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The 1995 Tour

Index

Manchester Ship Canal, River Weaver, Chesterfield Canal, Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation and Erewash Canal.

4- The Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. - River Irwell

Click here for a map of the River Irwell / Upper Reaches of the M.S.C.

Saturday 15th July 1995

Shoved off at 09.25 after a water tank fill up (nearly empty). Arrived at Pomona Lock at 09.40 – in plenty of time for the booked 11.00 locking. To panda to the M.S.C.C. we had agreed to do the passage down the lock on a Saturday – Their preferred day! Needless to say no one turned up, even though we had confirmed this booking a few days before. Of course when we phoned up the Property Division of the M.S.C.C. being a Saturday, Mike Webb who was in control of the Upper Reaches, was not about! 
With no help from Eastham and the Harbourmasters Office, Neil was just about to smash the padlock off, when we finally got through to Latchford Lock. Latchford is the next lock up from the Tidal Locks at Eastham and is the only other one that is manned. Irlam, Barton and Mode Wheel are operated by roving keepers. The Latchford Lock Keeper was expecting us the next day.  He and the roving lockies were the only reasonable employees of the M.S.C.C. we met. He said that he would get the locky team out immediately as obviously we had to get onto the Ship Canal, as we were due through his lock the next day. 
Within 15 minutes the van screeched to a halt (13.05) and within 10 minutes we were sailing out into the completely empty Pomona Dock No 3. We carried on up the feeder River Irwell and just kept going! At 13.40 we ground severely to a halt under New Bridge. This was the second bridge after the official head of navigation at Hunts Bank – the railway bridge. We had lunch at this point, sheltered from a thunderstorm, under the bridge! 
At 14.15 the storm had passed and the sun came out again. We reversed very gingerly back, picking our way through large concrete boulders, exactly the way we had come in. Just passed the footbridge after the rail bridge we managed a bumpy wind and slowly retreated down stream. We decided to go down stream passed Pomona Dock to view Mode Wheel Lock, where we were due at 07.00 on Monday morning. 
Turned round at Salford Quays at 15.05 and moored up for the night, just opposite Harry Ramsden’s, below the recently extended (widthways) Regent Bridge (15.30).  Julian and Danny arrived not soon after this. That night we all went out for a Chinese meal at the Little Ying Sang Restaurant in Manchester’s Chinatown - excellent.

Sunday 16th July 1995

We left the boat fairly early and wandered up to the nearest tram stop – destination the East Lancs Steam Railway at Bury! A good day was had out by all and on the way back to the boat Julian stopped off for some shopping at the nearby Sainsbury’s  - for a Julian mega boat meal! 
A rather relaxed evening was pent on the boat, blown out from Julian’s meal / wine. At 21.20 we decided to go on an evening cruise up the River Irwell. We just went as far as Hunt’s Bank (21.40) and re-moored on the same spot below Regent Bridge at 21.55. Colin and Neil had used a chain to a handy railing post the night before, because this area does not have a high salubrious factor! 
Fortunately we did the same this night, because at 02.00ish in the morning Colin was disturbed by a slight rattle of the mooring chain. He stuck his head through the side hatch and somebody ran off, having cut our stern rope!

 


The abandoned Hulme Locks exit onto the Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

Harry Ramsden's Fish and Chip Restaurant. Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

The extended Regent Bridge. Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

Woden Street Footbridge. Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

Looking down to Pomona Docks, to left. Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

Pomona Link Lock. Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

Old Dock, just above Princes Bridge. Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

Above Princes Bridge. Granada TV studios to right. Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

The restored lock in Granada TV studios grounds. Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

Irwell Street Bridge. Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

Mark Addy pub and Albert Bridge. Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

Mark Addy pub, looking back at Irwell Street Bridge. Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

Looking up at the new footbridge and Blackfriars Bridge. Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

The long wait to get down to the Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. Pomona Link Lock.

Pomona Link Lock, built at Rochdale Canal Trust's workshops.

Pomona Link Lock.

Pomona Link Lock.

We finally descend Pomona Link Lock.

Pomona Link Lock.Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

Heading up the Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

Coming out of Pomona Dock No3. Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

Heading up the Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

Approaching Regent Bridge. Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

Rail bridge and Princes Street Bridge. Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

Old Dock. Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

Approaching Irwell Street Bridge. Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

Irwell Street Bridge. Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

Mark Addy pub and Albert Bridge. Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

Albert Bridge. Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

New footbridge and Blackfriars Bridge. Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

Blackfriars Bridge. Victoria Bridge beyond. Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

Cathedral Approach Bridge. Salford Bridge and Hunts Bank beyond. Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

Passing Hunts Bank, going under railbridge. Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

Looking back from New Bridge to Hunts Bank. Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

Hunts Bank. Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

Coming back, Cathedral Approach Bridge. Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

Coming back, Victoria and Blackfriars Bridges. Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

The restored lock in the Granada TV Studio grounds. Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

End of a rather spiffing Julian E meal.

The late evening cruise up to Hunts bank. Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

The late evening cruise up to Hunts bank. Victoria Bridge and Manchester Cathedral. Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

Our (not too secure) moorings below Regent Bridge. Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

Just as well this was fitted! Upper Reaches of the M.S.C. / River Irwell. Manchester.

The Tour Continues...


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