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Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

Photo-a-Day Archive
Photo-a-Day Archive

Photo-a-Day  (Tuesday, 30th March, 2021)


Drained canal for new lock gates.

Photo: Mick Byrne  (Panasonic DMC-TZ100)
Views: 2,358

Comment by: PeterP on 30th March 2021 at 08:41

It is only when the canal is drained that we can see how shallow it is

Comment by: Mick on 30th March 2021 at 09:00

What a waste of money, I can't see why the canal and river trust have to spend a fortune on traditional wooden lock gates in this Wigan area.
I've told them a few times to just have wooden gates at the top and bottom of the Wigan flight, and install vandal and fire proof gates on all the other locks in between
The money saved could go towards making the pot holed muddy tow path from martland mill  to burscough fit for cyclist and walkers

Comment by: Irene Roberts on 30th March 2021 at 09:15

I remember seeing the canal drained only one, in Ince when I was a little girl. I'm sure it was deeper than that. Perhaps it varies in depth in different places.

Comment by: Veronica on 30th March 2021 at 09:58

No wonder the canals were called " stinking ditches" by landowners. I'm surprise that boats don't get land logged in the depth of the canal at that part.

Comment by: Mick on 30th March 2021 at 11:20

Irene it might have looked deeper to you because you would have been smaller in the them days.
The canal in these areas is full of dumped junk, but overall the water is more or less clean, otherwise you would have Mussels living in it next to the Britannia Bridge

Mussels in the canal video in Ince


Comment by: Dorothy Hesketh on 30th March 2021 at 11:38

Looks like an ideal time to do a bit of dredging. Remember a guy diving off one of the gates and went head first into metal. He died, I was only a young girl. It was upwards towards Whelley.

Comment by: Gary on 30th March 2021 at 12:11

No fifty year old shopping trolleys, no Shergar, Lord Lucan could be under the surface -but no bike parts, nuclear waste or coke tins. The absence of rubbish is encouraging.

Comment by: Edna on 30th March 2021 at 12:45

I can't see why young lads would want to go diving in when its hot, when its so dirty.

Comment by: Maureen on 30th March 2021 at 13:22

I remember being told when I was a little girl that my Dad dove in a canal and cracked his head..he had to be taken to the RAEI..I wonder if it was this canal.

Comment by: Veronica on 30th March 2021 at 14:54

It was quite common when I was a child seeing young lads diving off the locks. I would only jump over the by -wash that's was the most adventurous thing I ever did.

Comment by: Rev David Long on 30th March 2021 at 16:14

Veronica - it takes constant vigilance on the part of the canal staff to keep the water levels high enough for navigation on the flight - the locks are not of equal depth - so a deep lock below a shallow one obviously takes more water out of the pound than the shallower one puts in at the other end. They then need to open the top sluices to send supplementary water down - and the byewashes help move the water to where it's required.
There are more volunteers helping out on the canals now - which may be why there's no rubbish in this pound. They also help boats through the flight - and probably play their part in making sure pounds don't get too low.

Comment by: Frank on 30th March 2021 at 16:58

Mick lad I don't know how you can keep coming up with these amazing videos, who would have thought mussels would be living in the Leeds Liverpool canal in Ince
This video should be sent in to the BBC wildlife department

Comment by: Veronica on 30th March 2021 at 17:12

Thanks for the explanation Rev. David . I thought there must be more to it, after all the canals were and are feats of engineering. I suppose the volunteers are getting ready for the canal boats coming along the waterways during the fine weather.
Makes you wonder how they managed during the height of industry in years gone by. No doubt people were employed just to keep the canal system running.

Comment by: Edna on 30th March 2021 at 17:28

Veronica, do you remember when we used to go to William Foster playing fields in the summer after tea? But you had to jump the bywash to get there.I was petrified, and then when I did get to the other side, I got attacked with a bull dog, that was the end of my brand new school blazer.

Comment by: Irene Roberts on 30th March 2021 at 18:32

Edna and Veronica, here is a romance to beat Brief Encounter.....when I was 14 I went out with a lad for a couple of weeks and we were one sat dangling our feet in the bywash, (oh the thrill of it all!). I was wearing my school uniform and had taken off my ankle-socks and they dropped in the bywash. I was really upset and said, "Me Mam'll kill me,,,,she's only just bought me them socks!" and the lad was frantically trying to get them out but they vanished in the murky waters of the Leeds-to-Liverpool. About four years ago when I was 64 I saw the lad's name on a facebook comment and said Hello, thinking he would never remember me as he only knew my maiden name and it was 50 years ago. He came straight back with, "Hello Irene....Lost any socks lately?" Once seen, never forgotten , ladies! My Brief Encounter Moment!

Comment by: Veronica on 30th March 2021 at 18:33

There was plenty to do in our day Edna, if we weren't roaming the fields we were roaming the woods. Never a dull moment!

Comment by: Mick on 30th March 2021 at 18:39

Frank are you the Frank who lived in Atherton and used to drink in the Oak Tree Pub ?

Comment by: Rev David Long on 30th March 2021 at 19:52

Veronica - most locks and swing bridges had cottages for keepers beside them when they were built, but, as competition from the railways led to cost-cutting, boaters increasingly had to do it them themselves. However, the same cost-cutting led to more boats being crewed by families who lived in cramped conditions aboard - but that could mean more hands available to work the locks and bridges.
Folk looking on might have thought it a romantic lifestyle, but I doubt if all of the boat people saw it that way.
As far as the Wigan flight is concerned, I think there were just three keepers' houses - Henhurst, Top Lock, and one half-way up - so there must have been additional keepers on hand to keep the traffic moving.

Comment by: Edna on 30th March 2021 at 21:31

Dolly and Laura, you make me laugh,with your tales of youth.But its fun to look back.Canals and locks played a big part in our lives at 14/15.I was sat on the lock, at Rose Bridge with the love of my life, who became my husband, just chattering away, when all the street lights went out, it was midnight,we run hell for leather home, to bump into my dad,on a mission to the boyfriends house.I was kept in for 2 weeks, and dad called him a feeling youth.!!

Comment by: Veronica on 30th March 2021 at 22:13

No it would have been quite arduous on the canals just as most jobs were then. Nothing romantic at all then, although it might seem so nowadays. Even the Lock cottages are pretty as are the canals with all the greenery and fancy painted boats. At least the canals are being used with the help of volunteers. People using the canals in a more leisurely lifestyle can only mean it has to be paid for, nothing is free Rev David, whoever is responsible for the canals must have revenue coming to them for the upkeep of the canals and the landscape gardening alone. I must admit it's far nicer to walk alongside the canals now, than how I remember them years ago. All that pit shale underfoot did nothing for the tyres on a bike , forever repairing punctures back in the day! ;o))

Comment by: Edna on 31st March 2021 at 08:10

Sorry that should have read ferel youth.

Comment by: Veronica on 31st March 2021 at 08:56

Oh heck! Irene losing your socks was tantamount to losing your head. Edna did your dad have his shotgun with him? That's what some dads did then. My own included but I was older!

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