Posted by Editor on 1st November 2011 at 06:30 PM
Video: Bridgewater 250th - Part 3 - Worsley Dry Docks
by Tony Flynn and Tom Rodgers
In this third part of our trip down the Bridgewater Canal, we look at the modern day dry docks.
They are the hub of the canal system - repairing, maintaining and patching up the leisure craft which use the Bridgewater Canal.
Dry docks like this are few and far between on the waterways. These two at Worsley are the only ones on this stretch of the canal into Manchester and have changed little of the course of the past 250 years.
They are also the oldest dry docks on any canal system in Britain, being opened in 1761 to correlate with the opening of the Bridgewater Canal.
The black and white coverings aren't original, dating instead from the 1800s.
The only difference we can see is that the boatworkers of yesteryear were repairing wooden-hulled barges whereas today the majority will be metal-hulled.
The dry docks are, however, still flooded by the same method the workers used 250 years ago, then drained so that the boats come to rest on wooden stillages for repair.
To see the full story in order, watch Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8 and Part 9.
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