Ribble Ripples
Volume 5 No.3 .................................. September 1998
[Photograph of Haslam Park locks.]
Photograph of Haslam Park locks taken in 2000 from the south side of lock seven of the Ribble Link looking up the flight towards locks eight and nine. The mooring basin and the junction with the Lancaster Canal are behind the trees on the left and the Savick Brook is flowing towards the camera in front of the trees on the right.

John Clegg, 25 The Farthings, Astley Village, CHORLEY PR7 1TP
Tel: 01257 271198
e-mail: RLT@aaug.net



Chairman's Report

BW Sail the Savick


Hello once more,

Early in August my wife and I spent a pleasant couple of hours walking from Whaley Bridge along the Peak Forest canal to Bugsworth basin, a canal/tramway interchange, which is being restored and, in our opinion, well worth a visit.

Afterwards we stopped off at Marple Bridge to walk down the bottom end of the lock flight to the Aqueduct. We started off through Brabin's Park towards the canal but managed to get a little lost but eventually spotted the canal embankment which we scrambled up. When we reached the towpath my wife was holding a metal disc which she thought might be a coin as it was covered in a greenish deposit.

When we got home I cleaned it up a bit and could make out the letters B R I T N A around half the circumference of a raised band about 4mm wide round the edge. The obverse is more corroded but the letters O R G I(or E) can be made out on a similar band. It weighs about 30g. is 3mm thick and is 36mm in diameter.

From a little research I thought it might be a Britannia One Penny truck token from the reign of a King George, but no trace of which one.

I visited the museums at Blackburn - curator of coins left, Preston - curator on holiday and finally Manchester where the curator recognised it immediately as a Cartwheel penny minted in Birmingham in 1797.

480 tons(!) of them were minted so they are very common, so common that he picked up a ready printed handout, and ours was a 'lousy specimen'. However, we will keep it as a memento of our day in the Peak district.

John Clegg


Chairman's Report

As reported last month the board of the Ribble Link Construction and Operations Ltd., consisting of two members of the Trust and two from Lancashire County Council, met in July and agreed to sign a legal agreement with the Millennium Commission. The signing of this document took place in early September.

The solicitors have been hard at work trying to tie up all the loose ends regarding land acquisition and these now appear to have been resolved. All but four of the contracts are ready to be signed and the remainder are agreed and only awaiting draft contracts.

On the 2nd of September another significant meeting took place between LCC, Babtie and the Environment Agency to discuss the water quality and flooding issues. It is hoped that the final information can be in place by mid October / November and that all issues can be resolved thus allowing work to commence early next year.

This year's Cruise and Maritime Festival was a success as far as numbers of boats attending. However, as you all know, the weather was none to kind and Sunday was a bit of a wash out, still the sail was good. Because of the strong winds on the Sunday the firework display was postponed and re-scheduled to take place in August.

My thanks go once again to Frank & Irene Parker for organising the entire weekend in such a professional manner and a special thanks to all the people who gave Frank & Irene assistance. Also I would like to thank the escort boats for all their help in assisting those boats, who for one reason or another, could not make it under their own steam. Finally thanks to those who helped man the caravan and stalls and Babtie for attending the exhibition in the Ribble Link Centre.

Next year the Cruise will be held a little later in the year in an attempt to find better weather, the dates have now been announced as the 11th & 12th Sept 1999.

On the 24th & 25th of August Derek Cochrane (British Waterways NW Manager) and Ian Selby (BW Engineer) joined us to see at first hand the route and to study the Savick Brook (full story on the following pages). They are now fully committed to the scheme and are keen to help resolve any outstanding issues. They consider the project to be a major boost to the canal network.

Thanks once again to Chris Gulley and Chris Miller for supplying the boats.

We have now received pledges for the full amount of £23,100 and over the next few years we will be requesting those pledges to go via the landfill scheme, as and when it is required (the full list is included below). Should anyone still wish to donate either direct or by becoming a life member please contact Chris Gulley, or any member of the committee, as we will find other landfill operators to put it through.

This year's Annual General Meeting will be held on Wednesday 11th November at the Ribble Link Centre (Preston Marina Boat Yard), Lockside Road, Riversway starting at 8.00pm.

Once again thanks to all those who give their time in whatever way to promote the success of our cause.

Best regards

Cliff Fazackerley



BW Sail the Savick

On Monday the 24th and Tuesday 25th August 1998 a two day event was organised to allow British Waterways to view at close hand the Ribble Link and in particular the Savick Brook. On Monday Derek Cochrane (NW Manager) and Ian Selby (Engineer) of British Waterways arrived at Tarleton to join Chris Gully and myself for a sail down the Ribble Link on Chris's boat Chantelle.

At the last minute Ken Hudson also joined us on what was a beautiful sunny day and at 12.20 we departed Tarleton lock with the assistance of Harry Mayor. After 20 minutes sail on the River Douglas passed Shepherd's boat yard situated on the port side (which is a good safe haven should anyone have engine trouble) and sailed on towards the River Ribble.

As we arrived at the 5-mile perch, at the confluence of the Rivers Ribble and Douglas, and turned up river Ian Selby enquired about the navigability of the inlet situated on the port side known locally as Freckleton Creek. Chris, who has sailed the creek many times, obliged and diverted Chantelle into the narrow channel and sailed past the many boats moored there. After a bit of careful manoeuvring we sailed back to the River Ribble and on towards Preston.

Almost on the 1.5 mile perch, on the port side, we entered the Savick Brook, sailed carefully up channel passing the proposed half tide lock location and on as far as the Blackpool Road bridge, which due to the 9.0 metre tide, was the limit of navigation on this occasion. Again after turning Chantelle in her own length we sailed down stream and re-entered the Ribble. Having made good time Chris took us up the River as far as the old Penwortham bridge before turning back to the dock. Both Derek and Ian had been pleased with all aspects of the trip and felt confident that the sail is well within almost anyone's capability as long as the proper precautions are taken.

On Tuesday Chris Miller from the Preston Marina agreed to take the party up Savick Brook in his boat the Preston Lamb. The group this time included the Vice-Chairman of the Trust Frank Parker, Ian Selby and Keith Paylor of BW, Chris Gulley and myself. The weather had changed totally and in a constant drizzle we left the dock with both boats and sailed down River once again as far as the 1.5 mile perch where Ian and Chris moored Chantelle and joined the rest of us on the Preston Lamb.

We turned once again into the Savick Brook and proceeded up stream where, this time, we were able to sail on under the Blackpool Road bridge. After passing the flap valve where the Deepdale Brook joins the Savick the navigation becomes narrow, the large reeds which grow along this area made the journey much more interesting, in fact it felt very much as though we were exploring the Amazon and not a corner of Preston.

Sailing up channel we came to the main sewerage pipes which cross the route and as the Preston Lamb is an open boat we passed under, sailing on until we reached the BNFL pipe. As this pipe is situated at water level we could sail no further although one of the workmen employed in laying the new gas pipe offered to lift the boat with his machine. After declining his invitation Chris Miller turned the boat and we made our way back downstream and re-entered the Ribble where everyone except myself and Chris Miller transferred onto Chantelle for their onward journey to Tarleton.

My thanks go to Chris Gulley and Chris Miller without whose help this journey would not have been possible.

Cliff Fazackerley


Page design by John Clegg.
Copyright © 1998 John Clegg, Cliff Fazackerley and the Ribble Link Trust Ltd.

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