Today started out fairly bright but soon clouds filled in on the back of the south-westerly breeze. It was a tad warmer than yesterday, although it didn’t feel it, without the sunshine to lift the spirits if not the temperature.
Grey skies, but no rain…
Our first lock was Povey’s. in sight of where we’d moored. It was empty and I opened the gates ready when I was out with Meg, assuming (correctly) that we’d be the first boat through. Having the gates already open meant that I could motor straight in, only relinquishing the tiller when we were up to the cill.
After Povey’s there’s 20 minutes or so to the bottom of the Grindley Brook Locks.
Always a welcome sight; a boat coming the other way as you approach a lock flight…
Grindley Brook Lock 6 (Bottom Lock).
The flight is divided into three single chambers followed by a triple staircase.
Coming up the singles
Of course, it’s not quite so simple working up the staircase. Yes, the bottom lock was empty so Mags could go straight in, but I had to fill the middle and top chambers.That took 10 minutes then we could go straight on up, the water in the chamber above dropped into the one below to make a level, the boat moved through then the process repeated. You can’t pass boats in opposite directions in a narrow staircase, but you can have more than one going in the same direction. Sounds complicated, but it’s obvious in practice.
Mags coming up Grindley Brook triple staircase
There were no other boats around as we came up, but two arrived to go down as we were using the facilities at the top.
With the locks set in our favour, it only took 45 minutes from Lock 6 to out of Lock 1. You can’t do that in the school holidays! The canal is very busy during the summer, and there’s always lock-keepers on the flight to keep control of the queues.
After the locks we had a mile to New Mills Lift Bridge, just adjacent to the Whitchurch Arm, then we pulled in near the winding hole.
New Mills Lift Bridge
That’s the locks done for a few days now, there’s the New Marton two this side of Chirk but it’ll be next week before we get there. There are several more lift bridges though, three of which we’ll pass tomorrow.
Locks 7, miles 2¾