Tuesday, 29 March 2016

A Visit to Preston Marina

I took advantage of a trip to Preston over the Easter weekend to fit in a visit to what is now known as "Preston Marina", but which I still think of as "the docks". Narrowboaters who have crossed the Ribble Link may know it as a place of refuge for those who miss the tide on the River Ribble and are unable to enter Savick Brook.

Travelling with Hilary and her mum, we first of all called in for a coffee at a dockside cafe, which turned out to be attached to a chandlry, giving me an opportunity to spend a few happy minutes wandering around looking at overpriced boaty stuff I don't need to buy anymore! (Small tin of Brasso £4.99 anyone? - £1.99 in Lancaster's "Home Bargains".)

Highlight of the visit though was a chance to see the swing bridge and entrance lock in action, when a wide beam boat decided to leave the dock and head out onto the Ribble. This involved the bridge at the entrance to the marina, which carries a road and a railway track, being swung before the lock could be used. Needless to say, all of this was conducted automatically from the adjacent control tower, but it was still very interesting to watch.  Then, once the lock gates had been closed behind the boat and the bridge restored to its "open" position, we were treated to the sight of a steam train coming along the tracks laid in the roadway, on what is presumably the only canal  inland waterway swing bridge in the country that carries a steam railway line.

Despite owning at least four items of portable technology capable of taking photographs I'd managed to leave them all at home, so no photos of the event but here is one of the bridge and control tower that I found earlier on 't internet.

And here's one I took the last time I was at Preston dock showing the same entrance lock in 1978!

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