Saturday, August 13, 2016

Making our way off the Bridgewater Canal

 Moving on from Pennington Flash on Thursday morning, we hurried through Leigh, which is less beautiful. Worsley is a colourful, characterful corner of the Bridgewater Canal, and almost the only part of it Grace seems to like! We stopped to get milk here. There is one shop. A newsagent, though it does sell a small range of other stuff. Including milk. Very small bottles only!

Just across the canal from where we moored is a boatyard advertising that it sells Calor Gas. We drove across, and I bought a bottle, swapping it out with the empty one from the deck of a barge 50 yards further on, with our prow sticking out rather obstructively into the centre of the canal. It was another quiet day on the water, though, so we inconvenienced no-one. We only met four boats in the whole day.
The result of too-late a cuppa?

Not easy to see, but this juvenile heron has a rat in its beak!
We were on the look-out for a Bridgewater Company employee noting our presence on their waters, and today we spotted him, photographing us with his phone and tapping in details – our name and number, no doubt. Would someone now flag us down and demand payment for having returned to their canal before the required 28 days had passed, or would my email conversations with Head Office have persuaded them not to press charges?

We passed again over the Manchester Ship Canal, mighty but shipless. How often do they have to swing this bridge to allow the passage of big ships? we wondered.
The Trafford (shopping) Centre
The canal through Trafford Park was a potential stopping-place for us, but as we cruised along, it became clear that is was less desirable than we had hoped. The concrete canal edge and footpath was a major part of the problem. How would we actually tie up the boat? We moved on, bearing right off the Leigh Branch at the junction with the Manchester junction, and down through Stretford and the sprawl of Sale. 

Beyond Sale, the canal winds out into lovely, welcome countryside, and we moored for the night at a beautiful spot in Dunham Massey.

Still no problem from the Bridgewater Company.


  1. Surely the Bridgewater Co. if they contact C&RT for your details they (C&RT) must refuse to divulge them as they are bound by the provisions of the data protection act, so unless the enforcement chappy actually catches up with you before you rejoin the canal network I can't see how they can invoice you ! ??

    1. You're right, Alf. I really don't think they've given the whole license issue any proper thought. I'm sure I won't be hearing from them, and I'm sure lots of boaters going through will slip through their net - it has such big holes!