Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Sunny Bridgewater, for a change!

I said the other day that most of the trips we’ve done on this canal seem to have been wet, well, I should be biting my tongue. We’ve had three beautiful sunny days, the last two just enjoying the weather and getting on with a few jobs, today cruising back down towards Preston Brook.

Yesterday some friends of Chas and Ann arrived, and we spent a good afternoon chatting out on the bank.

John (on left) and Rose-Marie (next to Mags), NB Devon MaidSAM_5670 John, Charles, Rose-Marie, Mags, me and Ann
The rest of the herberts you’ll know already.

I managed to get two coats of primer on the spotty bits on the roof, and first thing this morning got those on the front half of the roof flatted back. I thought that the non-slip surface was sand in the paint, so expected the wet-and-dry paper to wear out quickly, but it’s actually the texture of the application. Knowing that, I can set to with my orbital sander and do the whole lot, that way the spot repairs will not show.

No time for that today, though, pins pulled and we were heading round to the water point near Ye Olde No 3.

A bit of a queue…
SAM_5674 waiting for water
…it got longer!

There was a boat filling as Moore2Life arrived, so we hovered until they’d gone, then breasted up to M2L. Meanwhile another boat arrived from Manchester way, then two more from Lymm.
Quite a gathering we had.
Although we were almost empty, we only put about half a tank full aboard, to speed up the operation. We can top up again tomorrow at Preston Brook Marina.

Lymm Marina Boat Sales seem to have a healthy order bookSAM_5675 Bridgewater Boats

Bridgewater maintenance crew busy at Oughtrington, just enough room to squeeze pastSAM_5677 Dredging

Lymm was busy as always
SAM_5679 Busy Lymm
Just one space on the left – no, the boat in front has nabbed that one…. now just one on the right. Good job we weren’t stopping.

It just got warmer and warmer, a great day to be out on the water.

We pulled over at Stockton Heath to dispose of several days of rubbish and recycling at the council depot near London Road Bridge, then Chas and Ann motored through the bridge to moor outside Thorn Marine for a gas bottle. I walked the hundred yards, and my purchases went in their well deck to save me making several trips back and forth.
Ten litres of motor oil, filters, magazines and five cans of paint. I’m trying to spread the purchase of the materials needed for the repaint over several days, that way it won’t seem so much…. Midland Chandlers tomorrow.

Leaving Thorn MarineSAM_5680 Thorn Marine
There’s a small wharf here on the offside, and this was temporarily the end of the canal. It reached here in 1771, but then was delayed for 5 years waiting for the owners of Walton Hall to allow it to be cut through the estate. The buildings now occupied by the chandlery have changed little since then.

The cutting through Walton Park.
SAM_5681 Walton Cutting
The hall and gardens are now managed by Warrington Borough Council, and are open to the public.

Chester Road Bridge marks the end of the Warrington suburbs and the start of countryside again. Built in concrete, I guess the design is intended to echo Chester Road Swing Bridge over the Ship Canal, a mile to the north.

Swing Bridge
© Copyright David Long and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Baby brother over the BridgewaterSAM_5691 Chester Road Br

We had a quick stop for an ice cream at Moore Post Office right alongside the canal, then M2L pulled in as well to post some mail. And get a photo. After all, who could resist? Chas and Ann Moore, on NB Moore2Life, moored at Moore!

You know you’re nearing Preston Brook when the futuristic-looking tower at Daresbury Laboratories shows above the trees…

…and the Victorian water tower on Windmill Hill is seen across the valley.SAM_5701 Water Tower
Rubbish picture, I know. Full zoom, handheld, while holding the tiller. Not much chance, was there.

The former was built in the 1970’s for research into nuclear particles, the latter was built around 1890 to supply Liverpool and Runcorn with Welsh water.

We pulled in not far short of Red Brow Underbridge, after a fairly long but most agreeable day.

Near Red BrowSAM_5708 Moored near Red Brow

Locks 0, miles 11

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