Thursday, May 04, 2017

It don’t get much better than this…

Although we could do with the wind dropping a bit, but you can’t have everything.
I unshipped John Sage first thing this morning for a trip up into Northwich for some fresh stuff, that saved us having to stop for groceries as we passed through on the river, then we were away at around 10:00.

Could almost be summer…

After WWII steel was in short supply so they started making barges out of reinforced concrete as a stop-gap.IMG_4265


It wasn’t a new idea, reinforced concrete or ferrocrete was used as early as the mid 19th century for building craft. Not just small vessels either. In the first World War a yard at Shoreham was commissioned to construct ferrocrete barges and tugs, the largest of which was 125 feet long with a 27 foot beam and driven by a steam engine.

But this pales into insignificance compared to the Chinese Gu Tian, constructed in 1974.Gu Tian
Photo from the Daily Mail, interesting full article here.


We stopped for water and rubbish disposal at the wharf next to Town Bridge in Northwich, then set off, past the new-ish marina on the left, up to Hunts Lock.

Town Bridge, Northwich

Northwich Marina on the left, on the site of the Floatel and Northwich Marine’s boatyard.IMG_4272
The visitor moorings on the right are quiet, only two boats on there.

Approaching Hunts Lock
It’s generally a good idea to give the lockies a call 20 minutes or so before arrival. They appreciate it and it means the gates can be open for you. But I hadn’t in this case, I knew that Meg would need a wee so we pulled in on the bank and we walked up to have a chat.

There are two locks here, the earlier smaller one to the left and the ship lock to the right. The smaller one is in use here. And it’s manual winding for the paddles and the gates!

I always think that the ladder-way up the side of the chamber looks like a stack of faces with a dismayed expression…

The lock sides here are higher at the upstream end, why, no-one seems to know. But it gives you a weird perspective as you look forward, it appears we’re going down by the head!IMG_4278

It’s a half-hour or so to the final upstream lock, Vale Royal, passing a new development on the left and Jalsea’s boatyard on the right.
Boats of all shapes, sizes and conditions here.

Two fixed bridges…
…Hartford (road) Bridge in the distance…IMG_4286

…and Vale Royal Railway Viaduct

Vale Royal Lock is just around the corner, and can be confusing…IMG_4291

The smaller lock is again in use, but it’s now on the right of the ship lock and not obvious as you come around the bend.

That’s the one, to the right of the bull-nose.IMG_4292

To make matters even more confusing the earliest chamber still exists on the far right, now used as a sluice.

It’s clearer from above…

We pulled in on the moorings a little further on, just one boat here when we arrived, he left and was replaced by another who turned up from upstream.


Enjoying the sunshine…

…with tea and cake!



Struggled a bit with the pictures today, too sunny! Not complaining, mind…

Locks 2, miles 4¼


Ade said...

Miserabl down here in Somerset 😕. There's a difference we had coats on, Mags looks like she is very well and enjoying the sun, well we all do don't we!

KevinTOO said...

Lovely day indeed by the look of it :)

And nice to see both your princesses giving us all a 'royal wave' from their throne in the Vale Royal... ;)

Jaqueline Biggs said...

YOU two don't let moss grow on the bottom of Seyella do you? :) Lovely pictures and Mags looks great. I haven't been on the weaver yet. It was running high when Les and I were going to go down on it in 2012 so we gave it a miss.

Give Mags a Biggs big hug from me and have one for yourself,

Jaq xxx