I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Monday 24 June 2013

Castlefield Quay (Manchester) - Sunday 23rd June

I was woken up at midnight by the rain and a strange noise - well not really strange but it was for midnight - a narrowboat on the move!!  If it had been the put put of a working boat then I could have understood it but it wasn't.  All I can think is that it was a hire boater desperately trying to get round the Cheshire Ring! 

It was raining when woke up, it had been forecast but we are always hopeful it won't be too bad.  All I could think of was the Lymm festival and what a shame it was for them. 

Richard wanted to press on and in fact the rain wasn't too bad. We didn't stop for lunch - that's twice recently now! 

I knew that we were getting near Waters Meeting as I could smell the Kelloggs factory!  It is a very strange sort or smell - sweet but not sweet!  We had gone down to Waters Meeting last year when we turned round and headed back north along the Bridgewater.

It wasn't long before we were passing the home of Manchester United - I had to take a photo for on of Richard's sons who is a keen fan.

The home of Manchester United
After Waters Meeting the canal becomes pretty rough with lots of graffiti and everywhere looked very run down.  We passed Pomona Lock and wondered whether we were allowed to go down onto the River Irwell and over to the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal.

A nice part of the run in to Manchester
We arrived into Castlefield Quay and it was quite quiet, though that changed as the day progressed until there was no room at all.  There appears to be quite a few permanently moored boats here but nowhere does it give any hint about mooring and how long it it.

After we had moored up we went to explore a little and get our bearings.  We could hear music and followed the sound.  We came across an artisan market under the arches - the music was coming from a disco.  A dance group kept people entertained for some time.
Artisan market dancing

The canal terminates at the Castlefield wharves, which spread out like the fingers on a hand. The oldest of them was constructed in 1765. The various wharves are named after the principle commodities they handled, such as Potato Wharf, Timber Wharf, Coal Wharf and Slate Wharf.

Giant's Wharf
As part of the renewal of the Castlefield Site, an extensive new outdoor area has been developed as an events arena. The area provides for an audience both seated and standing, and serves as a venue for all kinds of outdoor events, entertainments and gatherings. The site had been, for many years a natural gathering area, where street performers, various markets and festivals took place.

Castlefields Outdoor Arena
The Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) was opened in 1969 on Grosvenor Street, Chorlton-on-Medlock. Today the Museum occupies the former Liverpool Road Station, one of Manchester's most important historic sites. When the Station closed in 1975, Greater Manchester Council, agreed to purchase it to become the Museum's new home. The Museum opened at its new site on 15 September 1983, the 153rd anniversary of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway.

Museum of Science and Industry
Liverpool Road station is a former railway station on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, which opened on 15th September 1830. The station was the Manchester terminus of the world's first inter-city passenger railway in which all services were hauled by timetabled steam locomotives. It is now the world's oldest surviving terminal railway station.  The station closed to passenger services on 4th May 1844.

Liverpool Road Station
The Opera House was opened as the New Theatre, renamed the New Queen’s Theatre in 1915 and the Opera House in 1920. It closed in 1979 and for five years was a bingo hall. The Palace Trust acquired it in 1984 and returned it to a theatre. In 1990 it was acquired by Apollo Leisure and now stages large scale musicals.  It is Grade II listed building.

The Opera House

The Great Northern Railway Company's Goods Warehouse was built in the 1890s.  It is claimed that the brick and stone range masking the goods station and its attendant warehouse is the longest Victorian facade in the country.  The distinct layered decoration is known as "streaky bacon style"!

Great Northern Railway Company's Goods Warehouse

Is this the longest Victorian facade in the country?
St. John Street is the only surviving georgian terraced street in central manchester, and forms the heart of the conservation area of Castlefields.  It is assumed the houses in the street were built as they were required, between 1770 and 1830. Not all the street was built up by then, as the 1850 map shows the site of no. 9 to be a timber yard. Early residents represented a broad mix of occupations, but with the passage of time occupancy became almost exclusively connected with the medical and legal professions. Consultants and specialists still comprise the majority of occupants in St John Street.  While the houses fronting the street were built for middle class and professional people, behind them were at least three back streets at right angles where workers lived in very small dwellings. They would have been workers in commerce rather than domestic staff from the larger houses. These smaller dwellings were poorly constructed and have long since disappeared.
St. John Street
Beetham Tower (also known as the Hilton Tower) is a landmark 47-storey mixed-use skyscraper.  It was completed in 2006 and is named after its developers, the Beetham Organisation. At a height of 551 feet, it is the tallest skyscraper in Manchester, the ninth tallest building in the United Kingdom and the tallest outside London The Hilton Hotel occupies space up to level 22 and a four-metre cantilever marks level 23 where the Cloud 23 bar is located. Above this level are apartments from level 25 to the triplex penthouse apartment on level 47. It is the tallest residential building in the country and fourth tallest in Europe. The structure is one of the thinnest skyscrapers in the world and was designed to be a slender tower and is visible from ten counties on a clear day. The top floor penthouse offers views of Greater Manchester, the Cheshire Plain, Pennines, Peak District and Snowdonia and is worth a reputed £3 million!!  The tower is known for an intermittent but unintentional hum in windy weather, believed to emanate from the glass 'blade' atop the building.  The hum has been recorded as a B below middle C!
Beetham Tower
I think that will do for today!! 

12.62 miles

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