Thursday, February 25, 2010

In Vindication……

Before reading this, if you haven’t already, go to Sue’s latest post here. Then hit your browser's back button.

OK, done that? Right, you’ll know what I’m talking about now!

We’d arranged to meet up with Sue and Vic at South Flash, 4 or 5 miles north of Middlewich, last night. By the time I’d had my morning run, walked the dog, and visited Kings Lock Chandlery and Tesco’s it was past 11 before we fired up the engine and headed down Wardle Lock, the last (or first, depending on your point of view) on the Middlewich Branch.

Then there were the 3 narrow locks in the town to descend, before we pulled over to take on water at Townbridge Wharf.

Down the Middlewich Locks.
While we were filling a BW workboat came past, with Mike and Yvonne. We’d met them a week or 2 ago at Hack Green on the Shroppie. Greetings were exchanged, and Mike asked if we were going down Big Lock, the broad lock at the edge of the town. He said he’d set up the lock and wait for us there.

We thought that No Problem would have left long since, as the time was now nearly 1 o’clock, but we came around the corner and there were both Moore 2 Life (Chas and Ann) and No Problem on the visitor moorings.

The Gang's all here...
Sue and Vic saw us coming and started untying NP, to join us at the lock, and I had to tell them that we’d already made an arrangement with Mike.

Oh dear. We moved on past to a barrage of light-hearted abuse.
They followed us down and waited while we locked down with Mike.

Middlewich Big Lock

He didn’t help – “They’re fussy who they share locks with”, he told Sue!

Anyhow, I gave them a hand to start the lock, and Ann had come down to the lock as well, so we pushed off, out of the way.

We had an enjoyable cruise to the flashes, through the countryside with the River Dane often running close alongside the canal.

Looking over the Dane Valley
A glimpse of the river.
We arrived at our agreed overnight stop at around 14:30, and NP came round the corner 10 minutes later.

South Flash
In the evening they joined us and we had a good chat over a bottle or 2. We paid compensation in the form of half of one of Mags’ home made ginger cake. So all’s OK now.
We’ve decided to stay put today, but they’ve toddled off this morning up towards Anderton. We’ll catch up again in a couple of weeks.

It’s been a lot milder these last couple of days, but of course it’s also got damper. Overnight rain and some showers this morning have transformed the frozen towpaths into muddy ones, Still, you can’t have everything.

Oh, and the heating’s working like a dream. Thanks Ed.

Locks 5, miles 4½

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