Sunday, 3 April 2016

Spring Adventure Week 4

Parbold to Liverpool Salthouse Dock

Monday 28th March - we chose to start a little later today as we were hoping to miss the remnants of Storm Katie.  Set off late morning and it soon began to rain very heavily indeed.  Dave was steering and the water was dripping off his coat!!!

Pulled over at the junction with The Rufford Branch in order to put on water. Unfortunately the water flow was very slow, so we sat for over half an hour waiting for the tank to fill!!

Cruised through Burscough where some enormous wide beam working boats were moored.

By the bridge in Burscough there is a full range of facilities for boaters - water point, toilets, showers, disposal points, rubbish disposal.  

On this stretch of the canal there are a lot of swing bridges and they all seem to work differently.  Some are fully automatic - put in the key, press the button and it all happens for you.  Some are semi-automatic, put in the key, but you have to close the road barriers, then press the key and it all happens.  Others are hand operated - unlock the mechanism and then push the bridge open.  It has taken us a while to get used to all the different methods!!

We finally arrived at Ship Bridge near Haskayne and moored up for the night.  A beautiful view from the boat - as it got darker we could make out the glow of the lights of Liverpool - our destination!!

Tuesday 29th March - set off this morning in brilliant sunshine.  The wind had died down and the rain from overnight had stopped.  

We passed Downholland Hall Farm and loved the great mullioned windows.  This building predates the canal by 40 years and was originally the venue of the annual Court Leet at which the Lord of the Manor would preside over matters of tenantry.  

Some swing bridges are left open and we can cruise straight through.

Some don't work and we had to wait for Canal and River Trust personnel to reset the mechanism.  Edith May had been waiting for over an hour when we arrived!!!

We pulled over in Maghull and visited the local shop to fill up our cupboards and then continued on our way to bridge 10 just south of the village of Melling.   Here we shall spend the evening before preparing for our final descent into Liverpool!!!

Wednesday 30th March - today we start  the final section of our voyage down into Liverpool.  

We set off for bridge 9 which is a swing bridge that can only be operated by Canal and River Trust (C&RT).


We were met by our team - Paul, Mike and Mike who stayed with us all through our cruise and worked all the swing bridges and locks for us.  They were fantastic!!

We saw the famous Canal Turn jump of the Grand National steeplechase at Aintree Racecourse.

Also spotted our first ducklings of the year as we were waiting for the swing bridge in Netherton to be opened.

Several old warehouses still line the canal as we make our through Bootle and Sandhills.  This is Bank Hall where water was taken from the canal to fill the tanks and tenders of the steam locomotives on the Lancashire and Yorkshire railway.

This is the remains of the manure wharves where boats used to fill with human waste and take it to the farmlands of West Lancashire where it was used as a fertilizer.  Fascinating!!!

We then reached the four locks known as Stanley Dock Locks and we met up with our team from C&RT again.  These locks take us down onto the Liverpool Link, a new canal that was officially opened in 2009.

At the bottom of the locks there is the enormous tobacco warehouse which is still waiting to be renovated.  This warehouse is the largest brick built building in the country, nothing apart from bricks was used in its construction!  

We headed towards the hexagonal Victoria Clock Tower with clocks on all six faces, so that you could see the time from all directions.  The only other clock similar to this can be found in Russia.

The first glimpse of the Liver building with it's famous Liver birds on the top of the building.  The female bird faces out towards the Mersey watching the seamen return home and the male bird faces towards the city looking for the city pubs - or so they say!

We continued on our way until we got to Salthouse Dock where we moored up for the next week.  

The famous four - The Beatles - are all over the city of Liverpool.  I couldn't resist the chance to have my photo standing with them!!

These are two of the iconic buildings on the water front the Royal Liver building and the Cunard Building.

The third building is the Port of Liverpool Building and the three together are known as the Three Graces.

The new building on Tithebarn Street is part of the John Moore University of Liverpool.  It was originally Liverpool Polytechnic where I was a student back in the 1970's.

This is the original entrance to the Cavern Club where the Beatles used to play before they became famous.  It no longer exists - 

but 100m up the road is the entrance to the current Cavern Club where many famous bands and soloists have played.

The bunkering service from Liverpool Marina arrived to fill us up with diesel. Craig delivered the diesel on his boat and had a few problems coming alongside because of the wind in the dock. 

So far we have visited the Maritime Museum, Liverpool Museum, Tate Liverpool and taken the ferry across the Mersey.  We intend staying here until next Wednesday, but the forecast is looking very windy for Wednesday and Thursday so we might extend our stay until Friday.

Finally - Liverpool Salthouse Dock at night.

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