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River Irwell Nuttall Park to Burrs by Jacki Jenkins

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River Irwell Nuttall Park to Burrs

Water level 0.44 Led By John Allerton 

‘Twas the night before The Burrs, my nerves did start to rattle. After hearing many tales they say this stretch is a dirty and a technical battle.’

‘Adrenaline awoke me, I waited with bated breath for my pick up who turned up with a brand new boat and off we went.’

Meeting up with the others we did a short shuffle, which didn’t take too long. Parked up, gear on, then trundled our way across the park. Nick went one way, Dom went the other, in search of a safe get in point which was named River Irwell Beach. 

Being a novice to White Water I had a few concerns, but with an encouraging briefing from John Allerton he helped smooth out my ‘rattly nerves.’

Eventually we found “The Beach” then off we went. Not long on and the fun began with a bump, nudge, scrape, EDDY there break in, break out, swoosh ride the small wave trains, EDDY here PADDLE PADDLE PADDLE echoing through the air.

Not far down the River we met our first lengthy tree, it was spread ‘right across the waterway’ so get out did we. Carefully we portaged our boats in hand across the rooty bank. We helped each other safely along the way in order to renter, this all added to the awesome adventure.

Back on the water avoiding rocks, with advice and guidance from all, breaking in and out of eddys soon made sense so I did not take a roll.

We stopped for lunch on a nice spot the gang had frequented before. We ate, took a breather, chatted and laughed and briefed on the River ahead.  

‘A large Weir.’ What!? ‘Oh dear.’

Restarted on the journey rapid, rock, boulder and crunch John Fays new “Machno” magnetised to a mass bunch.

We finally near finished the course with smiles upon our faces. ‘But next to come is “The Weir” oh my I felt the fear’

Some of us got out to take a safety peek, whilst the others held back waiting for the signal to take the leap. John A took a good look and made a safety decision that it’s best for us to take “The Weir” down the stairs, not the slope ‘too much tow back’ he said for beginners like me.

I watched in anticipation as NIck C, Andy G, Dom and John F descended down the watery stairs. ‘With a bish, bash, bosh their boats did go with success it was surely theirs.’

My fear did build as I pondered the steps. But John A reassured me I’d be okay and I didn’t have to do it if I didn’t want to. With kind words of encouragement and a small crowd cheering I decided to take the plunge. Then followed Andy B back on the River to edge of the ‘Weeeeeeiiirr and bounced down them steps to a cheer’

What a tremendous day. 

Many thanks to

John Allerton, John Fay, Nick C, Andy G, Dom & Andy B