Thursday, November 21, 2013

Turning the corner.

Today’s trip took us off the mainly south-westerly direction we’ve been on, to now head generally west.

South westerly afternoons at this time of year can make seeing ahead difficult, especially if you’re burning wood!SAM_7168

We had a damp, blowy couple of days at the end of the Whitchurch Arm, but at least I got most of the shopping done.

The Arm now ends only 300 yards from leaving the main line, when constructed it allowed boats right into the town but since closure most of the route has disappeared.

The end of the Arm at the moment.
It originally terminated in a triangular basin below the hill which supports the impressive St.Alkmund’s church.

Canal Arm terminus, now part of Jubilee ParkDSC_0134

St. Alkmund’s at the top of High Street
A bit bendy as I had to splice two photos together.

There are plans afoot for the arm, though. Not re-establishing the line to the town, there’s no chance of that, but using it to access a new basin. This will be for visiting boats and will be to the north of the original line, down in the valley formed by Staggs Brook. The difference in elevation will be dealt with by an inclined plane or boat lift. Ambitious, eh.
I hope it comes off, at the very least it’ll knock 5 minutes off the 20 minute walk into town…

The basin will be down there somewhereDSC_0132
The Whitchurch Waterway Trust is the driving force behind the project.

I’d not come across St Alkmund before, a bit of research places him in the area in the 9th century. His death (murder?) was considered martyrdom, and miracles at his tomb were witnessed. Originally interred at Lilleshall near Telford, his remains were later moved to Derby. There’s another St.Alkmund’s church in the city.

We moved off shortly after 11:00 this morning, the wind had dropped after a bit of a wild night, thankfully. Through New Mills Lift Bridge and under the main road bridge and we arrived at Whitchurch Marina for the batteries I‘d ordered.

Now part of the ABC Leisure Group, this hire base is the home of the “Yellow Perils” Viking Afloat.

Whitchurch MarinaSAM_7156
The fleet is laid up for the winter.

I have a cunning plan….

It took me just less than an hour to swap over from old to new, and then we were on our way again, penetrating deeper into rural Shropshire.SAM_7161

Snatched shot of Squirrel Nutkin at lunch

We pulled in on the moorings at the edge of the extensive Whixall Moss for the night. I wanted to get some of the wood we’d foraged today sliced and diced.SAM_7170

There was a pretty impressive sunset….

Aiming to be at Ellesmere tomorrow.

Locks 0, miles 4¼

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