Rain overnight and early this morning did not make the prospect of ascent of Frankton Locks very appealing, but by 10:00 the clouds had cleared, the sun had got his hat on, and it was pleasantly warm if you were out of the wind. Fleece top, rather than jacket, weather.
Last night we had another of those colourful sunsets….
Sunset and woodsmoke
By 11:30 we were watered up,contents of loo tanks and rubbish bin disposed of, and heading out of the Weston Arm for our appointment with the lock-keeper at noon.
Heading out of the Weston Arm
We arrived at the bottom at a quarter to, and I had a walk up to see if the duty lockie had arrived yet.
I spotted this plaque fixed to the lower side of Lock 3….
You might have to click to enlarge.
Cressy, later to become famous as Rolt’s transport around the network towards the end of commercial carrying, started life as a horse-drawn Shropshire Union fly boat, carrying perishable cargoes. The fine lines of this type of boat meant they were faster on the water than their contemporaries. She was then sold to a coal merchant on the Montgomery at Maesbury, before being converted, as mentioned above.
The dry dock is now a feature in this garden
Sorry, taken into the sun. But you see the stretch of coping across from the stern of Seyella? Well, just the other side of that was the dry dock. If you look closely you can see one of the brick piers which would have supported a docked boat.
From the cover of my copy of “Narrow Boat”
There were two boats waiting to come down and only us to go up, so we started up the two lower single chambers while the lockie started a boat down the staircase pair.
Both downhill boats came down the staircase, then we went up, bade farewell to the lockie and turned right at the junction.
We’re going to potter around the Ellesmere area for a couple of weeks before heading off to the terminus above Llangollen, aiming to arrive just before Christmas.
We pulled in less than a mile from the junction, just before Bridge 66. We’ll stay here tomorrow and then head into the metropolis for the weekend.
Locks 4, miles 1¼