Monday, 29 June 2009

Veterans Day in Manchester.

Britain has just started Veterans Day so Manchester was a bit slow off the Mark. The Police Band played all afternoon at Piccadilly Gardens.

The Army are Questioned.

The Veterans question (with the white hair ) the instructors in the Royal Marine Recruitment Drive Section about modern warfare.

The Royal Marines.

The Drill Instructors of the Royal Marines put their young recruits through a punishing bout of physical training in front of the crowds.

The Food Stalls.

A Round Piccadilly Gardens The Manchester Market Tents are selling food and goodies to the Vets and their families and general public.

The Manchester Markets.

As well as food being sold exotic plants and garden flowers are offered to the public.

Summer Bedding Plants.

There is no excuse to have a poor garden with all these plants for sale.

Sausage and Burger Stall.

Organic Sausages and Beef Burgers cooking on the stall smell really good. All served on a balm cake with home made plum sauce.(Great)

Any Body want a Balloon?

The Balloon Sellers do a roaring trade. Lets hope he can get them in his house when he goes home. LOL.

Lots of Water

Some of the Fountains are shut off so the extra pressure sends the waters 5ft to 6ft high.

Come On Dad.

Two little Girls are trying to get Dad in to the fountains. Dad is not falling for it. LOL.

The Fountains are Cool.

The little boy at the front has got his Manchester Cities Football Kit on. If you are boy in Manchester you are a United or City Supporter.

The Mums and Dads join in.

The grown ups join in, or are they trying to rescue their children before the high pressure starts again?

The Fountains are a Big Hit.

The Fountains in Piccadilly Gardens are a big hit with the children.

The Water is very Cooling.

The Fountain Waters go up and down in different patterns. They follow a program and are controlled by a computer.

Dancing Waters

The children can't wait to get in to the fountains. It's so warm that Mums Dads and Grandads are not bothered about them getting wet.

Friday, 26 June 2009

The Manchester Ship Canal.

The Boat is parked opposite building sites of the New BBC and ITV Studios which will opening very soon at Salford Keys. Cruises can be booked on Line at and Information can be had at The facilities on board include a licence bar also snacks, light refreshments and hot beverages. The trip is approximately 6 hours and the price includes return transport back to your departure point. The trip can also be done from Liverpool ( Albert Dock) to Salford Keys. Their is a "Live" comprehensive running commentary on each trip.

Our Transport to Liverpool.

This is our Transport down the Canal to Liverpool. The Royal Iris used to be the Ferry Boat that ran the New Brighton to the Pier Head Albert Dock for years. It's a bright day with bitterly cold east wind.

Approaching Mode Wheel Locks.

We have turned round and gently gliding towards the Mode Wheel Lock. The Water Pumping Tower is on the right hand side.

Entering the Locks

You can see the size of Mode wheel Lock. Two or Three medium boats can all get in the lock at the same time. The Strange Name of Mode came from a Water Wheel that was on the River Irwell round here. The Water Wheel was called Maude Wheel and over years of Mancunian Dialect has become Mode Wheel.

Mode Wheel Lock

The Lock Gates are Shut holding the Water to the Level that is in Salford Keys. The Canal water level is about 9ft lower.

The First of Five Locks.

The Lock at Mode Wheel has dropped the water down to canal level so we can start our journey down the Manchester Ship Canal to Liverpool from Salford Keys.

The Bridge is raised for us.

The Millennium Bridge in the Distance has Raised for Us to steam through.

One of the Latest Bridge

This is the Millennium Bridge which was opened by the Queen in the year 2000. It's a road bridge from Trafford Park to Eccles. Ample Room for large boats to go under. In the days of Manchester Liners some Liners had to take off their Funnels and leave them at Eastam Locks to come up the Canal.

Corn Flower from Grain

This is the Cerestar Plant which I believe makes Corn Flower and other products from Grain which comes up the Canal by Boat to their Wharf.

The Scrap Metal Yard.

On the Side of the Ship Canal there Piles of Scrap Metal waiting to be Shipped all over the world mostly to China I believe.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

The Road Swing Bridge and Canal Swing Bridge

The Swing Bridge for the Bridgewater Canal with Slides In Place to keep the Water in. The Barton Road Bridge is just Swinging open to let our Boat Through.

The Bridgewater Canal.

To the left of the Flag you can see the Bridge that carries the Bridgewater Canal over the Manchester Ship Canal. Slides are inserted to hold the water in the Bridgewater. The Swing Bridge for the Bridgewater Canal was Deemed to be one of the Seven Wonders of the World when it was first built ( 1899 )

Barton Swing Bridge

This the Barton Road Swing Bridge that used to cause mayhem with road traffic a few years ago. With the advent of the High Level Bridge the traffic is a lot less now.

High Level Bridge

This High Level Bridge carries the M60 Ring Road round Manchester and its Environments. Built to take the height of the tallest boats that come up the canal.

Under the High Level Bridge.

As we go under the High Level Motor Way Bridge we can see that the Graffiti Artists have been at work on the stanchions. Seven Men were killed building this Bridge.

Barton Lock

Barton Locks are the second set of locks on the Canal from Salford Docks and the same lock keepers attend the first three as they are only a few miles apart so they follow us down on their motor bikes. Because there is not a lot of traffic on the Canal these days they save money by only having one lock keeper for the three locks.

Irlam Locks

The lock gate is open so we can enter the lock. The tower on the right is a pumping station so that the water level can be adjusted to suit.

The Lock Gate Shut

As we sail in to the Irlam Locks the lower level in the Canal in front is about 8ft lower in dept. The Gate has to shut behind us so the level can be lowered in the lock.

The Lock Gate Opened

As the Forward Lock Gate opens we are on the level with lower part of the Canal. With the Rear Gate Shut to maintain the Higher Level behind us.

A higher view of the Mersey

This view is of the River Mersey as it goes over the Weir and drops into the Canal. As the Canal goes down through Cheshire there are other Brooks such as Glaze Brook drain in to the Canal.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Mersey goes over the Weir.

This is where the River Mersey runs in to the Canal over a Weir near Irlam Locks Both the Canal and the River continue together for several miles till the River goes over another Weir to the side and resumes it's course down to Liverpool. A clever idea as no matter how much water goes in to the Canal from the River the level in the Canal is maintained by the Lower Weir.

Container Port.

Peel Holdings the firm who own the Manchester Ship Canal and the Bridgewater Canal plus the Giant Trafford Shopping Center have started this New Container Port which is growing bigger yearly.

Tank Farm

These Tanks look like they are used for Chemicals, but I am reliable informed they are for imported wines in bulk which is then bottled off and sold in Super Markets across the country.

This Railway Bridge is Redundant

If you look closer in to the Photograph you can see that this Railway Bridge has been blocked by Shipping Containers on both sides of the bridge across the lines. I wonder why?

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

The Mersey parts from the Canal

The River Mersey joins the Canal just after Irlam Locks and this is where it parts company with the Canal to go over a Weir towards Runcorn where the Mersey is tidal. So the amount of water in the Canal is controlled keeping the depth constant.

The M6 Motorway.

We are now approaching the Thellwall Viaduct with the Double Bridge witch takes the M6 Motorway over the Canal.

Thelwall Viaduct.

The M6 Motorway Passes over the canal at this point. In the winter we get bad visibility and freezing temps so there is always big trouble on the motorway at this point.

The Dredger.

This is the latest of the Canal Dredging Boats at it's discharging station. The spoil is pumped out and dried. It can be used for building roads etc. The Canal depth is maintained at 38 ft deep. The idea being that any boat that can use the Suez Canal (26 ft deep) can use the Manchester Ship Canal.

Latchford Lock.

Looking down the canal as we approach Latchford Locks we can see a number of bridges ( Rail and Road swing bridges)

In to the Lock we go.

Entering the Lock at Latchford you can see the difference in the water level behind the gate.

Another Railway Bridge.

A Substantial Rail Bridge built by Victorian Engineering. The Union Jack is on the Prow of the Boat.

The Knutford Road Swing Bridge.

Roads were easier to cope with than Railways, Swing Bridges were built across the Canal and the Road Traffic stopped when the Canal was being used.

A Railway Bridge.

The Railways that cross the Canal all appear to go diagonally across it. This is because the Railways were built before the canal so the train lines went straight to their destination. The Bridges had to be built of course and the railway lines banked up from about one and a half miles on either side of the bridge. The spoil from digging the Canal was used for Banking.

The Power Station.

On the far Bank of the Mersey the Cooling Towers of the Fiddlers Ferry Power Station together with the associated pylons and power cables.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

The Mersey and the Canal

The Size of Runcorn Bridge is only apparent as you approach the bridge by the Canal. The River Mersey flows under the main span.