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Tour 2002

Index

25 - Anderton to Winsford - River Weaver.

Monday 22nd July 2003.

After spending an hour watching the progress of of boats going up and down the lift we moved down to the two holding moorings at 10:20. A lot of radio communications between BW bods ensued, we then slid across the approach channel and into the caisson at our allotted time of 10:30. We had to wait while the BW trip boat settled its self into the lower caisson, then with a strange shudder we were off. The lift had a VERY strange movement, with the caisson jerking down in a series of small steps. We got to the bottom before the other caisson got to the top. During this wait we had a chat with the nearby BW operative. He said that the jerkiness was caused by the seals bedding in and was getting less pronounced. Also mentioned was the fact that the caissons could operate independently, the equipment was powerful enough to pump both up together, but they had not at the moment got a large enough oil reservoir to do this.
Finally at 11:00 we passed out onto the River Weaver. We carried on up the River Weaver, through Northwich, past the BW Northwich workshops and through Hunts Lock. Jalsea Marine was our first destination - arrival at 12:20. After a wander we eventually found Phil's office among the maze of buildings and workshops. The bad news was soon given to us - they had not quoted us for the passage through Pomona Lock, so the cost of the Weaver to Manchester trip on the M.S.C. rose to 96.00 each. Phil would put the applications / cheques straight in the post, so our passage would definitely be approved for the M.S.C. passage on Wednesday 24th July. After a guided tour of the extensive facilities at Jalsea we set of at 12:40.
We both carried on through Vale Royal Locks. The unusable large lock looked in even a more decrepit state than when we were last here in1995. After this we left Frogmoore behind as they were going to stop in Winsford for shopping. We pushed on with the vague hope of getting back to Northwich for the night, or at least above Hunts Lock. Newbridge Swingbridge had been restored to working order, but at a closed headroom of 6ft 4ins, this presented no problem to narrowboats.
Beyond here the scenery changes from a pleasant wooded to a salt extraction wasteland. After Winsford Bridge the Navigation officially ends, but shallow draughted boats can explore Winsford Bottom Flash. We knew from experience that this is very silted and quite shallow in places, so Linda sat on the front with occasional barge pole soundings. The flash was only around 4ft deep on its exit, then depth rose to 7ft in places, but never more. As we carefully approached the reed infested channel to the Upper Flash the depth disappeared quite suddenly, so with only 2ft at the bow we reversed off and gently winded. This was during a gesticulating match with some fisherman. We knew that we would not get up to them so ignored their warnings of stranded narrowboats, something that they have been experiencing quite a lot of during the past months!
We set off back at 14:50 and rushed back to Vale Royal Locks. Arrival was at 15.55, but the somewhat jobsworth locky said he was knocking off, so we moored just above the disused big lock. Some more boaters coming upstream were also stuck, so moored up in the lock entrance. Neil took advantage of this early stop by giving Earnest a mid Tour oil change and stern tube greaser adjust / top up. John and Pat in Frogmoore turned up later and breasted up with us for the night. We were intending to eat in anyway and this pleasant wooded quiet stop was as good as anywhere.

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Anderton Lift. River Weaver.

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Anderton Lift. River Weaver.

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The BW trip boat below the Anderton Lift. River Weaver.

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Anderton Lift. River Weaver.

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Anderton Lift, top basin and troughs out to the lift.

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Anderton visitor moorings at the top of the Anderton Lift.

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Entering the approach troughs. Anderton Lift.

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Waiting in the trough for the entrance guillotine to the caisson to open. Anderton Lift.

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In the caisson. Anderton Lift.

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View down at the trip boat in the other caisson. Anderton Lift.

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Nearly level. Anderton Lift.

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Anderton Lift.

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We have past the other caisson. Anderton Lift.

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View of the other caisson lower well. Since the lift has been converted to mineral oil style rams, this is kept dry. Anderton Lift.

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View of the other caisson nearly up. Anderton Lift.

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Anderton Lift - off we go onto the River Weaver.

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Anderton Lift, looking back at the caisson we have just exited. River Weaver.

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Anderton Lift. River Weaver.

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Anderton Lift. River Weaver.

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Anderton Lift. River Weaver.

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Anderton Lift. River Weaver.

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Just above Anderton. Brunner Mond Chemical works Winnington to the right. River Weaver.

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Old sunk concrete barge at Winnington. River Weaver.

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Entering Northwich, the newly re-furbished Town Swing Bridge. Sanitary station and waterpoint to right. River Weaver.

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Northwich. Looking back at the Town Swing Bridge. River Weaver.

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The "Floatel" hotel in the old boat building yard. Northwich. River Weaver.

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Northwich. Looking down from the Floatel and boatyard to Hayhurst Swing Bridge. River Weaver.

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Looking back at Northwich and the Floatel. River Weaver.

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BW Northwich Repair Yard. River Weaver.

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Looking back at Hayhurst Swing Bridge. River Weaver.

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BW Northwich Repair Yard. River Weaver.

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BW Northwich Repair Yard. Interesting view of beached Bantam Tug. River Weaver.

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Navigation Yard Swing Bridge, rail bridge and Hunt's Lock in the distance. River Weaver.

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The small Hunt's Lock. River Weaver.

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The small Hunt's Lock. River Weaver.

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Waiting below Hunt's Lock. River Weaver.

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Manual ground paddle gear. River Weaver.

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Hunt's Lock - view of gate opening radial rack. River Weaver.

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Leaving Hunt's Lock. River Weaver.

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Jalsea Marine. River Weaver.

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Hartford Bridge. River Weaver.

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Railway bridge below Vale Royal Locks. River Weaver.

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Vale Royal Locks. River Weaver.

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Vale Royal Locks. Waiting below. River Weaver.

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Vale Royal Locks. River Weaver.

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Vale Royal Locks. River Weaver.

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Vale Royal Locks. The old semaphore signals. River Weaver.

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Vale Royal Locks - the rather sad large lock. River Weaver.

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Leaving Vale Royal Locks. River Weaver.

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Vale Royal. River Weaver.

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Newbridge Swing Bridge. River Weaver.

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The wasteland just before Winsford. River Weaver.

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The wasteland just before Winsford. River Weaver.

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The Red Lion pub and visitor moorings at Winsford Bridge. River Weaver.

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Winsford Bridge. River Weaver.

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New Winsford Bridge. River Weaver.

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Entering Winsford Bottom Flash. River Weaver.

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Winsford Bottom Flash. 

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Looking back at River Weaver exit to left. Winsford Bottom Flash. 

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Winsford Bottom Flash. 

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Winsford Bottom Flash. 

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Entrance to Upper Flash. Winsford Bottom Flash. 

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Winsford Bottom Flash - looking back from the end. 

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Looking across the end of Winsford Bottom Flash. 

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Winsford Bottom Flash - eastern bank. 

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Salt extraction just above Winsford. River Weaver.

The Tour Continues...


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