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  1. #1
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    Runcorn - my neck of the woods

    A lttle trip around my neck of the woods. A pity that today was so overcast as the photos would have ben much better.

    It is surprising at time what one can see only a few minutes drive from your doorstep. I live on the outskirts of Runcorn, Cheshire, a really beautiful county, I should really get out more as there are some marvellous photo opportunities around this area.


    So first is a view over the golf course at Sutton Weaver looking towards Frodsham Point



    and swinging round 90 degrees to overlook the river Mersey





    About a mile further on we come to this old swing bridge which takes the A56 over the Weaver Navigation towards Frodsham. Has not been operated for a long time now as very few large coasters travel this stretch of the water




    The associated operating hut. Still called the lockkeepers hut, but for what reason no one knows as there aint no locks close to here.





    This stretch of water is known as the Weaver Navigation. It is part of a series of man made improvements made to the River Weaver, which runs for 50 miles from Peckforton Castle in Cheshire to, at one time, to join the River Mersey at Weston Marshes. But since the construction of the Manchester Ship canal in 1887 it has flowed into the canal, and surplus water enters the Mersey by the Weaver Sluices.

    The river was not deep enough for barges to navigate it, so a series of cuts, locks and weirs were built from 1720 onwards. Further major improvements were carried out between 1870 and 1900 in order for coasters of up to 1000 ton to use the Weaver Navigation, mainly for the transfer of salt mined in Cheshire.

    Two views here from the Swing bridge, the first towards Nantwich




    This one looking toward the Mersey. The bridge in the foreground is part of the Frodsham viaduct, whilst the one in the background carries the M56 over the Weaver. A lot of skullers and rowers use this stretch of water as it is quite sraight and ideal for training



    More info about the Weaver Navigation is here

    River Weaver - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  2. #2
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    Is that part of the Weaver Way? I did the stretch from Nantwich to Audlem with the kids the other week.











    ....about 7 miles in total and we had to virtually drag the little buggers over the line.

    There's 15 locks going through Audlem, which must be a bugger on a boat.

  3. #3
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    I think so Nick. Heres the press release about it


    Ref: 404/06 3 November 2006
    Launch Of The ‘Weaver Way’

    A major initiative to create 119 km of walking, cycling and equestrian routes will be launched on Friday November 10th in the presence of Martin Bell (Former Independent Cheshire MP and UNICEF UK Ambassador for Humanitarian Emergencies).
    The Weaver Way initiative will run the full length of the 60 km long Weaver Valley and will link six towns and eleven villages and connect to 8 regional trails and the National Cycleway.
    Stretching from Frodsham in the north to Audlem in the south and through Middlewich to Sandbach the proposed routes mainly follow the river Weaver Navigation, Trent and Mersey Canal and Shropshire Union Canal.
    It will provide unrivalled access for residents and visitors to the Valley’s facilities, destinations and countryside.
    Mike Cooksley, Chairman of The Weaver Valley Management Board said: “The Weaver Way is the first of a number of tangible high quality developments that will begin to connect the communities within the Weaver Valley.
    It will improve and coordinate a number of existing Rights of Way making this one of the longest and most beautiful multi user routes in the North West based on our most underutilised natural asset our Waterways.”
    Cheshire County Councillor Andrew Needham, Environment Executive member, said: “This work will be a significant step in creating The Weaver Valley Regional Park and could open up funding opportunities.
    “It is also important in linking towns and villages in the Weaver Valley as well as providing access to the 4million people who are within one hour’s drive of the area.
    “Having covered most of the route myself – on foot, cycle and boat, I can see its potential both now and in the future”
    The Regional Park links Frodsham, Sandbach, Middlewich, Nantwich, Northwich, Winsford and Audlem.
    The Weaver Valley Management Board is working in partnership with Cheshire County Council, British Waterways, Vale Royal Borough Council, Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council, Congleton Borough Council and local communities.
    Ends
    Note To Editors: The launch ceremony will take place at the Anderton Boat Lift, Anderton, Northwich Cheshire CW9 6FW on Friday 10th November at 11:00 hrs.
    For more information please contact Mike Cooksley Weaver Valley Management Board on 01606 854714, Cheshire County Councillor Andrew Needham on 01829 732444 and Shea O’Neill from CCC Planning Service on 01244 975943.

    The part that you were on there is actually the Shropshire Union Canal
    Last edited by Propagator; 31-08-2009 at 02:19 AM.

  4. #4
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    Go a couple of hundred yards towards Frodsham and we have the River Weaver. Looking again towards the Mersey, and the Frodsham Viaduct in the foreground





    A zoom of the above showing that this part of the river is still used by large barges





    and looking the other way





    Some of these viaducts are amazing. This one is probably about 1/2 mile long with the aforemention bridges spanning the river. Great workmanship





    Right time to move on and head down to Runcorn Old Town

  5. #5
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    On the way to Runcorn we stop and have a look out over the Mersey. This is looking toward Ellesmere Port. You can see the Manchester ship canal in the left of the photo





    Same view but from a slightly differant angle. The tide on the Mersey is in at the present, but in a few hours when it has ebbed most of the water will have gone leaving mud flats





    A little further down and a view towards Speke. The object in the centre of the picture on the jut out of the land is a now disused lighthouse and the area is known as Hale Head





    The heavy industry seen in the foreground are of the ICI Rocksavage works and the Rocksavage Power Station. Been a few chemical spills from here at times.

  6. #6
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    We have now got into the Old Town of Runcorn. Runcorn is split in two halves, this part the Old Town and about three miles away The Runcorn Shopping City and adjacent home developments which were for the overspill of the LIverpool population and was designated as a New Town.

    I didn't take any photos of the Old Town as there is not much there and everything was closed being a Sunday, but will get some later. This first picture is looking over to Widnes. The Manchester Ship canal is in the foreground whilst the Mersey is behind the canal wall. You will see a building on the front of the left Bank on The Widnes side and I will make mention of that later, in the distance to the right is the Fiddlers Ferry Power Station.





    What Runcorn is noted for - The Runcorn Jubilee Bridge





    In the background below the span you can see the railway bridge which was built many years before.

    The Jubilee bridge crosses the Manchester Ship canal and the River Mersey between Runcorn and Widnes at an area called the Runcorn Gap. It is the first bridge across the Mersey from the mouth of the river, the only other way across is using the two tunnels at Liverpool. It is a compression arch suspended deck bridge and was opened in 1961 and widened between 1975 and 1977. It has a lenght of 1582 feet with the centre span being 1082 feet, and the two side spans of 250 feet each. At the time of its constuction it was the third longest steel arch span in the world and is now a Grade 2 listed building. A new bridge has now been appoved for constuction three miles upstream of the existing bridge. It is badly needed as rush hour traffic on the bridge is horrendous, and an accident brings it all to a virtual stop.

    This photo taken from a little further away to show the bridge better.




    Looking along the Manchester Ship Canal underneath the Bridge





    The Manchester ship canal is a 36 mile river navigation canal and was designed to give the city of Manchester direct access to the sea. It was built between 1887 and 1894 at a cost of about 15 million, and in its day was the largest navigation canal in the world.

    More about it from Wiki here

    Manchester Ship Canal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    Where the above photo was taken was at the sight of the original Transporter Bridge. This bridge was completed in 1905 and ws then replaced by the Silver Jubilee Bridge. At the time it was Britains first transporter bridge and the largest of its type built in the world. It was designed to carry 4 two horse drawn farm vehicles and 300 passengers, with a journey time of appox 2.5 minutes. This picture (nicked from the net) shows the last crossing of the Transporter and the new Jubilee bridge can be seen in the background. you can see the transporter deck in the middle of the picture. It was then demolished and the only part that remains of it is the power house on the bank at Widnes, which I mentioned in the first photo.



  7. #7
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    Good stuff..

    I was born just down the road from Runcorn Bridge in Halebank, then lived in Pepper Street, Hale Village for the first 11 years of my life.

    Thing I most look forward to when I head back that way is a 'mixture' from the chippy... Mushy peas and chips... Lovely.

  8. #8
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    Driven me old cartransporter many times over the runcorn bridge ,, taking Ford cars into the Liverpool area from Germany and then bringing back Ford escorts back from the now defunct Halewood factory ,,,,,,ah how times change in the name of progress

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    That bridge would have been built in the good old days when quality counted for something ,,,,,now it would be put out to tender ,, and some bunch of east europeans that will work for fuck all and live 20 to a caravan ,, the government turns a blind eye to all the health and saftery issues here ,,,,,,,,all in the name of value for money contracts ,,,,,,then 6 months later the whole lot has to be dug up and done again
    I'm proud of my 38" waist , also proud I have never done drugs

  10. #10
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    Nice thread Props.

    Interesting area indeed.


    Green for you.

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    Green for you when this system allows me to give one.


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by nigelandjan
    That bridge would have been built in the good old days when quality counted for something
    Very true, just wonder what the new bridge will be like when they start the constuction.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathos
    Nice thread Props.
    Thanks Mathos - you are the master at this type of thread, and I am just learning.
    Last edited by Propagator; 01-09-2009 at 04:32 AM.

  13. #13
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    Bridgewater Canal

    A short walk away we head for the Bridgewater Canal. A new Bridgewater Way has been constructed along the canal by making paths and cycle tracks along the whole length of the canal. As I approached the canal I saw this and thought - Hello they is putting statues of wild life along the bank, then it moved and I saw that it was a Heron looking for its breakfast





    Tried to get a little closer before it flew off





    The Bridgewater Canal connects Runcorn, Manchester and Leigh. It was opened in 1761 from Worsley to Manchester and later extended to Runcorn in 1773 and to Leigh in 1795. It is 35 miles long and connects to the Rochdale Canal, The Trent and Mersey Canal and the Leeds and Liverpool canal. It forms part of the Cheshire ring of canals.

    More info can be found here on Wiki

    Bridgewater Canal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    About 100 yards from the above photo is the Runcorn basin where the canal starts/finishes. A few residential house barges along here, and usually fishermen.





    This little spur held quite a lot of canal boats





    This one looked nice and well kept



  14. #14
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    Excellent photos Props, your making me homesick an I'm not English. Might plan a visit, you gotta spare bed?

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    Great pics will do a painting from one of them when I get time ( ie me bungalow finished refurb )

    I wonder how long it will be looking at all that deep water and exposed edges before some one falls in and sues the local council for no wall ( health and saftey ) no dont laugh its happened near to me at Mistley quay there is now 6 foot high fence erected all along the quay due to the health and saftey factor,, looks lovely ( not )

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    Great picture of your family Nick ,,,,,,,,you are a lucky man !

  17. #17
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    A last look across the water to the Power station





    and its off to see the Castle. Yep we even got a ruined castle here.

    Known as Halton Castle and situated at the top of Halton Hill. It is a Grade 1 listd building and scheduled as and ancient monument. Appears to have been built in the 12th century, replacing a wooden structure on the same site, but little evidence has been found about that. The condition of the castle has detiorated over the past 15 years, mainly due to local yobs creating havoc, and now the internal Castle is only rarely open to the public. The outer circumference is still intact and one can still walk around this.















    The building to the left of the picture will be mentioned on a later posting.

  18. #18
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    The castle has good all round view of the surrounding areas. Looking towards the Old Town with the Jubilee Bridge in the distance





    Over the Wirral Peninsular





    Back out toward Frodsham




    and finally towards Warrington



  19. #19
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    Nice thread and great pictures Props. Still can't green you for some reason. Nice to see a few decent canal boats, brings back memories of the Cropready festival. More pictures please.

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    excellent stuff
    know the area well so brings back memories
    lived in burtonwood growing up and played football and rugby around there often

  21. #21
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    Last Monday was the August Bank Holiday - the last one before Christmas. How time has flown by this year. As usual there are a lot of that quaiint English pastime of the Car Boot Sale around and this one was close to me.

    Normally most items are a load of rubbish, and as they say one persons junk is another persons treasure. I have been looking for a decent wooden handle border fork and hoped that I might find one here, but no luck so will have to look around again.

    It was a blustery day and cold for this time of the year, looked as though it was going to pour down with rain at any moment.





    Lots of people here,





    This car boot was organised by the local scout groups so they get a percentage of cost of car parking which they patrolled and organised





    The dark clouds were building up, so I thought sod this am going home before I get wet





    I will continue this next week with a visit to a place I have never been to, its only about 3 miles away and is of historical interest to Runcorn

  22. #22
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    Your a bit of a Pussy Props, maybe too much time in Thailand.
    Just can't be as cold as you say, this guys wandering around in a short sleeved shirt.

    looking at the guy on the right with the belly and his lady with a similar build, I wonder how do they get it together?


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