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Report - - Mode Wheel Locks Pump House (Manchester Ship Canal, Jun, 2020) | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Mode Wheel Locks Pump House (Manchester Ship Canal, Jun, 2020)


urbanchemist

28DL Regular User
Regular User
There were three pumping stations on the Manchester Ship Canal, which together with sluices and weirs, regulated the water levels.

One of these, at Barton Locks, was turned into a hydroelectric station some time ago.
The other two are at Latchford Locks, which remains boarded up and at Mode Wheel Locks, which is also due to be converted to hydropower, and has been derelict for years.
Indeed there’s a 2015 post on here with a photo taken from the outside which shows something that might be machinery.
https://www.28dayslater.co.uk/threads/mode-wheel-locks-manchester-ship-canal-december-2015.101026/
So I went for a look on a wet and windy morning.
























The Diesel is by Mirrlees Bickerton & Day.
It looks similar to the one below from 1911 (1,600 bhp) for driving dynamos on warships, but missing bits such as some cladding and the exhaust manifold.






The centrifugal pump, which pumps into the lock next door, is a ‘Bon-Accord’ from Drysdale, presumably similar sort of vintage.



Edit. I’ve corrected the above in view of @tigger’s comment below.
I also found a picture of what the engine used to look like before it was cleaned up here https://www.lanesfordrains.co.uk/global/news/vacuum-power-aids-hydro-power-on-famous-ship-canal/
 
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tigger

mog
Regular User
Often wondered what was inside those places. I don't remember Irlam having one but Latchford, Barton and Mode Wheel I remember seeing.
I wonder what they used before those pump houses were built (they are much later build than the locks themselves)....I always assumed the sluices provided the power for operating the locks.

Great to see photos of the inside - thanks for sharing.
 

urbanchemist

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Often wondered what was inside those places. I don't remember Irlam having one but Latchford, Barton and Mode Wheel I remember seeing.
I wonder what they used before those pump houses were built (they are much later build than the locks themselves)....I always assumed the sluices provided the power for operating the locks.

Great to see photos of the inside - thanks for sharing.
You're quite right, Irlam's the one that doesn't have a pump house - I meant Latchford, which is still boarded up.
I don't know if Latchford ever had an accumulator, although there was a 'hydraulic house' nearby, or what originally powered the hydraulics at the other locks and swing bridges.

Edit: The sluices are just for regulation. They probably had to add the pump houses since as trade increased more water was being lost downstream on locking up/down than could be replenished by the rivers upstream, Irwell etc.
It's similar to adding 'impounding stations' to a dock system.
 
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Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
That pump is incredible. The craftsmanship is just so good. Quality explore. Any idea of age of these? :thumb:cool:
 

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