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Went for a walk along the Ship Canal yesterday in search of the Porpoise reputed to be swimming around Latchford Locks- didn’t see him, but took some pics anyhow…..

The name “Manchester Ship Canal” no doubt makes people think of an Industrial scene, but its quite a green corridor in Warrington

This is the Warrington High Level Bridge, known locally as “The Cantilever”

Another view

This is Knutsford Road Swing Bridge, one of three in Warrington. It rotates on the circular base when a ship approaches.

This is the view from the bridge towards Latchford.

A disused railway bridge, Latchford Viaduct. I thinks its rather creepy looking.

Closer view.

We arrive at the locks.

The locks are operated by hydraulic pistons that pull chains to open and close them ( I asked the lock keeper)

By good fortune, there is a ship coming!

The Lock opens

The vessel is a bulk carrier ( well, it has portable bulkheads and can be reconfigured for most cargos), taking grain from Spain to Manchester. It has an Antiguan flag, but a Polish crew.

Into the lock she goes, a tricky operation

Notice that the side of the ship is level with the lockside

In comes the water

The ship is now floated to the upper level

Time to untie the ropes

Off she goes towards the Thelwall Viaduct

And the gates close behind her….

The Ship Canal could be in for a bit of a rebirth- at present there are only about 3 movements per day on the upper reaches (the lower reaches are far busier). Peel Holdings, the owners, are planning a container feeder terminal at Barton, to supplement the Irlam facility. It will certainly not be in the Kiel Canal league, but it will be pleasing to see more traffic on an underused resource and off the roads.
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