Which is a good start because this is the Duke of Lancaster which in itself is stranded on the coast near Mostyn. Of course I have been here before, but a while back I found that it had been painted... well graffitied to be honest and I wanted to see what they looked like. Of course since then I think other people have been busy and a few more have popped up as it hit the BBC news site though what is strange is that all but one of the works are on the other side of the ship which is not accessible to the public, so I can't help feel that the whole trip was a bit of a waste of time.
Feeling a little disappointed but with a few pictures captured (even after my Eye-Fi card decided to play up causing me to scurry around for a backup memory card) we set off back towards the direct path from the road, only to find that the tide had come in which not only flooded the path but made the water level on the path t come up to just below waist height. Now in an emergency this might have still been a viable route but finding a way down the path without falling into the river to the side may have been difficult so it was a detour down the coast in suede boots that were not really sited to yomping across fields. Of course yomping was the least of my worries keeping them on in the inches of mud were, I suddenly had images of the classic episode of the Good Life where Barbara tries to help but in the place of Barbara was me... in suede shoes. It wasn't a good look. It was a less of a good look at the end of the detour.
Well we failed several times today and if I were driving then home we would have gone but my Wife is so stubborn that she will not give up even to the point where no-one has any fun. We were close to that. We initially headed for Ellenroad Engine House which after getting through the security barrier at SunChemicals we found that it's only open the first Sunday in every month. Let fun be unconfined. We got there after Google Maps ignored a junction and the directiones pointed us back to the motorway back home. It should have been a sign
So where to next? One look at the map and it's Chamber House Urban Farm, no results on Google Maps on my phone but it's on the map so it must be there so we drive to it. I say drive to it what I mean is we drive to where is was and a miscommunication meant that we ended up miles out. After a quick search I found that it had been sold like so many places for... wait for it... housing.
So now I am up for going home. We have been driving for quite a while and I have had not Breakfast just like the Sweeney so we stopped at Delicious which worried me slightly. If you have to call your business Delicious then I have to wonder. Anyway a Cheese and Ham Toasty which was delicious later we were on the road. So as I said before my Wife does not give up so we ended up as the East Lancs Railway in Heywood which took a bit to find, and when we did we found that the train had left. So now we can go home? No. We drive more until we get to Ramsbottom... we will get on a train.
So we get a train from Ramsbotton to Rawtenstall, oh hold on I forgot that this is all about the picture, which is the train that took us to Rawtenstall that then took us right back again. All the door clacking brought me right back to the commuter days that I hated when I worked in Manchester and took the train. I suspect trains are romantic for those who don't have to take them every day.
Being a sad sort of chap, when I found out that they made ships out of concrete I really wanted to see one. And now I have. This chap is FCB18 at the National Waterways Museum at Ellesmere Port. The museum is really impressive and I would definitely recommend it unless you don't like boats... or water, then you're best steering clear. It also has a pump house that houses a rather large engine and boiler which is very reminiscent but less impressive then the one in Astley Green but then again it would be rather difficult to be more impressive. Another interesting thing is Porter's row which is a street containing 4 cottages built in 1833 but done up in 1840's-1950's style.
Not sure I realised how this would turn out when I took it. I seem to remember I went out early to take pictures with this one (and many more). They always say that when there is a bit of mist then the photo appears two dimensional, I thought of this when I took it but I took it anyway. I think in this instance it seems to work because of the two dimensional thing in that the far peninsular looks like it's been dropped in which makes it work as well as the blue feel, but what do I know.
And for this weekend's delectation we have the Anderton Boat Lift. Similar to the Falkirk Wheel in that it moves boats from a lower canal or rive to one over 50 feet above, this on is at least the original. Built in 1875 and used up until the 1970s whilst the Falkirk Wheel was build recently.
With the Northwich Thundersprint happening on the same day we turned up, we also had the enjoyment of seeing a Spitfire fly past several times. What a Spitfire has to to do with the Thundersprint I have no idea, other than they have a fly past every year by the sounds of it.
Anyway back to the picture. On the right the boat lift, and on the left there's the impressive and imposing salt works. This doesn't happen to be the best industrial building as far as I am concerned. In this picture the boat lift looks quite tall in respects to the building across the water. What you don't get in this picture is the building is huge and in fact there are bigger buildings just around the corner all teetering on top of silos that are huge enough to start with.
Years ago I used to do site trips to companies and messed about with their computers in in small offices in huge hangars and I used to be impressed but none of it seemed as impressive as these huge constructions.
Tracking down U-534 was the order of the day on Sunday. We had previously seen the boat at the Warship Museum in Birkenhead. Since then it has been cut up and transferred to somewhere else. All I knew was that it was the ferry port in Liverpool. Sounding easy enough we set out and wandered about near the Liver Building until we were distracted by a bus tour of Liverpool.
£20 and 50 minutes later we were no nearer but hey we had seen a few of the things to see in Liverpool such as ”Turning the place over” a piece of artwork that is intriguing because you have to marvel at the fact that it could be done but left me feeling only on thing. I just wondered... why?
So the hunt was back on an after talking to the bus driver we found that we were the wrong side of the Mersey. So a trip in the Birkenhead Tunnel and just when I was beginning to think the signs for Woodend Ferry port were going to end us up on the road back through the tunnel the signs delivered on their promise with the Uboat Story. It's an interesting Museum. Perhaps I missed it but a little info on how they put the exhibit up would be nice such as how they are going to stop the thing rusting to nothing and why the chose to do what they did. I assume that fact that they didn't reconstruct it was for two reasons, the first being space and the second being that you would not be able to get the interesting views of the inside of the U-Boat.
What's strange is that it looked so much bigger at the Warship Museum but I assume that was to do with the fact that there the boat was above you, at the Uboat Story you're at the same level as someone would have been working in the boat. With so little space, it's amazing how they fitted 52 men and all that equipment into it.
On the way back through the tunnel the radio was interrupted by a Tunnel Police message which caused me to wonder how they did that, closely followed by the thought as to why we were getting radio down here in the first place. Along with all of this came the worry that if this was a Police message then what the heck was going on and what emergency had occurred until the scary clipped female voice announced that it was a test message. Personally I would have preferred the message to start “This is a test message” rather than “This is a Mersey Tunnel Police message” as the stern woman wasn't the quickest speaker.
On a failed trip in in many so many ways we ended up at East Lancs Railway. It started up less than promising in that the first museum we tried to get to was closed but before that we circled the museum several times after misreading GPS... several times. On finding the museum was closed we followed tourist signs to the railway. Again there was little promise in this trip owing to the fact that I didn't think that a trip was on the cards and no-one were train spotters, however it didn't turn out too bad. Mind you all the best photo ops happened when my camera was in my pocket so all I came home with was this.
The train on the right was a lunch train. All set up for melon or egg mayonnaise making me wish that I could join them just like when my Wife and I were on the Orient Express. After looking at the timetable for these things I found out they did Dinners which sound like something I might be into, but the rush to get to Bury for 7pm might cause a problem from Manchester.
The station did look pretty with it's decorations for the Santa Special which might be an idea for anyone with kids who like Santa or Steam Trains which more or less encompasses most kids I would suspect.
Here a quick picture at the Railway Age Museum at Crewe, we went to the centre of Crewe after this to find that Crewe would only be nice if it wasn't for the fact that it was near Crewe.
Anyway back to the Railway Age Museum. It was an interesting and a little disorganised especially when it appeared to include other forms of transport too and include random pictures of other things than trains. What was interesting was you could climb onto an APT as a passenger and as the driver.
Here's a picture of the Pendolino on it's travels with it's "older relation" the APT strictly going nowhere inside the museum.
This particular place was found by accident. Today the aim was to get out of the house to attempt to avoid the immense building work going on in the house. The attempt today was to find a red plaque on Bank Street which is where Manchester United old ground was. After four drive pasts I decided that the security camera outside the Police Station would definitely have clocked me so decided to abort the trip and have a quick drive out. After about 10-15 minutes I came to Oldham Rd and saw this strange structure which is Gateway Metrolink Station. Not in use and probably never to be used it's set in rather sparse place right next to a rather new and clinical set of office blocks called Central Park which has a nice sign that gives it a vibrant feel, however the it's one of those places that has so few pedestrians and road traffic that it almost feels threatening. What's weird is that right next to the Metrolink line there is a railway line which makes you wonder what the Metrolink line would have actually be used for. I suspect the train line is for people who want to get to their destination now whereas the Metrolink will be for those who want to get to their destination at some point... this week.
I finally worked out how to get the exposure setting on the Pentax otherwise this picture would have come up all wrong, it was quite a bright sky which was making it difficult to get good pictures. As you can see the Riverdance is now well and truly on it's side which it wasn't initially, so it does make you wonder how they plan to re-float it, it being on it's side and it being so far up the beach as I can imagine that it will need a few feet of water to get going. As you can see on this one there's the Blackpool tower in the background.