The Pumpkin In The Room. 2nd June

Plank Lane to almost Dunham School Bridge, Bridgewater Canal

Our start was delayed by Mick having to return the car to Enterprise this morning. As I worked on a couple of new ideas for panto, scribbling them down in my sketch book John was sending through new ideas and new excerpts from the script. I had to pause to read through what he was sending and adjust things accordingly.

Once Mick was back we soon were ready to push off. It suddenly got very busy! NB Petroc was pulling in for water and then most probably to use the bridge. As we pulled out another two boats approached, one immediately taking our mooring the other pulling in behind the line of moored boats.

Being on the flat for a few days it’s time for me to take advantage of not being needed to work locks or bridges and crack on with work. A planned place to pull up for lunch was agreed, this would coincide with a zoom meeting with John.

I stayed up top to pass Pennington Flash a very popular mooring, we’d have moved up last night if there hadn’t been the car to return. Then it was time to scan images, add a few new references to folders I’ve shared with John, all the time keeping an eye open as to where we were. In Leigh I popped up top as we said farewell to the Leeds Liverpool and hello to the Bridgewater Canal, you now have to book your passage on the C&RT website before entering.

Marsh Orchid?

Mick pulled Oleanna into the bank at 12:40 right alongside what I thought were orchids. My meeting went well, just a couple of small adjustments and things I want to alter when I make the white card model. We’ve come up with a slightly different idea regarding the coach, normally the design is based around a pumpkin, well I’m not going to say anymore as I don’t want to spoil it for those who’ve already booked tickets.

Cruising through builders tea

No stopping here or the day, we have a schedule to keep up with and today we needed to skirt round Manchester. A boat came past just as we were ready. This chap was cruising whilst his dog followed him along on the towpath. The boat’s speed left something to be desired! We trundled along in and out of gear following.

Tilly likes the drawing board

With my drawing board set up on the dinette table I got on with sketching out a groundplan and trying to solve problems I’ve given myself. The flying bars just aren’t quite in the right place and an angled wall is a touch annoying, but I’ll get there.

Landmarks still need to be seen. Worsley with it’s half timbered building and orange water. There were a couple of interesting boats moored at the boatyard and photos were being taken of a wedding party.

Very blue today

I managed a photo of the lighthouse and then made sure I waved towards our friend Cat who lives just by the M602. Then it was time to be back up on deck as we approached the Barton Swing Aqueduct, thankfully no ships were passing on the Ship Canal today so we could cross without a long wait.

On the far side of the aqueduct a boat faced us, a zoom in with the camera showed that it was moored to the bridge bollards, hope it’s left enough space for a widebeam to get past!

Onwards past the Trafford Centre to Waters Meeting. I bobbed my head out of the bow doors to make sure Mick would be turning right. Just because I’m working doesn’t mean I can shirk my navigational duties.

Not THE facade

Mick thinks there were more boats moored on the Bridgewater than he remembers, meaning our progress was slower. Through Sale and on to Altringham where I bobbed back outside again so that I could see what has happened with the development at the Linotype Works. The clock tower still stands and the base of a chimney, but where was the frontage? Had they removed the writing?

He doesn’t like them either!

No, the iconic building which was going to be converted into flats was deemed not structurally sound, so had to be taken down. The developers are going to rebuild it using as much of the original materials as possible as it’s a listed building. Have to say we don’t think a lot of the new builds surrounding it, in fact they are pretty ugly from the canal, maybe they are more eye pleasing from the road.

This has potential!

Not far now, we’d wanted to moor near to Dunham Massey tonight, but time was ticking on. So as soon as we reached somewhere green enough without a nearby road we pulled in and gave Tilly three quarters of an hour of shore leave. At first she didn’t think much of it, too many runners and woofers. But then she must have discovered the meadow behind the fence, she was gone for quite a while. I heard her bell, only to find that she’d found a friend to bring home. A badly timed walker on the towpath meant Tilly headed for Oleanna where the front doors were open and a chink in the cratch cover allowed her access! Damn!!!

Soon after we’d settled in we were joined by another three boats, at least one setting up a barbecue. We settled for Crispy Lemon stir fried chicken.

0 locks, 18.8 miles, 2 canals, 1 right, 1 aqueduct, 1 wave to Cat, 1 thumbs up, 1 pumpkin in the room, 1 sketch groundplan, 2 portals drawn up, 1 iconic building gone, 1 friend or should I say starter! 1 almost Mrs Tilly stamp of approval.

One thought on “The Pumpkin In The Room. 2nd June

Comments are closed.