Friday, 14 October 2016

Wheelock to Kidsgrove

I went for a walk up the Wheelock Flight yesterday evening.  CRT are working on one of the bottom locks.  They were working on the flight when we passed this way at the beginning of the year so it must be an ongoing maintenance project.  Most of the locks are twins which means they don’t have to close the flight.  I took the following photos in the dark and continue to be impressed with the ability of the Canon lens to capture light.

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CRT services at Wheelock

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Chamber walls have been repaired and new bottom gates fitted.

Jan awoke very early and as a consequence we were cruising before 7.30am.  Being the first to move meant a number of the locks were in our favour.  The fourth lock of the day (Clear Water Lock) gave me a nasty surprise when Waiouru was dragged forward by the current created  in filling the lock.  Jan had only raised one paddle but the current was so powerful that despite my best efforts it was dragging Waiouru rapidly forward.  Jan managed to half lower the one paddle allowing me to regain some control.

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I don’t recall the locks being this vicious when we were last this way and wonder if it’s a result of the refurbishment program.

Our first sighting of Mow Cop on the skyline occurred above Longcroft Lock. (spelt it right this time Halfie)

IMG_1006We were going to moor for the day above Church Top Lock but a hire boat full of happy Germans was working with us so we elected to keep going  There was only one boat on the 48 hour moorings at Red Bull and whilst we stopped it was only for water.  After 7 hours of cruising and locks we eventually called it a day (a long day for us) above Limekiln Lock.  Jan did rather well working us up through 25 locks.  One more lock and we’ll be on the summit pound.  Then it’s all downhill to Salford Junction.

My thanks to Paul and Alf for yesterday’s blog comments.  The name of the subdivision appears to be partially derived from the site which was previously occupied by the Albion Chemical Works.  Some of the products manufactured there include caustic soda and hydrochloric acid.  Alf is very knowledgeable regarding the local history and his information enabled me to do some further investigating.  The new sub-division will comprise of  dwellings under the “Affordable Housing Scheme”.  33% of the homes will be allocated to public housing.  One document I read stated the contaminated land had been satisfactorily decontaminated.  I wonder how many potential buyers will research the history of the site; and if they do; would they purchase one of the homes. 

6 comments :

Richard said...

You are going too fast for me!! Have got to Penkridge!! May take a slight detour to Little Haywood before then going back to Stone. Am sure our paths will cross somewhere!!

Halfie said...

Oh dear, did I pick you up on your spelling? I can't remember now! But are you sure you mean Salford Junction? In Birmingham? I can't see a route there which doesn't involve going uphill.

Tom and Jan said...

Richard you will be in the same general area and we are now going to start slowing down. Our paths will meet.

Halfie, I believe Salford Junction is also known as Spaghetti Junction? If so; I think it's all downhill from Stoke?

Halfie said...

Yes, Salford Junction is underneath Spaghetti Junction. The most direct way from Stoke on Trent is via Fradley and Fazeley; it's downhill to Fradley and level to Fazeley, but from there it's up the Curdworth and Minworth Locks. Going via Wolverhampton involves going up the 21 locks there. At least they're all narrow locks!

Tom and Jan said...

Damned. There was me thinking it was down from Fazeley. Don't tell my Jan

Halfie said...

OK, I won't let on. The Curdworth flight is delightful; don't tie up too tightly if you moor up in the pound by the Dog and Doublet as it tends to go down overnight. There are good quiet moorings (on piling) at Minworth Greaves before Minworth Green Bridge. Before that Curdworth itself is a village with one or two interesting old buildings and the White Horse pub for reasonable food. Look out for the (roadside) Drome Café as you go up the Minworth Locks. It has an extensive all day breakfast menu if you like that sort of thing (I do!).