Saturday, May 13, 2017

A “good road”, and not a bad day either.

If all the day’s locks were in their favour the working boatmen used to call it a good road, and so it was for us today. All but two were empty and ready for us, and those two only had a drop of water to let out. All thanks to three boats we met coming down, and no-one going up ahead of us.

And a starter for 10, waiting for a boat coming down the lower of the two Pierpoints LocksIMG_4439

The day started out gloomy, a little damp, but had dried up by the time we got away from Hassall Green.

Into Lock 55, Pierpoints Top Lock
The little tail-bridge is split into two to allow the tow-rope to pass between. Each half is cantilevered out from it’s respective side, supported by decorative iron brackets.

Meg showing off her new svelte look

These cows weren’t confident that it was going to stay dry…IMG_4444

…but their neighbours were a little more optimistic. IMG_4446

Thurlwood Lock has an unusual arrangement, in that there’s one ground paddle and another on the top gate.IMG_4447
It’s probably a legacy from when this was the site of the unique Thurlwood Steel Lock.

I jogged along the towpath from here, up to the village stores in Rode Heath, then Mags picked me up again at Bridge 140.

These must be among the first to hatch this yearIMG_4448

There’s a bit of an interlude between locks above Rode Heath, just enough time to grab a quick brew, then there’s the three close together, Lawton Treble Locks.

These are amongst the most attractive on the system…IMG_4452

IMG_4454…but the top paddles could do with a blob of grease.

The earthworks to the right on the previous picture are all that remains of a triple staircase that was the original set-up. But it was a severe bottleneck and was replaced during the Thomas Telford improvements in the 1830s. It was at this time that the locks were duplicated.

Halls Lock is just above the Lawton Treble, then there’s a short pound to the two Church Locks.IMG_4455

On both of the locks the offside (Brindley’s original) chamber is out of use…IMG_4456

…pretty well permanently!


If, like us, you keep the fender up against the cill and gate when filling a lock, you have to be cautious in Lock 47, Church Top.
The ladder-type reinforcing on the cill can snag the fender, holding the fore-end down with potentially dire results. At worst the fender will be ripped off, at worst… well, you don’t want to go there.

Out of the locks and we pulled in on the moorings just around the corner. Pleasant and sunny, there are good walks around here too.
Locks 10, miles 3

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