This is a notorious flight of locks heading out of Manchester (for us, into Manchester if you're coming the other way). We haven't tackled this flight before and were a bit apprehensive, talk of very stiff paddles and gates and druggies and drunks along the flight.
Leaving the peace and security of Castlefield this morning at 7:30am, we were heading up the flight. To open the first lock it wasn't a case of pushing, or pulling, on a beam, but there was a chain on a pulley which seemed to work quite well, we came across a few of these along the flight. LJ and James in the lock and I started to fill it noticing the pound above seemed a little low, when they got to about half way up the pound was getting lower, the level in the lock slightly rising and water gushing through the bottom gates. We needed to let more water down to the pound so I went up a couple of locks letting it through whilst James attempted to get in touch with CRT to inform them, but as it was Saturday he couldn't get hold of anyone. Eventually we managed to get LJ out of the lock and the pound had risen a few inches, well at least I couldn't see the tops of the many cones in the canal.
|Chain gear to open lock|
We made it through to the second lock with the water level in the next pound on the low side due to flooding some down, but I had gone up a few locks to let water down so it wasn't too bad. The rest of the flight was ok water wise and yes there were some stiff paddles but the gates were ok to open and close, but the whole flight was a bit sorry for itself, I have never seen so much rubbish and a lot of people must have gone home bare footed - so many floating shoes and it had a very neglected feel about it. We did pass one guy who was having a sleep on the lock landing under a bridge but we managed to get by without disturbing him.
|This building one side ....|
|And this the other|
|Passing through The Gay Village|
|Guess these steps once led to the road|
|There's a lock under there - the worst part of the flight|
|Passing by an old mill|
|Every lock gate held the rubbish|
We continued on passing the right turn for the Ashton Canal and up two further locks arriving in New Islington Marina.
|Moored at New Islington Marina|
Hopefully all being well The Ashton 18 tomorrow, where I think we have to be careful of kids throwing things at us - an early start I think.
1.75 miles and 11 locks
TOTAL 308 miles and 174 locks