Day 19

Short cruise from the bottom Ashton lock to the junction with the Rochdale Canal. Just before the junction there’s a bit of a basin on a sharp bend followed by a bridge under a Morrison’s store. So I stopped for some shopping.

Round the next bend to lock 84, Dale Street. Which is closed. As are all the ‘Rochdale 9’ locks. Apparently they were closed ‘due to an issue with the balance beam to heelpost connection at Lock 85’ on 17th as I was struggling down the Marple flight. An update yesterday says:

Our teams have met with our specialised contractors onsite today at Lock 85, Piccadilly on the Rochdale Canal to create a method of repair. Our contractors have now designed the replacement bracket, which now requires approval from our engineers, and due to being a listed structure, Listed Building Consent is required.

Once we have received this approval and the bracket has been fabricated, our teams will work together to install it in place.

It is anticipated we will have a more understanding on timescales by Wednesday 23 June.

So the choices are:

Wait until next Wednesday to see what the decision is, but it could be no, not allowed by building control back to the drawing board, even if yes they have to make the part and fit it so probably no movement for a week at least.

Go back the way I came. It’s a lot of locks back to the T&M then the only sensible choice is home, possibly via Nottingham.

Go back as far as Portland basin at the end of the Macc then take the Huddersfield narrow canal over the Pennines.

Go up the Rochdale rather than down, over to Halifax.

All the options mean I don’t get to cruise Liverpool docks and meet up with Linda. The Rochdale is probably the best option, but the locks are notorious, they average three per mile. It’s a wide canal built for barges, on opening day a sailing barge from London crossed to Manchester! So the gates are heavy.

Think I’ll do a load of GOBA admin first…

UPDATE

Just checked stats so far, Tempsford Bridge to Dale Street Bridge: 305 miles, 170 locks, 19 days.

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