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Peak Forest to Preston Brook single handed?


Cruiser_Boy
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Hi,

I am planning on visiting the peak Forest Canal coming up the Macclesfield from Harecastle. When I return I want to go North from Marple Junction onto the Ashton canal then Rochdale then the Bridgewater Canal to Preston Brook.

This takes me through the Rochdale nine. Is this a problem? I’ve heard a lot of bad stuff about this section. I’m not worried about the work on the locks as long as they function properly I am more worried about where to stay at night. Should I take them on early get through and then cruise well away from the area?

is there anything else I should look out for?

Thanks.

 

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If there is a lot of water coming down then the gates can be very hard to open. There is a section with no towpath and it does (or did)  get low on water sometimes so if you run aground its a big (phoning CRT) problem. Castlefield basin at the bottom of the 9 used to be a nice place to spend a night or two. Peel have mostly wrecked this by turning it into long term moorings.  I think there might be a dark dingy corner for visitors but I have not used it.

 

You can spend a night in or outside the little marina at the top of the Ashton locks and do these locks and the 9 in a hard day, or stop at the bottom (a few options) and do the 9 the next morning.

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26 minutes ago, Cruiser_Boy said:

Thanks dmr,

Of course my Nicholson shows towpath everywhere 🙂

Do you remember which bit has no towpath?

Looks like I would be going down so I guess I can just tie the front of the boat to the gate going in but not sure about closing gates coming out.

No towpath where the canal runs parallel to Canal Street which is Manchester's gay quarter. Its only between 2 locks, no problem you use the road alongside as a path. You can still work the locks.

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17 minutes ago, Cruiser_Boy said:

Thanks dmr,

Of course my Nicholson shows towpath everywhere 🙂

Do you remember which bit has no towpath?

Looks like I would be going down so I guess I can just tie the front of the boat to the gate going in but not sure about closing gates coming out.

 

Its  two locks down from the nasty underground lock, there is a floating pontoon to land on but no towpath.

Thinking about it more you should be fine going down as you take the water with you.

 

I remember going up the pound was very low and I could not walk up to the next lock so had to walk up the road to the next but one (underground) lock and let a load of water down to overflow into the empty pound. This caused some towpath flooding but the druggies and dealers and general "hangers about" coped well 😀.

 

Except for this isolated lock there are usually a few people about so you might be able to get some help if the gates are really hard to open, otherwise you can just drain off some water, but that might take a while.

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The section along Canal Street has no towpath. Once upon a time the street was the towpath, but there is now no access. The one inaccessible lock has a pontoon above and a jetty below for boarding/alighting.

Edited by David Mack
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Have done the "nine"solo and it was no trouble.

You are now suposed to moor on the Kenworthy arm at the bottom of the nine.

The Bridgewater from there to Preston Brook is twenty odd miles with no locks.Based in Huddersfield as I am where you don't go boating,you go locking,cruising the Bridgewater,I thought it was my birthday! 😜

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Ok thank you everyone.

I interpreted ‘no towpath’ as nowhere to moor. I have been through a lock like that. Can’t remember where it was but it was at a junction. I had to moor on the arm going the wrong way then cross a bridge go up a flight of stairs to the lock, work the lock then come back and turn around to go into the lock.

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There is a YouTube video by Robbie Cummings showing his ascent of the Rochdale Nine including where he moored the evening before which I believe was just outside the castlefield Marina.  Obviously the opposite direction of travel to you but is probably worth a watch as he describes potential issues and solutions.

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Robbie said he was (&looked) knackered by the end of the day but he was going up them.

Mooring just below the Ashton locks in Manchester seemed fine last month. Thomas Telford basin on the left looked good but it’s in a locked area I believe so not best if you are planning to visit Manchester. 

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1 hour ago, Stroudwater1 said:

Robbie said he was (&looked) knackered by the end of the day but he was going up them.

Mooring just below the Ashton locks in Manchester seemed fine last month. Thomas Telford basin on the left looked good but it’s in a locked area I believe so not best if you are planning to visit Manchester. 

Thomas Telford basin looks fine. I don’t mind it being locked. Nothing against Manchester but I prefer the open country and watching the world go by. My main reason for coming this way is so I don’t backtrack over old ground and and I can go up and down the Anderton lift.

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8 hours ago, Dartagnan said:

There is a YouTube video by Robbie Cummings showing his ascent of the Rochdale Nine including where he moored the evening before which I believe was just outside the castlefield Marina.  Obviously the opposite direction of travel to you but is probably worth a watch as he describes potential issues and solutions.

If I can time it right I will moor up just below the Ashton locks then start on the Rochdale nine early the next morning.

Hopefully then I can choose to stop at Castlefield or carry on onto the Bridgewater and more there.

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8 minutes ago, Cruiser_Boy said:

Thomas Telford basin looks fine. I don’t mind it being locked. Nothing against Manchester but I prefer the open country and watching the world go by. My main reason for coming this way is so I don’t backtrack over old ground and and I can go up and down the Anderton lift.

Thomas Telford Basin is locked, access used to be by code which you could usually get from a friendly local, but I believe it's now via keytag so if you moor in there you can't get out on foot or back in again...:-(

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13 hours ago, IanD said:

Thomas Telford Basin is locked, access used to be by code which you could usually get from a friendly local, but I believe it's now via keytag so if you moor in there you can't get out on foot or back in again...:-(

Is it for use by general boaters though?

I don’t mind being locked in to moor overnight.

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9 minutes ago, Cruiser_Boy said:

Is it for use by general boaters though?

I don’t mind being locked in to moor overnight.

Access for boats always used to be allowed, there were no "private moorings" signs, so I assume that's still the case. Can anyone who's used it recently (since the key fob access control) confirm this?

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8 hours ago, IanD said:

If you can get in, it looks like this...

telford.jpg

Looks nice hope I can get in there :-)

21 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

Don't forget to book the Bridgewater on the CRT web site. I understand Sonny had words with someone not being booked a couple of weeks back

Ooh thanks I did not know I needed to do that.

23 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

Don't forget to book the Bridgewater on the CRT web site. I understand Sonny had words with someone not being booked a couple of weeks back

Ooh thanks I did not know I needed to do that.

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19 minutes ago, Cruiser_Boy said:

Thanks ditchcrawler I did not know I needed to do that. This site keeps putting my answer in the wrong place 🙂

 

Dont worry about it https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/media/original/43721-boaters-instructions-for-booking-a-passage-on-the-bridgewater-canal.pdf?v=ebc49c

 

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2 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

Do you need to book even if you're just passing through and not stopping on the Bridgewater? I didn't do it...

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Thomas Telford basin cleverly has private moorings in large letters but underneath states visitors welcome for maximum stay of 24 hours on visitors mooring rings. It also states no access from this basin due to locked gates ( I have a photo taken a few weeks ago if the sign but am  unable to compress my iPhone pics?) 

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20 minutes ago, Stroudwater1 said:

Thomas Telford basin cleverly has private moorings in large letters but underneath states visitors welcome for maximum stay of 24 hours on visitors mooring rings. It also states no access from this basin due to locked gates ( I have a photo taken a few weeks ago if the sign but am  unable to compress my iPhone pics?) 

Correct -- stopping overnight has always been allowed (and still is), and the moorings are quiet and secure.

 

But now you can't get out with a code and walk down to the Jolly Sailor in Ducie Street for a quiet pint -- mainly because it's not there any more... 😞

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3 hours ago, ditchcrawler said:

Don't forget to book the Bridgewater on the CRT web site. I understand Sonny had words with someone not being booked a couple of weeks back

 

We had Sonny knocking on the boat a few weeks ago because we weren't booked on to the Bridgewater until the day afterwards.  We pointed out that we were unable to book for today, only for tomorrow and he was quite happy with that.  I wasn't, so I have raised it with CRT Northwest.  He's a nice guy if you are not taking the mick.

 

We took a "next available" passage up the Anderton lift and were on the Bridgewater a couple of hours later, so we couldn't have booked ahead.

 

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Ok to finish off this thread I was going to give my experience of the journey. Thanks to the tree blocking bridge 26 on the Ashton canal all my plans have been scuppered.

I checked the alternate going right at Portland basin but that would be an extra 180 locks plus Standedge tunnel. If it had been earlier in the season I might have taken that on but decided not to mid August.

Finally a big shout out to the excellent volunteers who took me down and later up the Marple flight. Also the Bosley crew.

 

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