Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A little lock work.

The canal drops down nearly 40 feet at Grindley Brook, split between a triple staircase and three individual chambers. The staircase is an effective way of making a change of elevation in a short distance, with each chamber dropping directly in to the next. But during busy periods it can be a major bottleneck. Unlike single chambers boats can’t pass in opposite directions, and the lock levels have to be reset if the direction of travel is changed from down to up and vice versa.

During the summer months a couple of lock-keepers are on hand to organise the traffic.

I had a chat with a C&RT chap this morning, he was filling the lock chambers on the staircase. They tend to drain down overnight. I thought we’d be able to take advantage of the full top lock, but a boat passed us before we were ready to leave.

Heading for the locks, bright sunshine in a brisk breeze.IMG_3613

Setting up to descend, the top lock has to be full (logically), middle lock filled to a marked level, about half-way, and the bottom lock empty. I organised this while emptying the loos and the rubbish, then we started on our way down.

Dropping down the triple staircase
IMG_3615

In future I’ll put more water in the middle chamber, Mags barely had enough water to scrape over the cill. They must leak quite a bit…

Below the staircase the three singles are spread a couple of hundred yards apart as the gradient lessens.

One more to go…IMG_3616

Even though all the locks had to be set up, we did really well. In at the top at 11:10, out of the bottom at 11:50. Forty minutes, 6 locks, ⅜ of a mile.

We dropped down another three, spaced out over the next 3 miles. Povey’s Lock was first…
IMG_3619

…followed by Willymoor Lock, alongside the Willy Moor InnIMG_3622

Reeds encroach on the navigable channel above Quoisley Lock, shining brightly in the sunshine.
IMG_3623

Wonderfully gnarly dead tree.
IMG_3621

Quoisley Lock gave us trouble when we came up, the top gate was fouling the cill making it stick part way. No such trouble today, in fact it now swings open on it’s own.

We pulled in a little further on, short of Steer Bridge, No 24.

Moored near Marbury, Meg’s waiting to play ballIMG_3624

We timed it nicely. Although it was breezy while we dropped down the locks the rain held off. A heavy shower blew over as we were having lunch but soon cleared through, giving me the chance to chop the last of the wood on the roof. Apart from that branch picked up at the locks. I’ll get the bow saw out for that bit.

I think we’ll be staying here tomorrow. I’ve a heavy training run scheduled for the morning. We want to be at Wrenbury for the weekend.

Locks 9, miles 3½

4 comments:

Chas and Ann said...

Don't over do it Geoff!

Andy Healey said...

I will look out for you at the weekend, we have a week on our shareboat Centurion from Saturday starting from Wrenbury Mill

Judith Emery said...

The lock keeper at Grindley Brook told us you need a lock and a half to clear the cil. The next one didn't do it and we came to a halt on the cil in the middle.
Judith and John
nb Serena

Alf said...

Mal Edwards used to leave 1/2 a paddle up on the top lock to allow for the difference.