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We intended to cross Manchester from the Bridgewater onto the Macclesfield canal. When we moored up we started to chat to a number of boaters who advised us not to go through Manchester due to the increased incidents of damage break ins and vandalism caused to narrowboats. Even the Greater Manchester Police advise on window covers secure locks and  chains. Following the advice given by the police we shall not use the canals in Manchester and bypass the place as the police cannot guarantee our safe passage through Manchester. Sign of the times I guess. Perhaps if narrowboaters boycott Manchester something might be done 

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I hadn't heard about incidents of vandalism to boats in Manchester  which used to be one of our favourite places to visit. We haven't been for years though because of the restrictions of cruising on the Bridgewater for C&RT boats and the reduction in visitor mooring spaces at Castlefield. 

There are others on here who have up to date knowledge of the canals in Manchester and perhaps they can tell you what it is like now.

 

haggis 

 

PS Welcome to the forum!

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I must admit I havent been through this year so far. I have overnighted at Piccadilly and Portland basin with no problems . Although of no relevance to you I have also overnighted at Boat and Horses, Oldham and even in Failsworth itself and not had a problem -as well as a good few 'quiet' spots just outside like the Trafford Centre.

Generally find the good people of Manchester to be amiable and have encountered far more abusive and threatening fisherman on the southern GU than I have Mancunians!

 

 

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There are always people warning about vandalism and break-ins on the canals, not just in urban areas like Manchester, including dire warnings about "bandit country" and "thieving scrotes".

 

On the other side, over many years we've moored up in many cities (including Manchester, multiple times) and cruised through a lot of the rough areas people warn about, and the only mild vandalism incident we've ever suffered was when we were set adrift overnight (no damage done). Might have been because we'd just almost won the Halloween lantern competition in the pub we were moored near, and left it out on the roof when we went to bed, I suspect some of the regulars thought it would be a jolly jape to pull our pins out. And this wasn't in a city, it was in the countryside -- the Boat at Birdingbury IIRC...

 

Of course one swallow doesn't make a summer, and there are incidents of break-ins and vandalism, sometimes a spate of them in a small area which is then talked and warned about for years. Maybe this is happening in Manchester right now, or maybe a couple of incidents have been blown out of proportion, I don't know. But I certainly wouldn't let this stop me mooring up in Manchester, though obviously at one of the recognised mooring spots not just anywhere.

Edited by IanD
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Manchester's canals have struggkled to shed the reputation they gained in the 1970's. If you get up early and go through you'll be fine. 

I had a sausage thrown at me when doing the Rochdale 9, and a woman shouted at me for not putting a paddle down (she was right, but even though I'm from the area I coul;dn't understand her strong Mancunian accent!) stay at Piccaddilly  overnight. 

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Manchester's canals are not the best, and there are a couple of really grim bits, but with planning and common sense you should be fine. There are also a lot of good interesting bits. Most locals are friendly and like seeing boats, more boats would help so scare stories are counter productive.

 

We have only been shot at once and it wasn't in Manchester, it was in a really nice safe spot where one would not expect to get shot at. ?

 

.............Dave

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4 hours ago, Paul Mullen said:

Following the advice given by the police we shall not use the canals in Manchester and bypass the place as the police cannot guarantee our safe passage through Manchester. Sign of the times I guess. Perhaps if narrowboaters boycott Manchester something might be done 

Try asking the Police where it is that safe passage can be guaranteed.

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2 hours ago, dmr said:

Manchester's canals are not the best, and there are a couple of really grim bits, but with planning and common sense you should be fine. There are also a lot of good interesting bits. Most locals are friendly and like seeing boats, more boats would help so scare stories are counter productive.

 

We have only been shot at once and it wasn't in Manchester, it was in a really nice safe spot where one would not expect to get shot at. ?

 

.............Dave

Air rifle from the dockside in a nice marina once. About midnight on a Saturday and some f'wit was firing at all the masts.

Edited by BilgePump
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5 hours ago, Paul Mullen said:

We intended to cross Manchester from the Bridgewater onto the Macclesfield canal. When we moored up we started to chat to a number of boaters who advised us not to go through Manchester due to the increased incidents of damage break ins and vandalism caused to narrowboats. Even the Greater Manchester Police advise on window covers secure locks and  chains. Following the advice given by the police we shall not use the canals in Manchester and bypass the place as the police cannot guarantee our safe passage through Manchester. Sign of the times I guess. Perhaps if narrowboaters boycott Manchester something might be done 

Where were these boaters and have they been through Manchester or are the stories the usual second hand rubbish. I last came down through Manchester via thw Ashton and Rochdale Nine last month with some friends who are in their seventies and they had no problem on the Ashton and overnighted in piccadilly village before we went down the Nine with them the next day.

 

I will also be comeing up both these canals again early July, and will let you know how we get on, that's if we survive the feral Mancs

 

You may also be happy to know that there are a number of Ranger Lockkeepers (Volunteers) who are mainly local and boaters who if you ask CRT may be available to help you through both the nine and the Ashton locks

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5 hours ago, Paul Mullen said:

We intended to cross Manchester from the Bridgewater onto the Macclesfield canal. When we moored up we started to chat to a number of boaters who advised us  (old hands or holidaymakers just picked up a boat?) not to go through Manchester due to the increased incidents of damage break ins and vandalism caused to narrowboats(is that quantified by any stats?) Even the Greater Manchester Police advise on window covers secure locks and  chains. Following the advice given by the police we shall not use the canals in Manchester and bypass the place as the police cannot guarantee our safe passage through Manchester. Sign of the times I guess. Perhaps if narrowboaters boycott Manchester (less traffic, more silting, achieves what?) something might be done 

 

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I moor a few miles from Manchester City centre, and have not heard of any spates of the vandalism the OP speaks of. In fact, Castlefield is now a marina full of permanent moored at the mercy of the scrotes yet I've heard nothing.

 

That doesn't mean there isn't the occasional incident.

 

As for the police, however good a job they do, they could never guarantee anything.

 

Fixes Afloat came down the Rochdale Nine a few weeks ago.

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We tend to avoid school holidays,so cant comment about this period. Never had a problem on the Ashton ,Rochdale, Huddersfield.  Rochdale(Littleborough) to Castlefield in a day,so avoid mooring Miles Platting area. Been cast adrift in Chester,which you would think was a posh area.

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7 hours ago, haggis said:

We haven't been for years though because of the restrictions of cruising on the Bridgewater for C&RT boats

What restrictions?

I thought you just had to inform CRT that you were transiting the Bridgewater  and shove off.

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3 hours ago, BilgePump said:

Air rifle from the dockside in a nice marina once. About midnight on a Saturday and some f'wit was firing at all the masts.

Had a .22 fired through my van window whilst parked next to the Llan, I was moored nearby, obviously noticed the window swore a bit and thought strimmer or vandalism got that fixed and noticed the plywood divider between the cab and cargo area had fallen down, it was then I saw the entry hole and found the actual bullet.

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15 hours ago, Richard10002 said:

 

 

Fixes Afloat came down the Rochdale Nine a few weeks ago.

Nice to hear that there's a mobile mechanic in the area in case you get into difficulties.

Edited by Athy
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I've never had an issue in or around Manchester during my many visits over the years. As others have said, incidents can occur anywhere and the "towpath telegraph" can make them a no-go area. 

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We cruised the Peak Forrest and the Macclesfield back in 2000 and while waiting overnight at the top od the Aston fllight. A BWB employee freaked us out with tales of vandalism boats being wrecked. We set of at 6.30 anf did not stop until we reached Wigan. When we recovered I thought why? and returned to Manchester and Castlefield to enjoy Manchester do not let the doom merchants frighten you.

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I must admit the apocryphal  tales of doom in the canals of Manchester annoy me, having boated on the Ashton Rochdale and Peak Forest since their reopening in the seventies and only had the odd incident in the early days I find it amazing that people still keep up the stories. Most of the areas where trouble was rife have now been redeveloped and gentrified and are full of bright young things working from home with BMWs and Audis outside their apartments and houses

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10 minutes ago, captain birdseye said:

I must admit the apocryphal  tales of doom in the canals of Manchester annoy me, having boated on the Ashton Rochdale and Peak Forest since their reopening in the seventies and only had the odd incident in the early days I find it amazing that people still keep up the stories. Most of the areas where trouble was rife have now been redeveloped and gentrified and are full of bright young things working from home with BMWs and Audis outside their apartments and houses

And Birmingham, and Stoke, and... [fill in location of your choice]

 

Same answers from most people every time it comes up -- yes bad stuff sometimes happens but it's very rare, and shouldn't put people off from going anywhere on the canal system.

 

My comment from that thread is still true:

 

"One-off or rare unfortunate occurrences don't make for "vandalism hot-spots". There are undoubtedly bored and malicious yoof in many places on the country, some of which canals run through, but vandalism is pretty rare if you look at the number of boats out there -- it's just that when it happens the news now travels much faster and further than it used to and people get more wound up about it. I'm not saying some places aren't dodgier than others, just that people shouldn't panic about it. "

 

 

Edited by IanD
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Of course it could be that the reason for tales of vandalism and attacks having decreased since the 1970's is that the feral locals have learnt not to leave any witnesses. ?

No one every hears about dolphin attacks either. They are intelligent enough to make sure no one gets away, then they fit up some poor thicko shark to take the blame. ?

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I've been through Manchester a few times over the years. 

 

The only time we had any trouble was at the hot spot of vandalism, Lymm, where we were untied. (You can tell that Lymm is a hot spot of trouble because it still retains it stocks so it can deal with troublemakers... ?).

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Just been through Huddersfield Narrow & Broad, Calder &Hebble Peak Forest, Ashton moored just below lock 1 of the Ashton in Manchester and up the Rochdale.
Ashton  is so very much better than it used to be. The amount of rubbish is rather disappointing as is the lack of boats TBH. 
It’s very strange to me that these canals aren’t being used much, they are so lovely. We’ve encountered  around 10  boats actually going at all in a week.
it’s like boating was in the 70s and 80s really. 

Perhaps the “Manchester is shocking” rumours are keeping people away which is a real shame. 
I was also sad that unlike Gas Street basin there is no area of longer mooring available in central Manchester. This would seem to be a way of attracting more people and boaters in perhaps? There’s certainly scope in a few areas of  the Rochdale Ashton area?

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26 minutes ago, Stroudwater1 said:

I was also sad that unlike Gas Street basin there is no area of longer mooring available in central Manchester. 

You can moor for a while on the visitor moorings in New Islington Marina, a couple of locks up the Rochdale from Ducie Street junction, and only a short walk into the city centre.

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