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70 now and our five wonderful years aboard our narrowboat Skyy seem along time ago. Jacquie, allowed me to build my replica three wheeler kit car, which was a great success. Now it's time to start on a bigger project and that is to make a good Triumph Stag even better, here goes.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010



A relatively early start for us, as we would have to overnight in the centre of Manchester and we wanted to be assured of a mooring in the Castlefield area.

The stretch of canal through Sale and Stretford was clean and wide, but mostly residential and the attractively named ‘Waters Meeting’ junction was disappointingly nondescript. We turned right here for the three mile run into the centre of Manchester City.

Initially all that can be seen is the freight terminal for Euro Tunnel and then the Manchester United FC stadium came into view, I did not find this a visually exciting structure, much of it looked to be made of oversized scaffold poles and rusty red coloured, corrugated aluminium. The Ship Canal joined us on the left; its far bank lined with smart apartments and it accompanied us right into the centre, although not always visible.

Just before we turned right into Castle Quays there is a sanitation block on the left side, underneath the railway arches and viaducts. We made full use of the facility including using our own pumpout kit as we were not sure what services would be available on the Rochdale.

Castle Quays was already fairly full of visiting boats at 2pm, but we snuggled into a corner and felt very secure. The whole area had been regenerated some years back and in parts looked a little tired, but many restaurants and bars nearby ensured that the place was full of life. The other side of the railway arches a beach had been created complete with deckchairs and several large screens where World Cup Football could be watched, courtesy of Hyundai Cars.

Despite our concerns about staying in the centre of Manchester, in retrospect we wished that we had allowed more time, there is obviously so much to do and see, starting with the Museum of Science and Industry. I think there might even be some shops somewhere, clothes and stuff, if that’s your scene. If you are hesitating in venturing this way do not be put off by negative comments.

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