Friday, March 23, 2012

Locking in the sunshine.

We’ve had a cracking two days, starting misty but lovely and warm later on.

Misty start yesterdaySAM_0001 Misty Morn

We stayed put yesterday, a few things to do, laundry to catch up on.

We’d promised ourselves fish and chips this evening, so we moved up through Middlewich today. First, though, I dropped off 4 cans of old engine oil at the recycling centre alongside the canal just beyond Croxton Aqueduct. This carries the canal in steel trough over the River Dane. Originally iron built on stone piers in 1777 and broad to accommodate barge traffic, it was washed away in a flood. The current one was built in the 1930’s and is only 8 feet wide.

Croxton Aqueduct and the River DaneSAM_0001 Croxton Aq

Middlewich Big Lock pub, and Big Lock lockSAM_0004 Big Lock
Big Lock was also built to wide beam standard to allow barges from the Mersey to trade into the town. With the replacement of the aqueduct however, it’s size is now unnecessary.
It takes quite a while to fill and empty, but will take two boats at once. This is the last broad lock on the Trent and Mersey till Stenson, the other side of Burton on Trent and 67 miles away.

Pigeons nest in the nooks and crannies under Bridge 172, they’ve obviously been busy this year….

Pigeon chicksSAM_0006 Pigeon Chicks

The local ducks are trying to catch up, fighting for pecking order.SAM_0007 Duck Brawl

Three narrow locks take the canal up nearly 33 feet, then there’s a quarter mile of congested water with moorings for Middlewich Narrowboats.

Coming up Middlewich LocksSAM_0010 Middlewich Locks

Ooh, white legs!SAM_0012
Passing the entrance to the 110 yard long Wardle Canal and Wardle Lock leading up to the Middlewich Branch of the Shroppie, we waited for a boat to come down Kings Lock before going up and mooring above.

Wardle Junction. Under the bridge to the left takes you west to the Shropshire Union CanalSAM_0016  Wardle Junct

Kings LockSAM_0018 Kings Lock

I had a walk up the branch with Meg after we’d pulled up, to see if Keith and Jo (NB Hadar) were still there, but they must have moved on before we arrived. Another time.

A quiet afternoon, another walk with Meg, then very tasty fish and chips from the chippy on the other side of the road. We’ll move on tomorrow, it’s a bit noisy here for more than one night.

I mentioned a few days ago that I'm running the Great North Run in September to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. I've stuck a widget over on the right that'll take you straight to my Justgiving web page. If you use Google reader or suchlike you'll have to go to my source page , or direct to the fundraising page at

Locks 5, miles 1½

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