Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Off we jolly well go….

Well, after a fortnight in and around Market Drayton we’re on the move again. The Rockers (NB Rock’n’Roll) moved out yesterday, we followed on today after waiting for the Lifers (NB Moore2Life) to return after a trip south to see the family.

It’s been good here, useful for shops and facilities, but a bit limited on the dog walking front. It’s good to be cruising again, though. I couldn’t put up with a Winter Mooring, being in one place for four months would drive me to distraction!
If we’re pleased, imagine how Sue and Vic on NB No Problem must be feeling! At least we had a choice….

There’ve been no more swan fights, but Dad has been patrolling up and down looking mean, just in case.

If you were a swan looking to move in, would you take this on?SAM_0003 On Patrol

We got away around 10:30, leaving M2L to reverse to Talbot Wharf for diesel.

Under the bypass bridge out of Market Drayton.SAM_0007 Leaving market Drayton

The last outpost of civilisation is Victoria Wharf, with a diverse collection of narrowboats in various stages of renovation.

Victoria Wharf
SAM_0011 Victoria Wharf

From this point on it’s countryside for three miles, all the way to Adderley Locks. We had a short stop to cut and load some wood I’d spotted while walking Meg, then we pushed on to the locks.

The towpath changes sides at Bridge 67….SAM_0012 Roving Bridge 67

I very nearly hit the towpath edge here. On narrow canals you can line up the tow path side roof rail with the keystone on the bridge, and you’ll slip through without touching the sides…. just like in the photo. But then I “lost the plot” and moved across to line up the left side rail with the keystone, only realising at the last moment we’d swapped sides. Tiller over and a quick squirt on the throttle and a substantial crunch was avoided.

Adderley Top Lock appears about ¾ of a mile on.

Adderley Top Lock through Bridge 69SAM_0017 Adderley Locks
These 5 locks drop the canal 31 feet in less than ½ a mile and are the second of the three flights of locks on the Birmingham and Liverpool Junction Canal. Rather than have locks scattered haphazardly along the length of the canal, Telford realised that grouping them together will speed up operation and leave long pounds in between. So there are flights at Tyreley (5 locks), Adderley (5 locks) and Audlem (15 locks). There is also a single lock at Wheaton Aston and another 2 at Hack Green, to accommodate minor changes in contour height.
Like all of the locks on the B&LJ, these are narrow. The broad locks are on the Chester Canal, from Nantwich to Ellesmere Port.

Adderley LocksSAM_0018 Adderley locks

Adderley Bottom LockSAM_0021 Adderley Bottom

We moored below the flight, behind NB Armadillo which can be seen in the distance.

It’s been a blustery day, but at least mainly dry. Tomorrow is supposed to be better, we hope so. We’ll be tackling 13 of the 15 Audlem locks. It’s a bit miserable locking in the rain.

Locks 5, miles 3½

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