Well, we’re off on our travels again!
We set off at 09:15 this morning, heading towards Middlewich. It was a grey overcast start to the day, with a few sunny spells, but cool with a breeze from the north. Definitely a change in the weather.
Last evening we were surprised to see the L&L short boat “Severn” chug past, heading south. Surprised as it’s unusual to see broad beam boats on this section, although it was originally built to take them, from Preston Brook to Middlewich. The tunnels at the north end have suffered subsidence over the last 200-odd years, and Croxton Aqueduct, to the south, was rebuilt to narrrow gauge after being damaged in a flood. We'd seen this boat before, in fact last August, on the Bingley 3-rise staircase on the Leeds and Liverpool.
What they’d actually done was travel from Worsley on the Bridgewater, down onto the Manchester Ship Canal at Pomona Lock, onto the Weaver at Runcorn them up the Anderton Lift onto the T&M. They just wanted to see how far they could get. It wasn’t much further, though. A short way past us there’s a bridge with the deck removed. The sides have slumped a bit, narrowing the channel and putting a limit on their journey. So they had to reverse back ¼ mile to the flash to turn around and moor for the night.
On down to a very busy Middlewich, and the first lock we’ve had to work ourselves since leaving the Rochdale on the 9th May! (I’m not counting the piddling little 2” at Dutton Stop Lock).
Middlewich Big Lock
A pause to drop off a week’s accumulated rubbish, on then on through the 3 narrow locks to Wardle Junction. Another first for a while; it’s been over 9 weeks since the last narrow one, on the Chesterfield Canal. Mags hasn’t lost the knack though; she managed them all with remarkable style, not damaging the new paint at all.
The moorings in the town are all about full. There’s a Folk and Boat Festival on this coming weekend, and everyone has arrived early to get prime spots.
Not for us though. I’m afraid folk music and busy moorings don’t do it for me.
I’d planned to stop at Kings Lock Chandlery for diesel, gas and some black paint, but the moorings there were full, so we toddled on up Wardle lock, past another load of moored boats, and back out into the country. We caught up with Carol waiting near bridge 26, and the dogs had a happy reunion. It was just like that scene from Wuthering Heights!
It's only been 5 days, girls!
We spent the rest of the day sanding paint on Corbiere, with Mags the foreman looking on....
Just across from where we’ve moored there’s a family of swans, with half a dozen cygnets. Of course, soon as we were tied up, they were over, begging bowls in hand (beak??).
The parents were very insistent, and both Carol and I got sharp pecks when there was nothing left to eat!
Locks 6, mile 5½.
I've just checked my mail, and this is just in from Waterscape-
Red Bull Elsan & Pump Out
Wednesday 11 June 2008 until further notice
The Red Bull Elsan & Pump out is closed with immediate effect due to apparatus failure.
Engineers have been called and will be on site on 12 June 2008.
Further updates will be posted on Waterscape once engineers have inspected the apparatus.
The nearest Elsons are at Endon, Bosley, Harecastle North, Wheelock and Etruria.
The nearest pump outs are at Endon and Bolsey locks.
British Waterways apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
Enquiries: 01606 723800
More stoppages on this waterway:
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I guess you'll just have to keep your legs crossed!!
I love the dry humour- " British Waterways apologise for any inconvenience this may cause".