Opening and First Boats through Middlewood Lock

The photos on this page were taken in September 2008. Photos of this section of canal taken in 2005, before work started, can be found here. Photos taken in 2007, during construction work, can be found here.

Photos of the completed Middlewood Locks section, between the River Irwell and Oldfield Road, taken in September 2008 are here.

On September 19th 2008 boats entered the restored Middlewood section of the Manchester Bolton and Bury Canal for the first time. Boats carrying guests representing the various partners involved in the planning and construction of the Middlewood Locks scheme travelled from the River Irwell, through the Margaret Fletcher Tunnel.

River Irwell
Boats assembled on the River Irwell below Prince's Bridge.
River entrance
The first boat, "Prince William", turns into the entrance to the Margaret Fletcher Tunnel from the River Irwell.
Middlewood deep lock
The first boats in Middlewood Deep Lock. This lock replaces the original staircase Locks 1 and 2 which had been at the entrance from the river. It was not possible to restore the original locks because of the construction of the Salford Inner Relief Road.
Middlewood deep lock
The first boats in Middlewood Deep Lock. The lock has a fall of around 5 metres (16 feet), depending on the level of the River Irwell, making it the third deepest canal lock in England.
Middlewood deep lock
Once the lock was full, speeches were made to mark the occasion.
The Mayor of Salford, Councillor Margaret Ann Morris, and John Fletcher, Chairman of the Manchester Bolton and Bury Canal Society, unveil a plaque dedicating the new tunnel to the memory of John's late wife Margaret who, as Canal Society chairman, had facilitated the £350,000 needed to pay for the design and construction of the tunnel.
"Prince William" moves forward towards East Ordsall Lane, carrying the VIP guests.
Boats above Middlewood Deep Lock, with the backdrop of the Manchester skyline.
See photos of the completed canal channel through Middlewood Locks from the River Irwell to Oldfield Road.

Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal home page