Today I was due to meet Reg and other East Lancs LDWA ‘Plodders’ for a reprise of the walk that we originally did on 21 July.
I travelled uneventfully by tram to Eccles, where Morrisons enabled supplies to be taken on for the rest of the day. The number 67 bus then took me to the outskirts of Cadishead, where it suddenly shot off into a housing estate and terminated by a patch of grassland I recognised from Part 4 (SJ 703 018). It was nearly 11 o’ clock, and as the LDWA always set off on time I jogged down to Glaze Brook and the ‘Marge and Steel’ roundabout (see above picture).
The sun was shining, but nobody was to be seen, and there were no cars in the lay-by, so I set off. Cadishead Way is a long straight road. There was no sign of anyone, so I went back to the roundabout. Still no cars in the lay-by, and no sign of anyone. I scrutinised the Marge and Steel plaque.
11.15. Set off again – I thought they must be way ahead by now, so I managed a fair pace.
The disused bridge over the ship canal was soon passed – the line continues in a remarkably short distance through Partington/Carrington to reach Timperley near Sinderland Brook and cross the Bridgewater Canal near our house.
I wrote about this renovated Soap Works shunting engine in my previous report.
The lush vegetation we saw in July has died back a bit, and the flowers have been replaced by berries.
By the time I reached the Boat House the sun had gone in and it was drizzling. There was no sign of Reg and his men, so I continued in pursuit.
After lunch beside the Ship Canal, the path beside the canal drew me towards the new City of Salford rugby stadium. I wondered what it must have been like to stand in this spot a hundred years ago.
The building work looks as if it’s progressing well. The turf has been laid and there are some (practice/five-a-side?) pitches with synthetic surfaces beside the main stadium.
On reaching the Bridgewater Canal I gave up my pursuit and decided to walk along the towpath to Stretford, rather than go to Salford Quays. I found the view from the swing bridge over the Ship Canal quite impressive.
The Bridgewater Canal flows happily over the Ship Canal.
The Bridgewater Way is ‘work in progress’, but already some of the informative signs have been abused.
Approaching Stretford, I came across an impressive series of bridges. The distant bridge is a footbridge over the Bridgewater Canal, where a spur to the right provides a link with the Rochdale Canal; then there are bridges for a disused railway line, the main Manchester to Warrington railway line, a footbridge near Trafford Park station, and a pipe, perhaps carrying water from the Lake District.
From here, a short stroll to Stretford found me a tram, and I was home by early afternoon.
Here’s my route – 17km in a bit more than 3 hours, with minimal ascent:
Meanwhile, Reg reported:
“Six Plodders braved the storms of yesterday to walk the 5th section of the Salford Trail. Sheltered in the Ferryboat Inn (sic – it was the Boat House) for a while. The landlady felt sorry for us and let us eat our sandwiches in the pub while we sampled some of her excellent chips and coffee. Further adventures involved scrumping apples and a tram ride from Media City.”
I was baffled…
…until I discovered that they had met at another lay-by 400 metres back along the road, and they had set off at 11.10, so I must have been just out of sight when they got to Cadishead Way. I’d been ahead of them all the time. And ahead of the ‘storms’ to which Reg refers!
The walk had been specially arranged for one ‘R Norman’, an LDWA stalwart, who had called off at the last minute. So there will be a third attempt at this route for his benefit. I may be there – perhaps I’ll just sit in the Boat House Inn and wait, as R Norman is known to be incapable of walking past a pub.