Saturday, 23 April 2016

Wigan to Plank Lane

An interesting (and slightly surprising) comment from reader Laurie Williams regarding my query regarding yesterday’s post and the possibility about a canal junction once existing at Parbold.  Laurie suggested I research “Parbold Graving Dock”.  It appears this was originally planned as a canal junction with a canal heading towards Leyland.  Well I didn’t know where Leyland was on the map and had to look.  The canal was never built and the start at Parbold was converted into a large graving dock and wharf.


So Leyland is more than a model of truck Smile  Would I be correct in assuming the plan was for the canal to Leyland to connect to the Lancaster Canal?

Oh… my surprise about the comment from Laurie is that he is in far west New South Wales.  I might have expected a comment from a local, but a comment from almost outback Australia!

This morning Jan and I walked into Wigan to collect the last of our mail.  Whilst she did the important task I took photos in the hope one might be reasonable.


We had a late departure and by 1pm I was feeling hungry.  We’d made a large quantity of piklets two days ago so I decided to eat a few before they went mouldy. Unfortunately we are currently carrying a large male rodent and when I opened the home baking tin I found……


I should have drowned him at birth.

It was an uneventful cruise to Plank Lane where there is a small boating community.  No doubt due to the services, proximity of shops and the car park.

IMG_9680There is a new housing sub-division under construction here.  It looks like every home will have solar panels.

IMG_9679There’s a large open area of water beside the lift bridge which looks like it might be a marina someday.  I went for a walk after dinner and that day may be getting closer as this banner was tied to the boundary fence.

IMG_9681There is a plan of the marina here.

I do wonder how long it will be before this boat is sunk.  I’ve gone from being sad to annoyed about sunken boats.  So many of them seem to be abandoned yoghurt pots.  This one isn’t displaying a licence or boat number.  I guess it will be CRT who eventually pays to cost of removing it.



Don McCoskrie said...

I recently watched Tony Robinson's Walking Through History episode "The Way to Wigan Pier" where he investigates the construction and history of the Leeds to Liverpool Canal. At Parbold the canal was originally going to travel north to access supplies of limestone, continuing on to Leeds, and a spur to Wigan for coal. After a pause in construction, due to lack of funds, coal became more important and the northern route was abandoned.

Jim said...

You might be interested in this extract from a leaflet published by the Leeds & Liverpool Canal Society as far as the Parbold - Leyland route is concerned:

The canal between Parbold and Dean was originally
known as Leigh’s Cut after the main owner of the old
Douglas Navigation, which was in operation from
1741 to 1781. The canal opened from Liverpool to
Parbold in 1774, when Parbold was intended to be a
canal junction, with the main line of the canal from
Liverpool continuing to Leyland on a line through the
dry dock. From Leyland, the canal was to follow the
Ribble Valley, crossing the Calder by a large aqueduct
at Whalley, and reaching the canal’s summit level at
Foulridge through Padiham. At Parbold, a branch
canal — Leigh’s Cut — gave access to the Douglas
Navigation at Dean. The canal’s route was changed
in 1794, and today the branch canal is the main line,
providing a route to Wigan and the ‘new’ 1794 route. It
is the reason for the sharp bend at Parbold, as this was
designed as the junction between the two canals.

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Don,

So no planned link to the Lancaster Canal. Obviously I need to watch more TV :-)



Tom and Jan said...

Jim, That is so informative I'm going to use it in full when I next write a post. Thank you