Saturday, June 26, 2010

Up to Hack Green

Another hot, dry day. Meg is struggling a bit with the temperatures, she’s a bit listless. I’m keeping her coat brushed out, but there’s still a lot of it. At least we humans can strip off.

After a shopping trip up to Morrisons we were off, along the embankment above the town and over the aqueduct crossing the Chester Road.

Nantwich embankment
Telford’s Aqueduct.Thomas Telford, who surveyed the course of the navigation, wanted to go a bit further west, maybe something like this…..This would have kept to within six or eight feet of the level at Nantwich Basin. The Basin was the terminus of the earlier Chester Canal, completed in 1779. Telford was contracted to build the Birmingham and Liverpool Junction Canal in 1825, but it was another 10 years before the link from the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal at Autherley Junction up to Nantwich was completed.

One of the difficulties was the integrity of the many embankments along the route. This canal was intended to be a high speed link from Birmingham to Manchester, so kept to a fairly straight South-North line running across the rolling countryside through cuttings and over embankments. This is in marked contrast to earlier canals like the Oxford that winded along a particular level, avoiding large earthworks and flights of locks.

Telford wanted to avoid building another troublesome embankment around Dorfold Park, but faced immovable opposition from the owner of Dorfold Hall, James Tomkinson. So he had to follow the route we have today.

We had a very gentle cruise up to the two locks at Hack Green. There was one boat in front of us, but three behind as we started up.
We moored above the top lock, within sight of the radio mast of the (Not Very) Secret Nuclear Bunker. A relic of the Cold War, it’s now a visitor attraction.

Moored above Hack Green
I reckon we’ll stay here tomorrow. With the England – Germany game and the European Grand Prix on, I think a lot of folk will be staying put.

Locks 2, miles 3

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