Monday, February 22, 2010

Winter drags on…..

We woke up on Sunday morning with 3” of snow on the towpath.

Here we go again…
There was also a thin skin of snow covered ice on the water. It was so soft that it folded, like plastic, around the stern when a boat passed.

Bendy Ice

But with a fine, sunny day, both snow and ice were just about all gone by evening.

We had some regular visitors to the bird feeders through the day. One robin had more than his share of the fat ball.

Fat ball, fat robin
No snow this morning, but the very low temperatures overnight had left us with ½” of ice on the canal.

Breaking ice again.

We had a steady cruise east and north, the ice thinning as we went. I don’t know whether it was just not as thick further on, or it was thawing as the day wore on. It was still cold on the back of the boat, with a breeze from the north.

Leaving Cholmondeston Lock
We passed Church Minshull down in the valley to the north of the canal.

Church Minshull
Tom Rolt spent several weeks here in 1940, with his wife Angela on their converted narrowboat Cressy.

I guess these signs weren’t here then?
His book, Narrow Boat, describing a journey around the then decaying system, has never been out of print since it’s publication in 1944.

Lionel Thomas Caswell Rolt, to give him his full name, was one of the founder members of the Inland Waterways Association. The association was formed to restore and revitalise the canal network, and from painful beginnings (Rolt and Robert Aikman, co-founder, both had strong and often differing opinions) has grown to become a major force in promoting restoration and maintenance of what is now a valuable resource.

He is probably best known for writing Narrow Boat, but has also penned books on railways, cars, industrial history and philosophy. Three autobiographies and several biographies as well as some fictional works, must have kept him very busy. Had he not died in 1974, he would have celebrating his 100th birthday this year. There are several events occurring around the country to honour the man’s achievements.

The official website is here.

After Church Minshull we covered another 3 miles or so, pulling in on rings near Bridge 23.

We’ll be moving down to Middlewich tomorrow, hopefully to meet Ed who will have our serviced and polished Eberspacher heating boiler ready for refitting.

There’s a new website launched today. Canal Boat Classified looks like it could be a useful “one stop shop” as the information develops.

Locks 2, miles 6½

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