Monday, January 30, 2012

Getting Colder…..

No snow yet, though. At least where we are…. It did try last evening, sleety stuff which didn’t last long.

Just before 8 am yesterday.. red sky in the morning.SAM_0004

We had a little guest for a couple of hours on Friday night, George and Carol went into the town to meet a friend for a meal.

Where’s me Mum?SAM_0002 Canane Guest
We’ve had a good weekend, some good walks around Ellesmere.

Looking over The Mere from the castle mound.SAM_0009 The Mere

Ellesmere Basin, now tidied up and “gentrified”.
SAM_0011 Ellesmere Basin
The whole area is being developed, with the new Tesco out of shot on the right, and retirement homes to be built behind the old company warehouse.
SAM_0015 Ellesmere Basin
The company warehouse is looking a bit shabby, but it has been saved from demolition.

We all had a last shop to do before we left this morning, but Carol went a step further….

A trolley as well?SAM_0016 Carol Shopping
No, she took it back afterwards. Shame, it might have been useful toting logs along the towpath….
Winking smile

For a change we were ready to go first, and were out of the Arm and filling with water at the depot when the rest of the convoy emerged.

First came Rock’n’Roll, backwards of course………SAM_0019 RnR

……..followed by Moore2Life, in a more conventional manner.SAM_0020 M2L

We had a chat with Colin from NB Go For It while we were filling up, they’ve been down at the far end of the Montgomery Canal, doing a bit of restoration work.

All full, we set off, for a change in the van of our little convoy.

Looking back at Ellesmere Maintenance Yard.SAM_0022 Ellesmere DepotR’n’R and M2L are still filling up.

The far building, beyond the dry dock, is Beech House. During construction of the canal this was home to Thomas Telford, engineer for the navigation. Then it was used as the canal company headquarters till it was sold and converted into separate dwellings.

Beech house, looking from the Ellesmere ArmSAM_0006 Beech House and Depot
Although a bright and sunny morning, it was cold in the breeze. Still, the beautiful countryside was a distraction from any discomfort.

Near Stanks BridgeSAM_0023

Structures on the Llangollen Canal are very prone to damage from boat collisions. The canal is rightly very popular, and there are several hire bases here.
The volume of traffic, often blind bridges and lack of experience of some steerers means that some of the arches get clouted on a regular basis. BW have come up with a novel method of protecting this one…

Coachman’s Bridge with steel plate bolted to the vulnerable area under the arch and on the leading edges.SAM_0024 Damage protection
There are some pretty sharp bends as the canal winds it‘s way around Val Hill.

One of those blind bridges, Val Hill No2

Three miles after leaving Ellesmere Frankton Junction appears on the left.

Frankton JunctionSAM_0031 Frankton Junction

SAM_0032 Frankton JunctionDropping down a double staircase and then two single locks is the Montgomery Canal. At the moment it runs to Gronwyn Bridge, 6½ miles from the junction.
But restoration is ongoing and there are several isolated lengths as it heads towards Newtown. When all linked up it will be a fine 19 mile cruise. We’ll visit it on the way back, but for today we pushed on towards Llangollen.

From Frankton the bridge numbering starts again from Bridge 1, the previous sequence continuing down the Montgomery, demonstrating that the line to Newtown was indeed the main line.

The first bridge after the junction, towards Llangollen, Bridge 1W.SAM_0033 Br numbering
The “W” suffix has been recently added to differentiate it from the other Bridge 1, way back above Hurleston Locks.

Maestermyn Bridge is home to another large hire base and The Narrowboat Inn.SAM_0036 Maestermym and Narrowboat inn
Ann counted 30 hire boats laid up for the winter here!

The blue sky started to turn grey around 1 o’clock, clouds building up from the west and the temperature dropping rapidly.

Sunbeams over ShrewsburySAM_0037 Sunbeams

This boat has been a “project” since our first trip this way….SAM_0042 Still a project

We’d decided to stop above the first of the pair of New Marton Locks. I remembered it being very pleasant here last time we stopped. I was pleased to arrive; I‘d lost all feeling in my feet!
Should soon be a thing of the past, though. Look out for Project Cosy Toes, coming soon!
The rest of the convoy came into sight as I was defrosting.

The other 2/3rds.SAM_0043 Convoy arrives
All tied up we regrouped for tea and cakes on Rock’n’Roll.

We’ll stay here tomorrow. It’s supposed to be a fine day, I’ve got a load of wood to slice up and George mentioned something about a barbeque….
Surprised smile 

The BBC did a report on the re-gating of the Bingley 5 Rise staircase locks yesterday morning. It's on the website here. You forget how deep these locks need to be when you're floating on the surface....
Locks 0, miles 5½

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