Sunday, 17 May 2015

Vale Royal Moorings Sunday 17 May 2015

It was good to find that yesterdays wind had died completely over night, but this morning was dull and cool, I expected rain at any moment but it didn’t happen.

We pushed of at 10-30 am as we were only going to Hunts Lock moorings which would only take an hour. Opposite where we were moored I think someone may be living in this tent on the river bank, I felt sure someone was sat outside it last night.DSCF9058

We took some more photos of the derelict chemical works at Winnington. the scale of the building with all its infill brick work is vast. To give an idea of the size the river wall is about 10ft high DSCN1187and the front edge of the canopy that sticks out over the canal is over 30 course of bricks high.DSCF9064 There appears to be just brick walls and windows sitting on steel beams with overhead travelling gantry rails running between them. The building on top of the silo is three stories tall and the DSCN1189silo its self towers above the level of the canopy. I estimate it is 60 feet to the top of the canopy from the ground. The silo is probably twice that and the top building another 40 feet giving a total of maybe 160 –180 feet to the top ridge. DSCF9075Although it looks derelict there were lights on inside.

Passing the bottom of the lift this nice wooden boat was waiting to go up, it looks to me as if it was originally an old ships lifeboat.DSCF9088  Not long after this we met the Bywater Hotel Boats with their new guests onboard for the week.DSCF9094 11-30 am saw us mooring up just under the viaduct and below Hunts lock in the same spot we spent Wednesday night.

We headed off to The Bowling Green pub for Sunday Lunch except the were not doing Sunday lunches so we had to chose from their normal menu. We then revisited the Weavers HallDSCN1192 museum where we had also gone to earlier in the week. Our main reason for the return visit was to watch a couple of the videos they were showing. After this we walked down to the Edwardian Pumping Station, this is quite a small building and use to pumpDSCN1195 the towns sewage away. As we approached we could hear the pumps  running. It only opens on a Sunday afternoon and Bank Holidays between Easter and the end of September. The building houses two single cylinder Crossley N type gas fuelled hot bulb engines.DSCN1196 Each one is connected via a clutch and reduction gear to a Hayward Tyler 3 cylinder positive displacement pump.
The engine cylinders are lubricated by a total loss system of drip feed oil via a mechanical drip feed system. The engine speed control is a mechanical bob weight governor and the ignition system is the only bit that is not original, it would have been via a magneto mounted on the end of the shaft where you now see the points operating, but unfortunately someone thought the scrap value of the copper was greater than its historic value.

The engines are water cooled via a thermo-siphon tank about 10 feet high and 3ft in diameter. I had never seen a hot bulb petrol engine before, only hot bulb diesels. The units are just over 100 years old.

Back at the boat we set off upstream through Hunt’s lock and then Vale Royal lock. The lockkeeper at Vale Royal had it open ready for us and while in the lock we had an interesting chat as he use to be a tanker skipper and had been to Lowestoft College and also Norwich Airport fire ground, places that I am familiar with.

We planned to moor on the bollards at Vale Royal visitor moorings but there were already 4 boats here so we just slipped a chain through the pilling and moored above them all. Once moored Diana went for a walk returning with this information about the lock which she found in the window of the lock house. DSCN1212I hope you can read it OK. This is the single lock it speaks of built in 1791DSCN1205 

Today’s Journeymap 15 5¾ Miles, 2 Locks in 2¼ hours.

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