Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Rochdale 9 conquered–alone…

We set off from Castlefield at 8am this morning to beat the rush – we knew that 6 boats on a Cutweb Internet Boating Club gig were following us up at 10am and we wanted to be sure of a mooring at Piccadilly.  Sadly there were no other boats to share with so we did them alone.  I think this is the hardest flight we’ve ever done.  The paddle gear was often so stiff I couldn’t move it, and several of the locks had gate opening and closing mechanisms consisting of a couple of pulleys and chains as there is no room for a lock beam.  But we survived!  We are now moored on the pontoons just above the Ashton flight, amidst the Cutweb crowd (Rog has been a member since the early days when it Blacksheep) who are all around us.  They are a very friendly bunch, and they have invited us to join them for a Chinese tonight and we have accepted.  Just a word of warning to anyone planning on mooring here – there is no way out!  Luckily a judicious placing of a long boarding plank across a gap in the towpath under the bridge, and a very kind office building supervisor who had offered to open a gate for us has given us an escape path, otherwise there would have been no trip to the Chinese tonight!

SDC10546First of the Rochdale 9

SDC10549The world-famous Canal Street

SDC10551Rog using the gate opening mechanism


The other end of Canal Street – a bar at one end called G-A-Y and this bar at the other – not too obvious then!

SDC10554Subterranean lock

SDC10556Cutweb gig

1.4 miles and 9 locks

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