Thursday 18 September 2014

Runcorn surprise

Judging by comments from some other boaters, and the look of the map in Nicholson's guide, we were expecting our trip up the Runcorn arm of the Bridgewater canal to be a pretty dismal affair, done mostly (if we're honest) so we could tick off this final cul-de-sac of this part of the network.

The approach and entrance are not exactly encouraging.

We were anticipating houses, and we got 'em.

But we were wrong about this being an urban hinterland. There were certainly signs of planned estates…

but the first few miles were pleasant tree-lined canal, clearly in good condition for the benefit of both locals and visitors.

Eventually we did come to the much more built-up parts, with the bridge over the ship canal visible across the roof-tops.

When it comes, the end of the canal arrives quite quickly…

in a small basin with  a few boats moored up, completely blocked off by the Victoria Bridge and other constructions.

You'd never know that there is a massive flight of 10 double locks through that wall connecting this canal to the Mersey, nor that there is an optimistic campaign to get them restored and re-opened, on the basis that this could be a very good thing indeed for Runcorn.

We tied up about half a mile short of the terminus on the moorings of the Bridgewater Motor Boat Club, who are the most friendly and welcoming bunch of people and who are at the heart of the efforts to re-open the locks.

They were more than happy to give us a mooring for the night – and it's much safer on this side of the canal.

So we wish them well. They're having a fĂȘte this weekend to promote the project.

Runcorn was quite a surprise!


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