During Construction - November 2001


A virtual flight up the route.

These photographs were taken, in a generally eastern direction, for British Waterways in November 2001 and show the construction work in progress. Because the sun is low in the sky the shadows emphasise features of the land surface.

I hope that, in due course, a further series will be added showing the completed navigation.


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The confluence of the Savick Brook and the Ribble at low tide. The Ribble is at the bottom, Lea Marsh is to the top right, Lancashire County Council waste tip is to the left of the photograph.
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This view is looking north towards Blackpool Road at low tide. Lock one will be in the channel between the bend by the filling station and the end of the hedge leading from the farm buildings. The reddish coloured haul-road down from Blackpool Road to the site of the lock can be seen clearly.
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Lock one will be in the channel at the top right of this view. Again the haul-road can be seen clearly.

The Savick Brook flows around the back of the Lea Gate Hotel, between the Deepdale brook out-fall & the brightly coloured reed-bed and then under Blackpool Road bridge before swinging east and then south to its confluence with the Ribble.


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Looking east, another view of the brook as it meanders past the BNFL pumping station, where two pipes cross the brook, and a plantation of trees behind the Lea Gate Hotel.

The present down-stream limit of the new channel can be seen just beyond the pumping station.


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This view shows the route between the BNFL pumping station and the second farm access bridge. Meanders which have been cut off by the new channel can be seen on the north side of the brook. The red site cabins in the top right corner of the photograph are just down-stream of the bridge.

Lock two is being constructed behind its protective earth dams while the brook flows around it along its original course which will become the by-wash channel. The derelict, first farm bridge is at the end of the straight lane flanked by hedges at top.


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The second farm access bridge is in the centre of this view. Two arch sections can be seen lying on their sides beyond the existing bridge and the base section is between the bridge and the site cabins. When the bridge has been assembled, and the 3550 nuts and bolts fully tightened, it will be craned into position on the bed of the brook. Further up-stream is a temporary access bridge - the site of my encounter with a mink!
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The temporary access bridge is near the bottom of this view, the Darkinson Lane sewer crossing is between the end of the line of trees and the light-coloured 'arrow head' on the southern bank and lock two-A is near the top in its new channel. The brook flows around it along its original course which, when the weir is completed, will become the by-wash channel.

The double line of fencing required due to the foot and mouth disease precautions can be seen crossing the field on the northern side of the brook.


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A closer view of lock two-A being constructed behind earth dams. The golf course footbridge is at the end of the line of trees leading from the north-western corner of the Lea housing estate.

The section between here and the golf course access bridge will be one of the last to be started.


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An even closer view of lock two-A in its new channel behind protective earth dams. The partly completed weir can be made out across the start of the by-wash channel near the top of the photograph.
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A closer view of the present limit of the channel excavation down-stream of the golf course footbridge and the, as yet untouched section up-stream towards lock three.
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This section, where the brook flows between the Ashton & Lea Golf Course and the BNFL sports ground will be one of the last to be started. The golf course access bridge crosses the brook at the end of the lane at the far side of the BNFL sports ground.

The golf club sewer can be made out crossing the brook mid-way between the sports hall and the bridge.


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A closer view of the section down-stream of the golf course access bridge.
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The golf course access bridge will be replaced by a new structure a short distance down-stream and the corner of the sports ground has been fenced off to allow access.

Lock three is being built in the first bend in the brook to the east of the golf course access bridge. This is the only lock to be built 'in the wet' and a new by-wash channel will be cut on the northern side. The straightened channel can be seen leading up-stream to Lea Road and lock four.


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Lock four can be seen, in its new channel, at the top of this photograph beyond Leyland Bridge which is on Lea Road. The original course of the brook flows into the new channel from between trees on the northern bank.
The section up-stream of lock four which has the tight S-bends and Savick Way Bridge has been missed out in this series.
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Beyond Savick Way a straightish section leads to lock five where the present meanders will become the by-wash channel of the lock when the weir is completed.

Beyond lock five a new cut takes the channel to the railway and Tom Benson Way bridges. At the other side a turning basin has been partially excavated which, when completed, will enable boats to turn at the bottom of the three-rise staircase locks. These can be seen under construction in the field alongside Tom Benson Way. The upper mooring basin has been partially excavated in the field between the top lock and the Lancaster Canal which is in the upper part of the view.


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Closer...
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And closer! Doesn't look much from this height, but...
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...it does from down here - looking up from the bottom of lock 6, over the cill into locks 7 and 8. The steel piles here are up to 45 feet long. Cliff and Frank insisted on taking this digital image of me with my 35mm camera during a site tour with John Banks, the clerk of works.
Send questions and comments to RLT@aaug.net

Last Revised: Tue 5th March 2002

Copyright © 1998-2002 by John Clegg, the Ribble Link Trust Ltd. and British Waterways.


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