Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Back on the Trent and Mersey

I’d been getting a bit fed up with all this wet, windy weather, and said as much in an email to a friend the other night. Well, we woke up yesterday morning to find that December had started well. Frost on the fields, frozen puddles and even a skin of ice on the canal in sheltered spots.

Not enough for a G&T, though
We left Moore, heading back to BW waters. A short detour was needed though, to visit the service block a little way in the Runcorn Arm.

On the Runcorn Arm
This section of the Bridgewater is actually the original main line and used to link up with the Mersey before the Ship Canal was built. It still runs into Runcorn, 4½ miles away, but the locks which connected it to the river were closed in 1966, and have since been filled in.

Back out of the Arm, under the M56 bridge, and I pulled in to make a visit to Midland Chandlers. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, I’m still like a kid in a sweet shop in their branches. All those goodies for boats….

Heading for a wallet lightening session….
Actually, I was very restrained, just some yacht varnish and cable terminals. Oh, and a couple of brass bits. Can't resist the brass bits.

We had a 25 minute wait for the entry time at Preston Brook Tunnel so took the opportunity to have bacon butties for lunch, then caught the 13:30 entry window.

The canal tunnel has been extensively repaired near the middle, using pre-cast concrete sections to line the bore and the ventilation shaft.

Preston Brook Tunnel, repaired section.
Out into daylight once again, through the shallow stop lock and we moored at the end of Longacre Wood for Meg to say Hi to the squirrels. They were, of course, delighted to see her….

Moored at Longacre Wood
We were intending to stay here for a few days, but the weather turned wet again later in the afternoon. The rain interfered with the digital TV signal, so we switched back to spotty analogue. The trees alongside prevented the use of the satellite dish.
We're picking up the Granada transmitter here, and the analogue signal was switched off last night, so we had to move on to get better digital reception or a clear line of sight to the spot in the sky. We finished up just a couple of miles further on, just short of Ryan’s Bridge.

There’s a bit more about the fire at Canal Cruising’s base at Stone last week on Boating Business. It looks from the picture that the fire started at the front of one of the boats, not the engine room as first thought. The Darlington’s Phyllis May is the far boat in the picture. And I reckon Leo deserves a bonus….
The Darlington’s are bouncing back though, with a new boat.

In Parliament today the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs minister, Huw Irranca-Davies, stated that there are no current plans to sell off any of BW’s property. (The italics are mine….).

Locks 1, miles 7

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