The Vault Regulars

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Along the straight and narrow.

Thankfully after being unwell for a few weeks and lacking pretty much all motivation and energy needed to get outdoors i am slowly getting back to normal. Whatever my normal is, may be decided over the next few weeks with some tests that the doc has put me in for.

Anyway Martin B sent us an invite to join him and Sue on a slow 18km walk around Macclesfield. Please put your hand up if you have ever been on a slow walk with M. No takers then i presume.
Rumour has it that even when he is asleep the legs keep going and Sue has them attached to a turbine which powers the fridge freezer and the front door bell. Just thought i would mention it.

As it happened Sheila had a bit of a mishap at Metafit class and pulled a muscle in her side which kiboshed any idea of even a slow walk at the weekend. Why do we put ourselves through hell to keep fit.

So i broached the subject with M of maybe a curry walk before they fly out to Canada on Friday for more jollies. All spur of the moment stuff but it happened today (Tuesday) and JJ came along too, which was good.
It was decided to walk into Manchester from Timperley which is around 15km and on the straight and narrow Bridgewater canal.

After 2 hours of public transport travel i eventually reached Timperley. The distance from my house to Martins house it is approximately 14 miles. That’s how bad travelling in Manchester has become at rush hour. 7 miles per hour.

A reviving cup of coffee to fend off suicidal tendencies was had and then off we went. I had packed full wet gear as per last nights BBC forecast which was wrong, it was a jolly nice morning, clear bright and sunny but with grey clouds in the distance and in the direction of our walk.

I didn’t take many photographs as this route has featured on numerous occasions on the blog. However we had a bit of a meander towards the end and the photographs below are from that meander.

These curry walks are always good for banter and catching up on numerous topics from Investments right across the spectrum to backache and back again. And much about gear and the TGO Challenge of course.

Where the Bridgewater canal lock joins the Manchester Ship Canal (Lock 3) we dropped down to walk along what was the bustling Pomona Docklands area. On the North side of the water much redevelopment has taken place but on the south side only dereliction remains. A footpath of sorts was constructed a while ago with decent stone and fencing but has lapsed into decay. The path terminates at dock 3 where a bit of a muddy scramble up an embankment brought us back to what used to be a dockland service road. The skies were looking ominous and i though we would get a down pour but it held off.

Much work has been done around this Pomona area to fence people out but not enough to actual stop them properly and so the old service roads are still used by walkers, joggers and dog walkers. Some actual ground works seem to have started at the Manchester end. The land is owned by Peel Holdings, Network Rail and GMPT. The area is a real mess with much fly tipping and the like so it will be interesting to see over the next few months whether they make it a park land for the people or will it be more financial. Knowing Peel Holdings background i doubt it will be park.

Coincidentally i read that in 2011 the Greater Manchester Ecological Unit did a survey of the Pomona area. They suggested that the site should be considered as a site of Biological Importance. For nature conservation. However, in January of 2011 90% of the trees and vegetation on the site was removed by the owners and so rendered the survey moot. Nuff said. (Info from here.)

It has been many years since i had walked along this short section of canal and it was good to see that the old Woden Street footbridge (built in 1873) is still standing. This is more widely known as Mark Addy bridge and the original rather than the new one which passes above the Mark Addy pub in the city centre. This is the point where the River Irwell and the Ship canal combine and where you can see the River Medlock join.

This area was also the site of where The Ordsall Beach was going to be. A tongue in cheek story of giving the land back to the people of Salford. They called the bridge Ha’penny bridge. Was it once a toll bridge i wonder?

Leaving the canal beyond the viaducts of Rochdale Canal Lock 1, we walked through Manchester’s Roman History in Castlefield, another area where intentions we well meant but have not really taken off. The area is well supplied with food and drink but still shows industrial tiredness. The building work of the massive viaducts and the cast iron bridges are magnificent and need to kept in good order. Lots of people were taking photographs rather than just passing snaps like us.

Across Manchester we made it to This and That curry house where Sheila joined us and we had a very nice mixed curry.
 New builds on the North Shore. Manchester Ship Canal Exchange Quay.
 View down towards Pomona Docks. Manchester Ship Canal.
 Ominous skies at Pomona No. 3 dock.

 The graffiti along this wall covers the names and plaques of all the mill which used to be here.

 Approaching Woden street Bridge, 
 Walking into Castlefield, Manchester

Birds Merchant Bridge with the old Whitby Bridge behind and the ugly Beetham Tower hotel.

Martin B’s blog post is here with more images.


  1. Well done Alan, that's an excellent write up. I hope you are able to get out a bit more whilst we are away.

  2. Cheers Martin, a very pleasant day. Have a good holiday.

  3. Feeling under the weather AND dreadful weather doesn't encourage walking. It's good we didn't take notice of the awful weather forecast, what a grand day out!
    I do like your photographs, that camera's doing the business. Glad you enjoyed the walk - I'll try to arrange one and drag Rick out next time.

    1. Cheers John. Good to see you, it has been a while.


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