Posted by Editor on 3rd November 2011 at 07:30 PM
Video: Bridgewater 250th - Part 4 - Worsley to Monton
by Tony Flynn and Tom Rodgers
In our fourth part of the Bridgewater Canal journey to celebrate its 250th anniversary, we take to the waterway on our narrowboat from the Worsley Dry Docks travelling towards Monton.
We take in the verdant greenery of the canal as it is today and hear about the regeneration of this stretch of canal towpath.
We also find out how much of a mammoth task it was to construct the canal: a feat overseen by the Duke of Bridgewater's engineer James Brindley.
Some one hundred local men, formerly agricultural workers, were employed to dig the length of the canal. A decent navvie was expected to clear 10 square yards of soil every day using only a shovel, so it must have been back-breaking work. Still, the local men seemed happy enough with the opportunity to work, being paid the average wage of a few shillings per week.
At a cost of £168,000 in 1761, the Duke shelled out his own cash to get the canal underway. Not a huge investment, you might think, until you factor in inflation which takes the figure to a more believable £24 million.
We also look at one of the most iconic local buildings: the Monton Lighthouse. Essentially a four-storey stone shed, the lighthouse sits at a bend in the canal as it sweeps round towards the feature of the next stage of our journey: James Naysmyth's famous Foundry at Patricroft.
Look out next week for Part 5 of our journey tracing the past and present of the Bridgewater canal as we head towards the hub of Manchester's industrial revolution at Castlefield.
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.
Comment by allan hayward ( member ) 3rd November 2011
Excellant work Tony. First rate,
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