We had arranged with CRT for them to unlock the pump out at 11am. It isn’t a standard waterways padlock as they had to use that one on the gate. Unfortunately (for us) the widebeam behind us decided to move one boat length this morning occupying the water point and pump out mooring with no sign of using either. At 10.45am I knocked on the side of the boat and politely asked them to move. We then reversed back and completed the necessary action. By 11.20am we were on our way to our RV with CRT at the top of the Stanley Dock Branch flight of locks.
There are some very cheerful locals with the one walking away in the photo below calling out a warm greeting and then throwing us sweets.
There is however another side and we passed a CRT barge full of litter removed from the canal. Moreover, behind it on the open ground was an even larger pile of litter.
At one point we passed a pod of four adult tyres spawning in the canal. Later a mother tyre and calf narrowly avoided us.
I did wonder what the large cast iron ramps on the non towpath side would have been used for and was informed by one of the CRT staff that it was the location of the old Liverpool sewage collection point. At that time Liverpool didn’t have sewerage pipes and the collected human waste was transported to the canal by horse and cart where it was loaded onto canal boats. The boats transported the waste into the countryside where it was spread on the farmers fields.
Into the last lock
I’ve used an extract from Paul Balmer’s Waterway Routes Map to show you our route through the docks to our mooring in the centre of Liverpool.
The red line is the gps trace of our route. The red arrow points to “Sid’s Ditch” and the blue arrows point to the locations where CRT assist with the passage. As you cruise down the length of Salisbury Dock the largest red brick building in the world is on your right. One of the CRT staff told us it had been used for scenes in numerous TV shows and films, including a recent James Bond.
The design of Regents Road lift bridge looks very similar to the bridge across the Royal Canal in Dublin.
Beyond it is the Grade II listed Victoria Clock Tower which has eight sides and was built as an aid to shipping by providing accurate time for arriving and departing ships.
Towards the end of the dock there was a suspicious fellow hanging around.
There is a left turn at the end of Salisbury Dock and you cross Trafalgar Dock to enter “Sid’s Ditch”.
This is a new piece of waterway constructed as part of the Liverpool Link. The mayor of Liverpool opened this new piece of link by travelling down it in a boat and it was officially declared a new ‘channel’. However the route was checked and tested prior to the official opening using a CRT work boat. The steerer was a long serving local CRT employee named Sid who declared it to be nothing more than a ditch. So it’s “Sid’s Ditch”
From this point the route takes a slight dogleg with buoys to starboard (the right) and then to port (the left) before reaching another lock where CRT assist you through you then enter a new tunnel with two bends in it.
Looking back from the lock
Looking back on entering the tunnel
Slightly blurred photo as we twist through the tunnel. This is followed by a second, shorter tunnel and the final lock. Between these two tunnels we got our first good look at the Royal Liver Building
Then there was a statue to one of my ancestors. Well it said Jones on the plinth!
The last lock leads into Canning Dock.
Where the route then takes you in a zigzag through Albert Dock to Salthouse Dock
power gives way to sail
The pump house
A turn to port to enter Albert Dock. This area has obviously gone through a major redevelopment.
Under the bridge and into Salthouse Dock where our mooring was waiting on the far side.
Waiouru is behind the blue boat
After mooring up the first job was to go down the weed hatch and remove the collection of urban jellyfish. There’s shore power and water to the mooring and CRT collect the rubbish from the stern Mon – Fri. It should be an interesting week.