Sunday, October 28, 2007

We decided to move today after all. Plan A was to move to Nantwich, find somewhere to moor for a couple of days, and do some shopping. Plan B, in the event we couldn’t moor where we fancied, was to do the shopping, then carry on down to the SUCC moorings at Coole Pilate.
As it turned out, we opted for Plan B.
Before we left I took Meg for a walk up the 4 Hurleston Locks, then around the reservoir. The birds seem to eat freshwater mussels from the water, judging by the number of empty shells around.
¾ hour took us to Nantwich. A quick stop at the service point and then moored just above the aqueduct carrying the canal over the Chester Road.

Looking towards Nantwich Basin.
On the Aqueduct
Decided at this time to press on, so we made a visit to the town, attractive with a lot of half-timbered houses and shops, then carried on south.
Nantwich Basin is the southern terminus of what was the Chester Canal, running from here to – you’ve guessed it- Chester. When the Birmingham and Liverpool Junction was completed in 1835 it joined the older navigation, and the 2 were later incorporated as the Shropshire Union Canal.

Passing some dredging operations (stopped for the weekend) we arrived at the pleasantly situated pair of locks at Hack Green.

Contractors seem to prefer the versatility of a digger on a raft, rather than a purpose-built dredger. I wonder how many they lose.

Hack Green Locks
Not far from here is one of the bunkers built to be a seat of regional government in the event of nuclear war. It’s open to the public but unlikely to be dog-friendly, so we’ll not be visiting.

Arrived at the superb moorings at Coole Pilate just before it started to rain. These were set up by the Shropshire Union Canal Society and have picnic tables, BBQ stands and mown grass. I was surprised to see only one other boat there.

Coole Pilate
Mile marker at Coole Pilate
We’ll stay here tomorrow, the wet and windy weather is forecast to persist until the afternoon.

Locks 2, miles 6.

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