneside Lock No 57. Rochdale Canal.

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Looking back at the railway bridge and 5th Laneside Lock No 58. Rochdale Canal.

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6th Laneside Lock No 59. Rochdale Canal.

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Looking back at 6th Laneside Lock No 59. Rochdale Canal.

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Boarshaw Lock No 60. Stanycliffe. Rochdale Canal.

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Boarshaw Lock No 60. Rochdale Canal.

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Scowcroft Lock No 61. Rochdale Canal.

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Scowcroft Lock No 61. Rochdale Canal.

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Scowcroft Lock No 61. Rochdale Canal.

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Scowcroft Lock No 61. Rochdale Canal.

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Original, intact, horse boat towline bridge protection roller. Rochdale Canal.

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Coney Green Lock No 62. Rochdale Canal.

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Walkmill Lock No 63. Rochdale Canal.

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River Irk Aqueduct. Rochdale Canal.

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Looking back across the valley at Coney Green Lock No 62. Rochdale Canal.

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The Rose Of Lancaster pub by Chadderton Bridge. Rochdale Canal.

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Chadderton Bridge. Rochdale Canal.

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Chadderton. Rochdale Canal.

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Kay Lane Lock No 64. Rochdale Canal.

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Looking back above Kay Lane Lock No 64. Rochdale Canal.

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Old basin at Chadderton. Rochdale Canal.

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Grimshaw Lane Vertical Lift Bridge - or it will be soon! Rochdale Canal.

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Grimshaw Lane Vertical Lift Bridge - Deck under construction at the side of the canal. Rochdale Canal.

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Grimshaw Lane Vertical Lift Bridge will be here. Rochdale Canal.

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Rochdale Canal.

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Chadderton. Oldham Broadway Bridge and old lay-by for power station. Rochdale Canal.

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Oldham Broadway Bridge. Rochdale Canal.

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White Gate Bridge in the distance. Rochdale Canal.

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Our mooring for the night. Broadway Bridge. Boat and Horses pub to the left. Rochdale Canal.

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Our mooring for the night. Just before Broadway Bridge. Boat and Horses pub to the right. The two sticks in the water against the towpath mark the position of the bund created while the bridge was being rebuilt - most of it was still there! Rochdale Canal.

The Tour Continues...


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