Saturday, March 28, 2009

Taking root……

Or at least it seems that way.
We’ve been in this immediate area for the last 3 weeks, and it feels like an age. There’s nothing wrong with around here, and Swanley Marina is pleasant enough, but the hairy one and I have just about exhausted all the walking opportunities in the vicinity.

We came back into the marina yesterday, after spending 3 days on the bank. This should be the last visit; tomorrow we’re off up to Liverpool to see if my last 10 week’s training has been worthwhile, then up to North Yorks again for the night. Mags has got a review at the Doc’s on Monday, after which we head back down here, and move back onto the canal on Tuesday morning.

We’ll spend a few days going up to Ellesmere Port and the Boat Museum, before starting the long run south to Oxford, and my next race in May.

The brokerage here is having an open day today. Not very favourable weather though, windy with sharp showers blowing through.

Windswept BBQ
We had a long walk this morning, across the fields to Acton and the Shroppie, then back up to Hurleston and along the Llangollen back to the marina. I hadn’t realised, but a decisive battle during the English Civil War occurred just to the north of Nantwich, around the Acton, Henhull area.

In 1644, the Royalists held much of Cheshire, apart from Nantwich (then known as Namptwiche), which was a Parliamentarian stronghold, and had been under siege by Lord Byron’s troops for several weeks.
In January, a powerful force under Sir Thomas Fairfax arrived to relieve the garrison. He’d marched his 1800 men across the Pennines in bitter weather to link up with the Cheshire and Lancashire regiments at Manchester. Then, reinforced with a further 3000 troops he marched south. His intention was to reinforce the town, but the weather turned in his favour, heavy rain swelling the River Weaver and splitting the Royalist force, isolating the infantry. Fairfax moved against them and forced a surrender at Acton before the cavalry had a chance to link up. Byron retreated in disarray to Chester.
Byron’s infantry was lost, Fairfax capturing 1500 officers and men and the baggage train and artillery. Casualties were heavy on the Royalist side, far less so for the Parliamentarians.
Acton Church still bears damage from musket balls fired during the battle.
The Shropshire Union runs right through the middle of the battlefield.
Lots more information here…

Locks 2, miles 1

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