#34 Bridgewater Canal – East. July 2016



Monday 18th July 2016      nb:Black Bart has cruised from Pennington Flash into Leigh for a vital restock of a major source of life in Bart World. Likely similar in your world too folks. Sustenance in various forms, textures, colours, aromas & tastes. Tis what we often (but not always) call food. We soon leave the clear (almost) waters of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal behind as Bart appears from the shadow of Leigh Bridge,


swimming into the, yes almost clear watery flow of the Bridgewater Canal. Following a slow aqua delay Lister is making one’s most joyful thrumming (or is that thrumbing)  (one never seems to know) which is an absolute pleasure compared to many a craft we experience. Only in passing thankfully. Such a ‘din’ these beasts let out as they fly along these watery arteries of our glorious island. Bart glides through the water to the gentle beat of Lister. There are many worse tings one could spend hours listening to as the world passes by. Wakey wakey !!  It’s OK helmsperson hasn’t fallen asleep. Although tis a Very Relaxing this lark as noted in the log.

Our long craft makes graceful progress past the old mills & factories which are still with us. Hopefully to remain so too.


A splendid beast of a Barge statically passes Bart Port side.

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Wood. Crew spies tree parts. Gone past now, but Bart is clever & reverses, then moors. Far too much. Could get carried away but all in moderation. Just a few tittle bits then. A small start to winter requirements. Need to think ahead in this world. Bart World. You may have to think ahead in your world(s) too. Sure you do. You must.


Back from the world of elves & toadstools & the such. Bart enjoys a most pleasant swim eventually mooring a tittle way past Astley Green


in the shadow of the local collieries.

Tuesday 19th July      Memories of a Most Wonderful Lady are here with us even more than usual & we know, are there with many of you too. We all know who our crew are talking & thinking about. Although Bart never unfortunately had the ‘direct’ pleasure of her company we are sure she is with us here in Bart World from time to time. As she is no doubt with you too.


Today it is Hot HOT HOT. Yes indeed. No cruising today. enjoy reading time relaxing in a chair &/or laying down in the luscious green grass that adorns the canal bank. Those pictures are definitely not for viewing. It is just like being on Holiday & you would likely become an incy-wincy (spider) bit jealous. Mayhaps ??  Too risky in any case.

& to end a Most Wonderful of Summer Day’s

Glasses are raised to a Wonderful Soul. Chink !  CHINK !!  CHINK !!!



Wednesday 20th July      A brief dampening wakes us a tittle bit early. Just some rain peoples. nothing else to see. Move along please….  We successfully manage a wee bite moor of thy slumbering. Eventually arised, we enjoy a most splashy & refreshingly soggy shower. One each. Soo much to spare. An extravagance there is no doubt. Certainly makes the air in ‘ere feel much fresher too. Hot & sticky yesterday. Lovely. Hot & sticky last night too. Crew is sure you know what tis like.


After much deliberation. Should we go & should we stay now….  Bart makes the decision for us with Lister’s helpful assistance. Our Lovely Barge (as some towpath called Bart today) makes deliberate efficient progress through the long straights that come in thick & fast as we chug steadily toward another North-West Powerhouse of our green & pleasant land. Soon, Worsley water is all aroand us. That rusty looking colouration seeping from those mines leading int’ depths of rock, down there by the Delph. nb:Black Bart waves to the Delph as we turn the sharp right,



creeping up on the graving (dry) docks


& soon sailing past the very enlightening tower. Although not totally convinced as to it’s effectiveness, even in these ‘ere dark and murky waters. Bart &


crew are ‘fast’ approaching the Manchester Ship Canal. Fortunately for our Merry band the un-swung Barton aqueduct provides a masterful vantage point, if only for a few moments in time. The last stretches of the BwC Leigh Branch/arm are uneventful as Lister, old’ prop & friends are thrumbing their watery way through the business world of Trafford Park. Many an important decision & much skilled workmanship (& workwomanship) is muchly experienced behind those high faces, dark reflective windows & factory walls, whether they be brick or just some other opaque substance or material. We is all finally at the ‘waters meeting’ as the junction is called. Bart makes a snap decision to turn South (right). The Wrong Way you Fool. But. Black Bart is no one’s fool. You should know better than that Me Hearties. Aaaarrrggh !!!  ‘Cause Black Bart is a……  Yes you guessed write. A Pirate.  Aaaarrrggh !!!

We ‘sail’ on for a wee while (a nautical term) passing Stretford & the many moored fellows & lasses of Watch House Cruising Club. A noisy brute of an M60 flies across above us & our historical barge-way. Some winding practise (not of the gaseous variety) (it’s not Roxy we’re talking aboat here) (turning, if you want to learn) ensues at a ‘winding hole’. Bart returns to & moores by the WHCC. Good position. Mooring rings are provided too. Makes a pleasant change. No need for the four big mooring pins & that big clump hammer thing. We settle in for the night. The locals seem nice. The towpath is extremely busy with runners & even moor cyclists. A bit precarious for our dozy vehicular unaware pooch. No accidents this time fortunately. Freaked her & us out when such did occur on the Shroppie a few weeks back.

Thursday 21st July      Today we are off almost early-ish.


Bart is very good, waiting for oncoming craft before we wave our goodbyes to the WHCC. Thank you !!  We retrace our ‘steps’ (or should that be strokes) back to the junction. From ‘ere we shall pretend we have just transferred from the Leigh Branch to the main line of the Bridgewater Canal & turned North towards the Big old Smoke that be Manchester. The city approaches by our chosen waterway


are a varied cacophony of sights & sounds. Although not what one might describe as unpleasant. Just different, from our mostly countryside based living of Bart World.



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Hey you! Don’t feed those perishers.


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nb:Black Bart & crew have arrived safely, moored in Castlefield Quay. A Lovely tittle arm just at the end of the Bridgewater Canal. Perfect for a couple of days we thinks.

Following refreshment & much needed rest our crew of three are off for a walk.



There be an abundance of bridges in this ‘ere city, but this ‘ere posting be not abridged.



There be amazing views,

architectural marvels,

construction genius

& fabulous artistry

in all directions as you walk

historical & modern paths of this

Magical City. Manchester.



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& such sounds in artistic talent.

A wander over the MSC & we enjoy the ‘promenade’. Roxy enjoys running up & down the prom, to & from/between ‘ma’ & ‘pa’.


The picture does not do Knott Mill Station justice. Shame aboat the new sign.


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This ‘ere modern structure be a design project declined by

skip in a previous (don’t mention the ‘w’ word) life.



An eclectic array

of old & new.

Some fine buildings.

Some strange constructions.

But it works.



Over four miles later we all make it back, returned to our Lovely Home Bart. An Orion Narrowboat crafted masterpiece with some inventive ‘mid-life’ alterations.

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We have new neighbours moored just astern of Bart. Fun & Frolics ensue.

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Roxy has a new friend. Douglas ‘Duggy’ the Collie.

Friday 22nd July      Good Morning Peeps. Following our exhausting hike of yesterday & all that city noise we need a lie-in this morn. After much needed rest & the usual ablutions & clothing & foody type tings Crew are ready for the day.



We go a-walking through Manchester taking the Rochdale Canal route. After many & many miles of exercise much needed refreshment is delightfully received at the Vivid Lounge, just there by the Ashton Canal. Yes we have swam across to the udder waterway now. Stay with us. Don’t get confused. Told you. Walked for ages & ages. Roxy enjoys her fresh water too. Now for a smidge of the Ashton Canal towpath through the lovely Piccadilly Village before heading back through Manchester.

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There be an abundance of Fabulous Buildings.

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Fantastic Architectural Brilliance.P1140609

Too many to show you lot.

However many of ‘you’ there be, we will never know.

Just ‘ave to come ‘ere yourself mate.




A much needed rest

in a lovely tittle Park.

Roxy has some fun stick

chasing & munching

Yes she has come too.

Told you that earlier.

Please pay attention.




A very important chap

is commemorated

in Sackville Gardens.

Check up on him if you not know…..


Off we go again. Working our weary way ‘down’ to Castlefield.


Moor Magnificence.


Just a taster for any interested parties. Just the tip so to speak.

Over four miles again. Fab. Back to Bart/Home now for chilling time.

Saturday 23rd July      We is even moor tired with another (second) long hike yesterday. Skip is listening to the cricket many miles away at Old Trafford. Rooooooooot is batting Magnificently as he tends to muchly of the time. Even better than his Skip.


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Our udder Skip is off to check out the moor commercial side of the city. See what it’s up to. Chill Man….

Sunday 24th July      Howdy Partners. Bloggers too. Weather the last few days has been pretty darned Good. It has to be recorded in the log. & even in the blog. Today we awake to overcastness & even some rain. Not much. Until later when Manchester (and udder places too, possibly) receives few separate drenchings. That be OK. We have all been wet before. & we is not even helming today so, Ha !!  we say to that. Likely get us back sometime in the very near future though. One day or several days soon mayhaps.


Crew of two (poochy not invited) visit MOSI.

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Museum of Science & Industry which proudly celebrates Manchester’s

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& the wider North-West for it’s Magnificence as a Major Power House for the industrial revolution amongst udder tings.


Many a Fine display, picture, artefact there is here.



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This beauty – Fantastic to listen to & watch

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Myriad of Machines of Wonder.

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Model of an engineering workshop (partly) driven by a double-acting Watt-type stationary steam engine. Incredible !!!


Textiles. The demonstration & combined explanation of the manufacturing processes to transform cotton from the plant to a very strong twisted fine thread from which wonderers can be woven. This part of the world used to produce the vast majority of the world’s cotton. Only a mere smidge of a shadow is left, unfortunately. What went wrong ??


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Vast arrays of Vehiculars from small to Large to Enormous. Two wheels. Three wheels. Four wheels. Moor wheels than that on some.


One of the first Joys from Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

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Avro Shackleton. Blooming Marvellous !!    Scaled down test aircraft for proving the viability of the Absolutely Fantastic !!!  Avro Vulcan jet aircraft.


Beauties that can ‘leap’ into the air & ‘float’ through the blue (sometimes) (certainly not today) sky above.

A Fantastic Day. Can only say if you ain’t yet. One day you should, if you could. We is saying no moor than that tittle bloggetts.

Off for some fine Ale. Thirsty work this tourism game we play today. Not our usual sort of caper. Blooming expensive in our first port of call. We’s be off to quench one’s & an udder one’s (we are two ya’no) thirst a tittle further at a moor reasonably priced watering hole. We even stretch to a fine feast of steak&kidney pudding (Yummy Yummy in one’s Tummy) & a succulent breast of chicken in a Brioche (Yummy Yummy in one’s Tummy too). Fantastic Chips & healthy Salad on the side. Super-b !  !!  !!!


Off to Bart now to the amazingly Happy Nutty Greeting of our Darling Poochy Roxy.

Monday 25th July      nb:Black Bart is a right Lert this morning. Lister & friends too. Crew are close(ish) behind…… Lines slipped & Lister is ‘driving’ Bart slowly forward by 7.45am. Haven’t cruised this early for a while. Lots to do crew. Wonder how far our Bart will manage to swim today……

We gently ‘free-wheel’ our curvy way our of the fine Castlefield Quay, across the junction into Potato Wharf, towards Castlefield Bowl for the fresh aqua. Our first choice tap to the left, just past the bridge ahead is ‘running’ dry. Frustrating !!  Bart swishes across t’uther side to an udder tap. Can’t get as close, but at least this one is wet & has a long hose attached. Very handy. Full & ready to go. Backwards. Skippet is off (on foot) to prepare the first lock of the day.


Bart reverses back out the wharf past the moored boats, round the curvy bend under the bridges.

Turning the opposite way (still astern) (of course) to finally face East.

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Great timing !!!   Bottom gates opening just as Bart is moving forward again. Can be Fun (interesting) sometimes. This astern lark. This experience was an absolute pleasure. Didn’t embarrass oneself. Doesn’t always ‘flow’ so well. We are entering Dukes Lock, leaving the delightful clear waters of the Bridgewater Canal.




Black Bart has cruised East to Manchester from Leigh at the ‘Waters Meeting’ with the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, swimming 14 miles of the contourishly, wide & lock-free Bridgewater Canal otherwise known as “Dukes Cut”, gliding over an ‘underbridge’, chugging over not one strange channel called aqueduct, Flying over the Manchester Ship Canal in the amazing Barton Swing Aqueduct, sailing along hardly any embankments & passing under 45 bridges.

One thought on “#34 Bridgewater Canal – East. July 2016

  1. Brought beck memoried of Manchester visited many moons ago. I saw Mis Summer Nights Dream at the theatre in the round inside The Corn Exchange. And of course visited the Science Museum on another occasion with you boys when you were young.

    Liked by 1 person

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