We’ve a diesel fired central heating boiler running 3 radiators as well as the domestic hot water. It’s not our primary heat source; hot water is also generated from the engine, and the solid fuel stove is far more efficient (and cheaper to run!). But it is handy to run for just an hour first thing in the morning to give us hot water for ablutions and to take the overnight chill off the cabin.
So with it being a little unhealthy recently, I thought we’d better “get a man in”. I rang Ed from Four Counties Marine Services, and he was in the area, so we agreed to meet at Barbridge, where he could remove the unit and return it to us, serviced, on Tuesday.
So instead of a day off yesterday, we had a short cruise down to Barbridge. A bright day, but turning to snow showers later.
More of the white stuff at Barbridge.
Bright sunshine today after a hard frost. We decided to move on from Barbridge, so cruised back up onto the Middlewich Branch via a detour up to the services at Calveley and back.
We didn’t go so far, tying up above Cholmondeston Lock.
Through Barbridge this morning
Moored at Cholmondeston
More snow is forecast overnight and tomorrow, so we’ll probably stay put now till Monday. We have to be in Middlewich by Tuesday to meet up with Ed again to refit the heater.
We’d intended to make a bee-line for Liverpool, leaving Anderton in about a fortnight. This would have got us into the city via the new link nicely for my race on the 28th March. Then back down the Trent and Mersey to Northwich for the middle of April where the boat is booked into Orchard Marina for a week for bottom blacking and a few other bits and pieces. From there we would head south to Hardings Wood Junction just above Stoke On Trent, turn onto the Macclesfield Canal and head up to Manchester via the Maccie, Peak Forest and Ashton Canals, which would see us arrive at Castlefield just right for my second race of the season, the Manchester 10k in the middle of May.
Notice that all the above is in the past tense? Intended, would have?
We got a phone call today from the BW office at Wigan. The trip along the Liverpool Link will not be possible till early April. The route would not normally be open till the end of March anyway, apparently. But this year the extreme weather has delayed a stoppage at the Stanley Dock flight, and the works won’t be completed till maybe 2nd April.
So that’s that then. Time for a rethink.
On a positive note for commercial canal carrying, in South and West Yorkshire anyway, these 2 reports are of interest ... Local Government Chronicle here.... and BBC here. Common sense prevails? We can only hope.
Locks 0, miles 8