Dunkinfield (Outer Manchester)

Thursday 16th June 2016

Not much to write about on the blog today as we didn’t travel anywhere. We were going to head off after lunch and go onto the Huddersfield Canal but our plans changed.

We wandered into the city of Ashton today which is an outer suburb of Manchester to have a look at the Market Square and the Canal museum. The Market Square was rather disappointing as it wasn’t like a quaint English village. Rather depressed looking and we are definitely in a poorer area of the city. Lot’s of roadways with cars whizzing by at top speed and shops that are like mini box stores. We haven’t mentioned this yet but as a Canadian pedestrian you need to be very aware that the car rules, and pedestrians are just a by-product. Even on crossings you need to be careful as if they can get away without stopping they will.   Not sure of the speed limits on suburban streets but it certainly is not slow.

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Cobblestones are very romantic but a bugger to walk on. 

One thing we have noticed here is the fact that all the kids wear uniforms to school and they look smart. It must be so much easier for parents along with being cheaper. We passed a school uniform shop today and it reminded us of when we both attended school where we were required to wear them.

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We did find a pound store though in the shopping area which we have found most useful. We buy all our products like toilet paper, laundry detergent etc from here which helps keep the prices down. We wandered around for a bit with the pooches and then headed back to the boat with our booty. We unpacked and dropped the girls off and headed back out to the Museum.

Entrance was free which astounded us as it was a great museum. It focused mainly on the history and importance of the canals in the industrialisation of the area but also addressed the area during the first world war. It is hard for us to emphasise the importance of this region in establishing Britain as a great nation. That of course is no longer the case.

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This area was known for coal mines (underground) and cotton mills.

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A lost art – the smithy shop

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Didn’t have the heart to tell Fras he was stuffed.

Of course all the talk is about the referendum on the 23rd June where they will vote to either stay in the EU or leave it. Hmmm, this is going to be very interesting if they opt for pull out of it. The talk is that all the older people want to pull out and go back to the old ways of doing their old trade deals with countries like Oz and NZ etc but what a lot of them do not realise is that all these country’s have moved on since England joined the EU back in the 80’s. They also say the young ones will vote to leave the EU as young ones are always about change. We will keep you posted but if they do opt out the pound will take a hammering.

By the time we left the museum at midday it had started raining again. Last night it rained heavily and the sound on the metal roof was lovely to hear. We came back and had lunch and thought we would wait for the weather to clear a little before we headed off. We killed time by switching on the TV and watching the England v Wales soccer game. There is some big European tournament on at the moment with the soccer and the whole country stops for the games. England had drawn their first game which was not good and had to win this game which they did by one point. It filled in the hours for us.

Gingerbread Man

This photo is for Ian our pommie mate in Calgary

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A plethora of Englishmen

At 4.00pm after watching the game the skies had cleared and there was even a hint of blue sky. We decided it was a little late to head off as there are a lot of locks ahead of us on the Huddersfield Canal and you really want a full day to tackle them. Hence we decided to stop another night here but use the rest of the day catching up on a bit of housework and preparing the boat for some of the narrow locks we have up ahead of us after the Standedge Tunnel.

We have an appointment for 11.30am on the 20th June to be taken through the tunnel which gives us plenty of time to make it up there. The Standedge Tunnel is 3 miles and 418 yards and you can only go through with a ‘pilot’ on board the boat. After that we hit locks that are 57 foot long yet we are 60 foot long – we will explain how we intend to tackle these locks a little later on but this afternoon was spent checking how to take off the rear fenders in preparation. Rest assured though, nb Lucy has done the entire Huddersfield before so unless she has grown longer in that time we should be OK.


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