We had another bright sunny day today, fine for the last leg down the Cheshire Locks.
The golf club at Malkins Bank has a new snack bar alongside the canal at Lock 61.
The smell of frying bacon was tantalising… but I resisted.
Lock 61 is also known as Cardboard Lock. Unlike Thurlwood Steel Lock and Beeston Iron Lock though, the name doesn’t refer to the construction material! Just as well, eh. No, alongside there used to be a paper mill.
The now quiet stretch of canal around the settlement of Malkin’s Bank and on down to Wheelock was flanked by industry, with chemical works on the left bank producing salt-based products. The golf course now sits on the Brunner Mond Ammonia-Soda works, using locally pumped brine.
Apart from the canal, the works were serviced by the Sandbach Branch Line which joined the LNWR at Elworth. The Salt line, as it is now known, makes a good, traffic free cycle track, and it’s what I use for running training in this area. It’s just a shame that the bit in the middle, from Hassell Green to just above Wheelock, has been lost.
We made good time, thanks to an idle git who came up the locks first thing and left top gates open on most of the locks. Good for us, though.
Saw Pit Lock, number 64
Under the Salt Line above Lock 65
At the bottom of the Cheshire Locks, Wheelock Bottom Lock, Number 66
There’s just another nine to descend before the northern end of the canal at Preston Brook, twenty miles away.
We pulled in on the moorings at Wheelock, and I reckon we’ll stay here tomorrow. Rain moving in from the west during the morning, apparently.
Locks 6, miles 1