Saturday, 23 January 2010

The LANCASTER CANAL - N.3 - NORTHERN REACHES - Tewitfield to Kendal

The trip boat WATERWITCH of Lancaster Canal Trust

THE NORTHERN REACHES of the Lancaster Canal,became seperated from the rest of the canal during the building of the M6 in the 1960s.Unfortunately the M6 work was carried out at a time when no leisure or tourism future was foreseen for the then virtually disused sections,only some of which were left partially in water,culverts today carrying the supply flow in several road crossings.Since the M6 blunders the A591 and others since have crossed the dry line making restoration even more complicated and expensive.However all the issues have been assessed and full details of the restoration plans can be seen on the Lancaster Canal Trust website (see link on photos).Meanwhile please enjoy looking at the beautiful course of this pretty section running through Cumbria's lovely South Lakes countryside to Kendal.


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Friday, 22 January 2010


The marina at CARNFORTH

We leave the Tithebarn Basin behind and proceed around Garstang,Nateby,Cabus onwards to Ellel and Galgate.Here we meet the Glasson branch,and follow it westwards to Glasson Dock,allowing access to the Lune Estuary and Irish Sea.This was built for large craft so some smaller coasters could enter the canal.The six locks were built to take craft of 72ft long and 14 ft beam.4ft draft.This branch was very busy in it's heyday as it opened up a new connection with the sea.We then move on to Lancaster,over the Lune Aqueduct passing Hest Bank,Bolton le Sands,to Carnforth.Then on via Capernwray and Borwick to Tewitfield,where presently navigation ends,until restoration is complete;SEE:-

The Lune Aqueduct at Lancaster

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Wednesday, 20 January 2010


Swillbrook Marina,near Catforth
The Lancaster Canal as we know it today begins 1km out of Preston City Centre at Tulketh Basin.We are presently campaigning to restore the canal into a new terminus at Maudlands(see link in photos).From Tulketh,the canal winds out of Preston past Haslam Park under Tom Benson way to the junction with the Millenium Ribble Link(See Album).From there the canal follows the contour right out around The Fylde Loop,passing Lea,and turning at Salwick round the Hall.North under the M55,turning sharply east by Catforth and Swillbrook.On to Woodplumpton,then turning north west up towards Barton, crossing a superbly built aqueduct over Broughton Brook.There the canal turns to the north and we come to Billsborrow.Leaving the busy village we cross the superbly built Brock Aqueduct ,beyond there is now a new marina nearby.Once under the A6 to Catterall,Bonds,a limekiln and castle at Greenhalgh .We cross John Rennie's majestic aqueduct over the River Wyre,and come to the basin at the south of Garstang.

Tithebarn Basin,south Garstang from Wyre aqueduct

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Saturday, 2 January 2010

New album"THE LANCASTER CANAL SOUTHERN SECTION - S1 Bark Hill to Johnsons Hillock

LANCASTER CANAL,SOUTHERN SECTION . - S1. - Haigh , Adlington and Chorley

This level Canal was first dug by the Lancaster Canal Co.with the intention of connecting at Preston,after crossing the Ribble,to the lock-free Northern Section,Preston-Tewitfield.This connection in fact never was completed due to revenue losses caused by the coming of the railways....Initially a temporary measure - but for over 60 years the canal freight was handballed out of barges and millions of tons transhipped from Walton Summit by horsedrawn trucks on The Old Tram Road to Preston Basin.The Section from Top Lock,Wigan to Johnsons Hillock nr.Chorley was later very much used as it was leased and became part of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal we know today.

Many people think this canal is just the Leeds and Liverpool....have a look at this album and it's accompanying albums below and look at the full intriguing story!

LANCASTER CANAL SOUTHERN SECTION S2 - Johnsons Hillock to Walton Summit:

This part of the canal is today only a short spur readily visible where the Leeds & Liverpool forks off below Johnsons Hillock Locks...but the rest of it- fading into history -is visible to those who will search it out and explore.It was intended to have crossed the Ribble via locks and aqueduct to Preston Basin,but the coming of the railways saw it temporalily transhipping at Walton Summit Basin millions of loads of coal & limestone via The Old Tram Road on horsedrawn trucks for over 60 years.The Walton Summit Branch fell into disuse around 1932,finally being infilled during building of the M61 about 1970.Many structures along it's path still remain,some of them great feats of engineering in their day built manually with no machines.....


The Old Tram Road,is a unique relic of the Industrial Revolution in Lancashire.To join the two completed sections of the Lancaster Canal was a massive challenge involving several locks,much earth-moving and the design and building of a large aqueduct spanning the Ribble Valley.The flourishing railways threatened the financial survival of the canals.This primitive girder railway was constructed along the proposed line of the canal as a temporary measure to convey the coal and limestone by horsedrawn trucks from Walton Summit terminus to Preston Basin until funds could be raised;however this was never achieved and the tramway rattled on transhipping millions of tons handballed between barge and truck,using horses where possible and assisting with steam winching on inclined planes up the steep slopes.Quite amazing,but this went on for over 50 years,some of the Tram Road is preserved and visible today...


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