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User / andyrousephotography / Sets / Worsley - The Delph Project
Andy Rouse / 11 items

N 33 B 3.6K C 17 E Aug 18, 2019 F Aug 18, 2019
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Bridgewater Canal, Worsley

Positively my last trip down to Worsley to document the development of the Delph Project and Bridgewater Basin. Everything appears +90% complete other than the removal of the barriers. All of the portacabins than took over the small car park have disappeared. However, there is still no access to any of it and no sign of a completion date.

I did venture as far as I could get towards the alphabet bridge only to be met by a sign tie wrapped to the fencing saying closed until the 30th June 2019...

What I can tell you is that there have been some nice little touched added... like the embossed letters of the alphabet on the 26 planks of the bridge and place names that the underground canal network extends to like Farnworth and Walkden.

The viewing gallery looks complete with bubble wrapped sculptured tools on the top deck waiting to be unveiled. However, I feel it's a pity the design wasn't altered to accommodate the two uncovered tunnels that could have made a nice little coffee retreat, or at the very least glass fronted to show some artefacts from the mines. Also, I fear that access to the crane sculpture on the stone clad island will be out of bounds to visitors as the new gates look to be permanently pad-locked.

So this is my last upload on the Delph Project... thanks to everyone who managed to see beyond the construction site images and bothered to read the back story... many thanks for sticking with it!

Tags:   Worsley Duke of Bridgewater Francis Egerton James Brindley John Gilbert Bridgewater Canal canal Delph basin mines mining underground canals 46 miles starvationers restoration benches paving landscaping UNESCO World Heritage Status

N 42 B 3.3K C 29 E Jun 30, 2019 F Jul 16, 2019
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Bridgewater Canal, Worsley

This time shooting from the other side of the bridge looking back towards the Packet House. The white building on the left is the Nailmaker's House (oldest building in Worsley although I can't find a date to back that up). Just beyond the trees is the renovated "Alphabet Bridge" so named because of the 26 planks that make up the deck.

In the foreground are two granite benches in the shape of starvationer barges. If you can enlarge the image you will see the inner ribs of the barge that gave them the name "starvationer".
Also are three inscribed stones bearing the names of:-

Francis Egerton (1736 - 1803)3rd Duke of Bridgewater
James Brindley (1716 - 1772)Engineer - Barton Aqueduct
John Gilbert (1724 - 1795)Estate Manager/Engineer for the Duke of Bridgewater

Everything looks complete this side although it is still fenced off. I suppose they are waiting for the completion of the Delph island and viewing gallery before the grand opening. Watch this space!

Tags:   Worsley Duke of Bridgewater Francis Egerton James Brindley John Gilbert Bridgewater Canal canal Delph basin mines mining underground canals 46 miles starvationers restoration benches paving landscaping UNESCO World Heritage Status

N 16 B 2.5K C 29 E Jun 30, 2019 F Jul 16, 2019
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Bridgewater Canal, Worsley

Apologies if my stream is beginning to look like a train wreck, but I'm all over the place with images at the moment and don't know what to upload next. For once I've plenty to go at but those I've processed I'm not happy with the outcome so I thought I'd concentrate on getting this project more up to date. At least these are in focus!

From the previous image, the tarpaulin has been removed from the viewing gallery and now I'm not sure whether the lower deck did sag and has been recast or it was just my bad eyesight... either way, not to worry things have clearly progressed. Biggest surprise was to see two workmen working on a Sunday (must be double time).

The stone cladding is almost complete and the embankments have been grassed. The one disappointing feature that has been installed already are the signs that sit in the basin warning narrowboats not to enter the Delph as the basin is not navigable!

It just means for us togs... we will be forever cloning out signs from now on!

Tags:   Worsley Duke of Bridgewater Francis Egerton Bridgewater Canal canal Delph basin mines mining underground canals 46 miles starvationers restoration benches paving landscaping UNESCO World Heritage Status

N 21 B 3.5K C 19 E Apr 7, 2019 F Jul 12, 2019
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Bridgewater Canal, Worsley

The project is nearing completion and although I haven't posted an update for some time I've been down to the Delph to chart progress. This was taken back in April of this year and shows how things have developed.

The most notable features are the installation of the sculpture on the island. This is meant to represent a crane that was used in the 18th/19th century although I have no idea how it operates. There is only a single drawing of the design which the sculptor copied. The floating "shapes" are meant to represent the outlines of the starvationer barges that brought the coal out of the mines to be loaded into conventional barges for transportation to the Castlefield basin and the Manchester mills. I'm a little disappointed that the authorities didn't go the extra mile and commission a couple of replicas to be moored in the Delph, but I expect Health and Safety had their say and no doubt they would be vandalised in time.

The other less noticeable point in the image, and one of the reasons why it has been delayed beyond it's intended March opening it that the viewing gallery had a slight accident! If you look closely at the boxed in section under the green tarpaulin sheet you will notice that the decking on the right side has given way and now slopes to the water. This has had to be cut out and new rebar and reinforcing work done before recasting the floor section again.

Tags:   Worsley Duke of Bridgewater Francis Egerton Bridgewater Canal canal Delph basin mines mining underground canals 46 miles starvationers restoration benches paving landscaping UNESCO World Heritage Status

N 39 B 5.3K C 18 E Feb 16, 2019 F Mar 1, 2019
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Bridgewater Canal, Worsley

Part III and my final upload from this visit... I only post this image on account of something that caught my eye. Having watched Kevin McCloud's Grand Designs for many years, I whole heartily agree with him that great architecture and design have a positive influence on the human psyche. Why else do we paint and decorate our homes to our individual tastes if not to make us feel happy.

However, I also believe that great design goes unnoticed a lot of the time. Take IKEA for example, all their flat pack furniture is carefully designed with home assembly in mind to be assembled with the minimum of parts and tools, although some will disagree, but I bet they never looked at the assembly plan first before jumping in with hammer and nail. The London Tube Map - copied the world over because it works and nobody has come up with a better alternative are two examples that spring to mind.

Which brings me back to this image, but first, a little moan... the bridge crossing the canal is known as the Alphabet bridge on account of the 26 decking planks. The story goes that the local school children used to recite their alphabet whilst crossing - a simple story if nothing else. However, I don't recall anything being wrong with the structure of that bridge or the timbers say the odd rotten one, but it looks like new steelwork to me, which I thought would contravene renovation laws (one for Kevin perhaps). Moan over...

What I do like are those two stone benches. Prior to this paving and landscaping the area was a patch of waste ground with a very sorry conventional park bench and a litter bin right at the end that nobody used because they couldn't be ar$ed to walk that far!. But back to the benches... they could have so easily put a couple of new standard ones there instead (and probably a lot cheaper as well). I suspect you're all wondering what the hell am I going on about!!!

Whoever has come up with this design, I tip my hat to them, because they have clearly researched the history of Worsley and its mining heritage. The Benches have been cast in the shape of the starvationer boats, so called due to their exposed ribs, that were used in the underground mines to extract the coal. If you can enlarge this image you can make out the ribs on the top of the bench seats.

I just think this is such a great nod to the past and clever/creative design at its best. For anyone visiting the area without any knowledge of the local history I suspect these will go unnoticed. That's it for now, I'll be keeping an eye on developments as it reaches completion.

Tags:   Worsley Duke of Bridgewater Francis Egerton Bridgewater Canal canal Delph basin mines mining underground canals 46 miles starvationers restoration benches paving landscaping UNESCO World Heritage Status


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