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Tour 2002

Index

26 - Vale Royal to Frodsham including Frodsham Cut and Weston Canal - River Weaver Navigation.

Tuesday 23rd July 2002.

We set off at 08:05 as soon as the BW locky arrived and opened up the lock. John stopped in Northwich for a spot of shopping and we stopped on the Sanitary Station / Water Point for  long water stop (09:10 to 10:15). The bank side at this facility was in poor shape and when another narrowboat arrived for water it had to breast up while we finished. John had got in front of us by this time so we carried on on our own. After all the chemical industry through Winnington, the navigation got more rural as soon as we had passed through Saltersford Locks. From here on down, the large lock was the one in use, as this had been a commercial waterway as far as Winnington until recently.
We got to Dutton Lock just after the locky had knocked off for lunch (12:05) John Chapman had also just arrived. We had a chat with the lockies in their small hut and had a wander about. Neil took a good few pictures of the Duker Barge "Parfield" for Julian Tether, who has a modern 5/7th replica Duker Barge "Parglena" - the next in line. Off we went again at 13:15 after having our lunch moored in the lock chamber.
Our plan was to find somewhere suitable to moor for the night, then go down to look at Weston Marsh Lock, the way out onto the ship canal, then continue along the Weston Canal to have a look at Weston Point Docks. We would then go back to have a look at Frodsham Cut and the disused Frodsham Lock out onto the Weaver, which at that point is directly connected to the Manchester Ship Canal. 
The next section of the River Weaver down to Frodsham Cut is actually quite nice with wooded banks in places. Just before where the river goes off at Sutton Weir is the site of the old Sutton Stop Lock. Remains of this can be seen. From here on the Navigation is a man made cut - The Weston Canal. We stopped at Weston Marsh Lock between 14:50 and 15:10 to have a look about and take some pictures, just as we were leaving a large yellow hulled oil tanker was being escorted up the Manchester Ship Canal by two tugs. We shadowed the "Mitrope" as we went up the parallel Weston Canal. We were stopped by the swing bridge as you enter Weston Point Dock. At this point the Weston and Runcorn canal used to go up to Runcorn via a flight of locks. The bottom one was still present and looked fairly intact, complete with tatty gates.
By this time the miserable dark windy day had got worse and we had some squally showers. After winding we set of with some gusto at 15:20, as we still had the Frodsham Cut to investigate. We decided on the way down that the first spot upstream that looked OK to moor overnight was the Frodsham Cut side (The towpath completely disappears on the lower section), just downstream from Frodsham Cut.
We got back to Frodsham Cut at 16:05 and gingerly started up it, giving the banks at the entrance a wide berth. It was very silted up, but not too weedy, with a depth around 3ft 6ins. There was no hope of mooring up here as it was very shallow near the banks. After a brief trip we moored up by the fixed low level bridge, within a couple of minutes walk from the disused Frodsham Lock. This lock had a very shallow drop, now that the water level beyond was held at the Manchester Ship Canal level. The gates were none existent above the waterline and BW had filled in the approach to the top gates with gravel to stop them failing. The small side guillotine weir was also in a vandalised state, this was bypassed by a set of heavy duty stop planks holding back the water level. Our brief exploration lasted between 16:30 and 16:50 and at 17:10 we were moored up just round the corner.

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Coming back through Northwich. River Weaver Navigation.

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Approaching Anderton Lift. Brunner Mond Winnington to the left. River Weaver Navigation.

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Passing downstream of the Anderton Lift. River Weaver Navigation.

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Winnington Lift Bridge. River Weaver Navigation.

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Winnington Lift Bridge. River Weaver Navigation.

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Brunner Mond Chemical Works, Winnington. River Weaver Navigation.

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Brunner Mond Chemical Works, Winnington. River Weaver Navigation.

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Leaving Winnington. The houses up on the bank are at Barnton, beside the Trent and Mersey Canal. River Weaver Navigation.

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Saltersford Locks. From here on down the large lock is the one in use. River Weaver Navigation.

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Saltersford Locks. River Weaver Navigation.

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Saltersford Locks. River Weaver Navigation.

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Leaving Saltersford Locks. River Weaver Navigation.

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River Weaver Navigation.

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The Riverside Inn at Acton Bridge. River Weaver Navigation.

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To the left is the back water that runs under the fixed bridge out to the island, this is navigable for narrowboats. River Weaver Navigation.

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Acton Bridge. River Weaver Navigation.

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Acton Bridge. River Weaver Navigation.

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Up on the right is Bradley Meadow Bridge No 206 on the Trent and Mersey Canal. River Weaver Navigation.

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Towpath bridge and weir below Dutton Locks. River Weaver Navigation.

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The Duker barge "Parfield" Below Dutton Locks. River Weaver Navigation.

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The Duker barge "Parfield" Below Dutton Locks. River Weaver Navigation.

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Dutton Locks. River Weaver Navigation.

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Dutton Locks. River Weaver Navigation.

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The towpath bridge and railway viaduct below Dutton Locks. River Weaver Navigation.

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NB Frogmoore II leaving Dutton Locks. River Weaver Navigation.

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Dutton Railway Viaduct. River Weaver Navigation.

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Pickerings Cut. River Weaver Navigation.

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River Weaver Navigation.

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River Weaver Navigation.

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Reasonable quiet visitors moorings just above Catton Hall. River Weaver Navigation.

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Frodsham Cut to the left. This was the original course of the navigation down the River Weaver. River Weaver Navigation.

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The River Weaver goes off to the left, with Sutton Weir just round the corner. Weston Canal to Weston Point to the right. River Weaver Navigation - Weston Canal.

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Looking back just past Frodsham Cut. We came back to moor for the night on the right hand side. River Weaver Navigation - Weston Canal.

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Sutton Swing Bridge. River Weaver Navigation - Weston Canal.

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Sutton Railway Viaduct and M56 Bridge in the distance. River Weaver Navigation - Weston Canal.

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Looking back at Sutton Bridge. River Weaver Navigation - Weston Canal.

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Boat club moorings just beyond the Ashville Industrial Estate. River Weaver Navigation - Weston Canal.

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Runcorn Rowing Club and removed Swing bridge at Clifton. River Weaver Navigation - Weston Canal.

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ICI Weston Point Chemical Works. River Weaver Navigation - Weston Canal.

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ICI Weston Point Chemical Works. River Weaver Navigation - Weston Canal.

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Weston Marsh Lock - the way out onto the Manchester Ship Canal for pleasure craft. River Weaver Navigation - Weston Canal.

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Weston Marsh Lock. River Weaver Navigation - Weston Canal.

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Weston Marsh Lock. River Weaver Navigation - Weston Canal.

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Weston Marsh Lock, beyond is the River Weaver which flows into the Manchester Ship Canal. River Weaver Navigation - Weston Canal.

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The view from Weston Marsh Lock towards the Weaver Sluices off the Manchester Ship Canal. . 

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Weston Marsh Lock. River Weaver Navigation - Weston Canal.

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Oil Tanker being towed up the Manchester Ship Canal. River Weaver Navigation - Weston Canal.

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We keep up with the oil tanker on the Manchester Ship Canal. River Weaver Navigation - Weston Canal.

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The entrance to Weston Point Docks. The swing bridge bars progress. The Runcorn and Weston Canal used to go off to the right of picture. River Weaver Navigation - Weston Canal.

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Runcorn and Weston Canal - abandoned bottom lock. 

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River Weaver Navigation - Frodsham Cut.

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The fixed low level bridge and pipe - now the end of the navigable section. River Weaver Navigation - Frodsham Cut.

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The remains of Frodsham Lock and Weir. River Weaver Navigation - Frodsham Cut.

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Looking up the Weaver from Frodsham Lock entrance. River Weaver Navigation - Frodsham Cut.

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The remains of Frodsham Lock and Weir. River Weaver Navigation - Frodsham Cut.

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The vandalised weir beside Frodsham Lock. River Weaver Navigation - Frodsham Cut.

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River Weaver, looking up from Frodsham Lock at Sutton Weir. 

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Another look at the fixed bridge, replacing a swing bridge. River Weaver Navigation - Frodsham Cut.

The Tour Continues...


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