Thursday, 23 July 2015

Runcorn and The Manchester Ship Canal

Last night we moored at the Devils Garden with the aim of continuing down the Weaver today then turn around and head back to the Anderton boat lift and moor where we did the first night on the river.  The first few miles towards Runcorn were very rural. The valley was widely spread so we could see open country on either side of the river until we reached the M56 Bridge.

M56 crossing the Weaver
Just the other side of the bridge we passed the Runcorn Rowing Club; those nice people who gave us birthday cake yesterday. However nobody was in so we left a message on their Facebook page to say a huge thank you.
Once past the Rowing Club we had our first look at the massive Ineos chemical works at Runcorn. I think it looks like an alien city from some Sci Fi film.

During the time we passed the works and again on the way back we only saw 3 people on site and no moving vehicles but you could sure tell by the noise and the steam emissions that it was working.

Weston Marsh Lock
We travelled as far as Weston Marsh Lock which is the lock onto the Manchester Ship Canal. This is as close as we are ever likely to get to cruising on it. It is also the northern most point of our cruise this summer. As the banks on either side of the Weaver are quite high, we couldn't get a good look at the Ship Canal which was a pity, but hey ho we got there! We winded at the lock and headed back up the Weaver.

Ineos Chemical Works

From the chemical works' pictures above and those of the countryside below, it is obvious what a contrasting river this is.  It is absolutely fascinating! and not worth missing.

The Devils Garden where we moored last night

Jan having a chat with the lock-keeper at Dutton Lock.  He was the guy who whistled happy birthday yesterday.
All the CaRT lock-keepers we have met on the Weaver have been extremely helpful and they all seem to have a brilliant sense of humour!  We think the one in the photo above is only 'on duty' on the locks from April to October and is a film 'extra' during the winter - how's that for variety!


  1. Should have moored next to lock. Sat on gates and was fortunate to see shipping pass.

  2. Yes your right Les. We did think about mooring. Another opportunity missed, but we will go back to the Weaver so next time.