24th July 2019
Over the last two weeks we have made our way slowly along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal to Litherland in Merseyside. During this time Rob from Bickerbats has been on board Dunworkin and fitted an automatic washing machine for us. We had a small twin tub machine we had started to play up and the spin mechanism had stopped working, so we decided to take the plunge and buy an automatic. Although this will use more water, we felt that its just a matter of planning, but I definitely was not going to miss the twin tub!
Our Journey today starts at Litherland in Merseyside. A fairly poor area until the arrival of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in 1774, the canal provided a safe route from Liverpool to Wigan , and eventually in 1816 to Leeds. We are approx 5 miles from Liverpool city centre, which is mainly urban and industrial.
At Stanley Locks the canal descends 44 feet through 4 locks to Liverpool Docks. Built in 1848 by Jesse Hartley the same designer of Stanley Dock and Albert Dock. As we go down the flight look out for the huge Tobacco Warehouse to the left and the hexagonal clock tower that stands between the docks and the Mersey.
At the end of the four locks is Great Howard Street Bridge, the gateway to the Liverpool Canal Link.
Passing under the Great Howard Street Bridge, Stanley Dock comes into view and on the left you get a better view of the huge Tobacco Warehouse, reputed to have been the biggest building in the world when it was built in 1900 and is currently being renovated into luxury apartments.
Ahead of us you will see the Victorian hexagonal clock tower known as The Dockers Clock which stands between the docks and the Mersey estuary. This tower constructed of granite was also designed by Jesse Hartley, was completed in 1848, had six clock faces and allowed sailors to make sure their time pieces were correct as they headed off to sea.
Here we turned left into a channel which has been excavated along the eastern side of the docks known as Sids Ditch and emerge out into Waterloo Dock Warehouse which has been converted into apartments. It is here that we catch our first glimpse of the lovely Liver building. We pass under a new bridge into Princes Dock which is flanked by modern office buildings and approach the new lock which is overlooked by the Crown Plaza Hotel . Here we are lowered to the level of a new tunnel running under St Nicholas Place to Pier Head. We emerge from the tunnel directly in front of Liverpools Three Graces only to find ourselves entering another tunnel which comes out in front of the new Museum of Liverpool.
The canal then opens up into a small basin and we turn left into another new lock leading to Canning Dock.
After crossing Canning Dock we turn to the right and pass in front of the Pumphouse (now a pub). We turn left under a bridge into Albert Dock and head for a gap on the left into Salthouse Dock, where we moor up on the floating pontoons.
Liverpool is a lovely, lively city with lots of free museums and plenty to see and do with the Beatles connection. We had a great night out with other Bickerstaffe boat owners whom we had planned to meet.