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Report - - Medlock Culverts, Manchester June 2016 - June 2017 | UK Draining Forum | 28DaysLater.co.uk
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Report - Medlock Culverts, Manchester June 2016 - June 2017

tallginge

more tall than ginger tho.....
Regular User
#1
THE MEDLOCK CULVERTS (and a few cso’s)

I visited different parts of these over the course of about a year. Some of the cso’s took longer to find than others but all (but one) of them are brick – I’d recommend any of them, they’re fantastic! It’s doesn’t include all the cso’s, just the ‘easier’ to access one’s. There's at least two more at the upstream end I've not seen. They’re all built in different styles, which keeps it interesting too. I’ve described them here from the downstream end first

Spartacus and Budge were actually the last ones I visited. They’re brick built culverts but rather than being one single, long arch they’re constructed using several steel I beams and several smaller brick arches link them together. This style is used on some of the bridges further upstream and on other bridges and tunnels across the country. It’s obviously a reasonably cheap but strong way of covering what would otherwise just be two opposing retaining walls. The culverts start with two single arch bridges built alongside one another.

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Obviously the river flows fastest on the outside, depositing sediments and rubbish, etc on the inside
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Leaving Spartacus, there’s a few more I beams reinforcing the retaining walls
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Like Spartacus, Budge has all manner of crap built up against the inside of the curve. Millions of rats reside here, ready to frighten the unwary
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Looking upstream
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Oxford Road Bridge, one of the easier accesses is from the (hidden) footbridge behind it, when the gate’s open
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Hulme Flume’s Little Bother was the first CSO I ever explored. The brickwork amazed me and I got the draining bug immediately. This is obviously the outfall and I learnt to expect that future cso’s would also probably be tucked away like this. I later learnt it’s on Manchesters D Interceptor
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I’d only recently learnt to light paint so apologies for the over exposed photo. I wore gloves from that point on as well!
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Just downstream of the penstock is this slide. One slip here and I’d have seen Hulme flume itself, the scary way – fuck that!
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UMIST is split box culvert, constructed of concrete below the Uni of the same name. Other than this infall its quite featureless but makes for a stealthier approach to HFLB
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By now I’d seen a few other culverts and tunnels, etc and wanted more brick porn! A bit of research lead me to various blogs and maps and I discovered the next one upstream was One Shot on the A interceptor, so that’s where I went next. Definitely not one for the vertically challenged this one – unless you know yer lids. I used a nearby tree for balance but I still breached my waders – just!
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Working back, this is the chamber at the far end. Although it’s nice I’m not really sure why it’s so big because apart from a small junction and an access ladder there’s not much here
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This is the overflow weir. Presumably it’s been altered over the years, judging by the mismatching bricks above the curved stone/ concrete blocks. Just around the corner the sewer disappears under a wall, which looked like it used to have a small penstock on it.
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This is the outfall pipe, which winds its way down to the river. The brickwork’s mint, I couldn’t believe how clean it all was
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Another example of this “several I beams and several brick arches” style of bridge, but this one never seemed to carry anything substantial from what I can see. Any ideas?

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Slim Pickings! Took me fuckin ages to find this one and if yer more than a 34” waist yer’ll defo need keys – and to know where the lid is (can’t help I’m afraid!) Be careful with yer camera and tripod if yer try this alone. You’ll also struggle to get a bag through. It was worth the effort though and the long walk up the pipe, the brickwork’s fantastic. It's part of the work 6 sewer - one of the newer ones.

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The RBP enters the chamber at the top of this slide, whereby under normal conditions it flows under a tiny penstock into the sewer beyond. In storm conditions and with the penstock lowered it acts as a stilling pond in that the 9ft pipe itself retains excess flows, giving the system further downstream chance to catch up (I think). When it fills right up it spills over the weir and down it goes to the river. I’d love to see these all in action one day – from a safe distance!

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Standing atop the weir wall
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The huge access shaft above the weir wall. Most of the nuts/ bolts were missing from the steel barriers when I was there, so the fences are loose – be careful of that!
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This was the last one I photographed. Visited with @elhomer, I’d actually done the through trip previously without my camera, while searching for slim pickings! I’d kinda ‘borrowed’ someones boat before the footbridge, which meant I didn’t have to re-traverse back to some deep, sketchy stuff at the point where the ‘tow path’ stops. It was a pleasure to meet yer bud – my photos are no match against yours at all!
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The overflow from the Ashton canal – fucking slim pickings wasn’t up here either!
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Big ‘umpty is probably the third biggest brick culvert in the country (that I can think of) beaten only by Sheffield’s Megatron and the Irk’s Optimus Prime. This huuuge culvert is about 250m long and curves gently along its entire length – just long enough to make it pretty furkin dark halfway through. The invert of the culvert is all long curves as well, so the safest way to traverse it also involves the most effort.
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I left my trainers at the outfall and as we opted to leave via the infall we had a fairly long walk back through the graveyard to fetch them! Interestingly, part of the graveyard and “not short of fifty” bodies were washed away in the great flood of 1872. A few years after the great flood, construction of Manchester’s first main drainage system was started as was what is now known as the red river that runs through the cemetery.
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Well that’s it, I hope you liked it. Thanks to those who have reported on these and similar ones before me, be it on here or elsewhere. It certainly made for a different summer than normal and has lead me to deeper and smellier places down in the smoke in search of more Victorian brickwork. Not sure what the photo limit is now but I may add more later.
 

pastybarm

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#1
Good report dude, on your way to big humpty you would have passed what has been named "The Minger" an older looking outfall with a gate and a spraypainted warning sign, and another side overflow in the medlock culvert further down, that to my knowledge has not been explored.
 

pastybarm

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#3
@tallginge The minger is the one on the right mate, before humpty. I thought the bolted and grilled outfall one was on the left side (going u/s towards big humpty) unless the minger outfall has had some work done to it? Anyway attached a couple of small pics, first is the overflow inside the medlock culvert (NOT big humpty!), and the second is the minger outfall.

ArT2zFd.jpg


FcHegjg.jpg


Cheers,
pb
 

Nickindroy

A Porky Prime Cut
Regular User
#4
Excellent stuff mate. My favourite river in Manc. Yeh, grill cover in MC is long gone. You'll be needing a double ladder and some barriers for MGS. As for Minger...;)

Rwo5GIe.jpg
 

pastybarm

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#5
Looks like the old minger on the medlock has got a shiny new gate....given the dodgy vicinity amazed it did not get one sooner!
 

TheVicar

Loyal to the Drain
Regular User
#6
Some good pics there!
I keep thinking about a return to the Medlock. I've never been further downstream than the HFLB bridge.
Every time I visit Manchester the weather seems to be against me.
Wouldn't mind a return to Slim Pickings but I fear too many pies, chips, cake and beer over the last couple of years would prevent me :)
 

pastybarm

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#8
Thanks tg. I love maps too, following a tip from a guy I met who liked finding drains in the UK, he said the best thing to do was get a A-Z streetmap of a city and look at that, sure enough it shows where brooks disappear and then pop back up again. A great resource, imho. I also like bing maps at the moment, the birds eye view gives just that tad more detail that google maps lacks, but that is just me, each to their own. I think I know the map you are on about, I will have a look for it.
 

tallginge

more tall than ginger tho.....
Regular User
#10
Thanks folks glad yers liked it. If anyones got any recommendations for similar things round alpine countries I'd give them a go in a few weeks maybe? Or between here and uk. Got a couple of ideas from on (lausanne) here but been a bit busy recently to do any proper research. Id be very grateful for anything high or drainy in particular! Thanks
 

Ojay

Admin
Staff member
Admin
#12
It wasn't the MV MANCUNION was it..?
I think it went Lomg before from what scott was saying, either way no use downstream as a 20ft weir almost instantly, it's prob been lobbed off it by some locals, I keep meaning to go downstream and have a look for it but not holding any hope

R.I.P

IMG_4762.JPG
 

pastybarm

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#13
Did anyone remember the story of some locals who nipped through a tunnel off the ashton canal and ended up in MCFC stadium? I never did find the drain in question!!
 

Ojay

Admin
Staff member
Admin
#14
Did anyone remember the story of some locals who nipped through a tunnel off the ashton canal and ended up in MCFC stadium? I never did find the drain in question!!
I've never seen the 'story' but yes there are indeed 2 tunnels which are actually separate watercourses that run from 2 different places which will land you in the grounds only of the stadium

There was also a part of the old power station/colliery workings which existed briefly post construction but was backfilled

And then there is also a cable run which still exists that I've also been in briefly, which again access has changed somewhat in recent years

Without seeing the story I have no clue which one of these it maybe, suffice to say I've managed 3/4 of them ;)
 

pastybarm

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#15
I can't find the article in question now. It was on the bbc news website many years back IIRC. They got caught by security in the stadium who were very surprised that they got in!