Saturday, June 11, 2011

A very pleasant walk and a trip back downriver.

We decided to have a day off at Vale Royal; it’s a quiet, peaceful spot and there’re some good walks around.

Vale Royal Sunset

Although forecasted for sunshine and showers, it wasn’t too bad at all, but we had a cool wind again.

Meg and I set off back down to Vale Royal Lock for a good mooch about before crossing the river and walking a fair way up the opposite bank. Unfortunately we couldn’t get all the way to Newbridge, so had to turn around and retrace our steps.

Looking across the three Vale Royal Lock Chambers.

The original (nearest) is now the level control sluice.

Original lock chamber

The middle was built during improvements in 1861, and the largest on the far side was completed in 1869.

NB Ashanti heading downstream in the big lock

Superbly sited old lock house.

A lot of the rhododendrons have “gone over” now, but some are still well in flower.

And the rabbits have made good use of these tree roots to make stable entrances to the warren.

We moved off today at around 09:40, following three other boats to catch the 10:00 “window” at the lock.

Waiting for Vale Royal Lock.

The other three are breasted up on the right, R to L NBs Elysium Days, Travellers Joy, and Cindy Babe.

We were to share this and Hunts Lock this morning.

Line astern through the one open gate.

The walls are covered in colonies of Zebra Mussels (Dreissena polymorpha).

Every so often one would spit out a stream of water, but I couldn’t catch one in the act….

There’s around 20 minutes of cruising from Vale Royal Lock to Hunts Lock, and this is where the sunny skies turned grey and the first of today’s showers blew over. It had stopped by the time we got into the lock, though.

Towards Hartford Road Bridge

Near the lock is Yarwood’s Boatyard where a variety of boats were built from the mid-19th C to the 1960’s. Just moorings now, though.

Yarwood’s Basin.

Through Norwich without stopping, as we knew that the others in the “flotilla” were wanting water, and we pulled over in very heavy rain above the boat lift (again).

The huge bearing upon which Northwich Town Bridge swings.

Not very often now, though.

The weather cleared after we’d moored (typical) but we decided to stay put. With a pretty grim forecast for tomorrow we’ll probably not move until Monday, now.

Thanks for the text, Carol W. Wee-hee indeed!

There’s an article in the Townsville Bulletin from north eastern Australia which has caused a minor stir. I reckon he was being flippant, if you read some of his other columns (on the right under “more”) you’ll see why I think so. I particularly like the “Tale of Chicken’s Backsides”!

And those doing the Cheshire Ring are going to have a bit of a problem….

Entire Ashton Canal

Sunday 12 June 2011 until further notice
The Ashton Canal is closed from 9am Sunday 12/06/11 following asset failure at Lock 3. In the interest of safety the entire canal has been closed.

British Waterways apologise for any inconvienience this may cause.

Further updates will appear on Waterscape at 12noon on Monday 13/06/11.

Enquiries: 01782 785703

Locks 2, miles 4¼

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