I think the greatest impression I have of the journey along the Manchester Ship Canal is that of the contrast of the old and the new, the commerce and leisure and the urban and rural landscapes along its 35 miles. The journey itself took almost 6 hours during which time we passed from the glossy, modern buildings at the start of the journey to the impressive older buildings at the end. The first bridge lifted to let us pass from the quay into the canal and we moved sedately by the Lowry. the Imperial War Museum, the Hovis grain silo and the huge building site which is to be the new BBC studios and on to our first lock. There were five locks in all, three in fairly quick succession at the beginning of the journey. The last took us from the canal into the tidal River Mersey and we had to wait here a while for the tide to be at the exact level to make that move.
Although I had my camera with me, and I took the photograph of the ferry in the last post, once on board I decided to let Paul take the photos as the boat was very busy and seats were at a premium so he dotted about whilst I remained seated using my trusty binoculars to take in some of the views. We cruised steadily past scrap metal heaps and new canal side apartments with little balconies where people waved from open windows. I think most of all I remember the open countryside, the place where the River Mersey joined and then left the canal, the soaring railway and road bridges, especially the beautiful road bridge at Runcorn and the cantilever bridge near Warrington, the wildlife - a heron flying alongside the ferry, a buzzard on a post giving us a lugubrious stare, plovers, geese and kingfishers.
Here are just some of the sights we captured along the way:-
I have one special photograph which I am going to put in a separate post because I think it is outstanding enough to warrant it and it was one of my favourite sights on the whole journey.