The locks were re-opened and so we could escape! So, leaving our mooring in Castlefield we set off early to tackle going up the Rochdale nine double locks. Lockkeepers Cottage with it’s pretty flower garden overlooks lock No 92 and halfway along the pound an old tower had been left standing amongst the demolition, contrasting with the new Beetham glass tower in the background.
This is the lock by Canal Street where we could see the sign for The Comedy Club in one of the archways.
Entering lock 87 we found ourselves alongside the Gay Bars and Clubs. Being double locks some of the winding gear and opening the gates was quite heavy work. Some gates worked on a chain and pulley winch system that was wound with the windlass.This was because, due to a lack of room the lock beams had been shortened. Going under the buildings etc through lock 85 was awful, it was dark and very smelly rather like cruising through a sewer! There were several men just hanging around in this vicinity too. I was quite relieved when we emerged into the sunlight and fresh air and the last lock No 84. I couldn’t budge the top gate on my own, so Sir came up off the boat to help, but it was only with the help of a kind passer by that we all managed to push it open.
Turning right we moored at Piccadilly Village which was built in the 1990’s and covered a large area both sides of the canal. Then after a cuppa, snack and a rest we set off for Piccadilly Gardens. We found that we were trapped in every direction by locked gates that were key-coded, so we reversed Oakfield back to Paradise Wharf. This was more desirable as it was a fourteen day mooring as opposed to 24 hours and was also a sunnier spot.