The sky was grey and there was fine snow in the wind as we set off this morning at around ten.
To re-open the canal to navigation the bridge ahead was one that had to rebuilt as it had been lowered while the canal was derelict. It looks almost right, but the brick facade hides a concrete span. Still, needs must. It’s certainly better looking than the A5 bypass bridge just beyond!
There are three locks to deal with before the current terminus is reached, and the first was 10 minutes away, just time enough for a coffee.
Aston Lock 1
No sign of the killer geese christened Bonnie and Clyde by George and Carol in 2012. Must have been long in the pot!
Beside Lock 3 there has been a wetland nature reserve for some time, but it’s now being extended uphill, alongside all three.
Feeder to the new lake below Lock 1
Go to https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/news-and-views/news/montgomery-canal-restoration-dream-becomes-reality-with-launch-of-4-million-project for more information.
Aston Lock 3, with a derelict lock-keepers hut on the offside.
It’s a slow half-hour to Maesbury Marsh Bridge from here. The canal, always shallow, is particularly so along here, and at this time of year is clogged with last autumn’s fallen leaves.
A factory chimney on the north side of the canal belongs to the now-disused Bone Manure Works. There used to be a taller one too. The works started out as a lead-smelting foundry, changing it’s use in the 1860s. Horse and cow hooves were boiled up for glue, and the bones were ground up for fertiliser. The smell must have been wonderful...
There’s a sanitary station just the other side of the bridge, no rubbish disposal though, unfortunately.
Crofts Mill Lift Bridge is the last one on the currently navigable section. From there it’s just a couple of hundred yards to the winding point at Gronwyn Wharf.
Turning back at Gronwyn Wharf
Gronwyn Bridge, the current limit for powered boats.
The snow has arrived in earnest now.
The canal is in water for another ¾ mile to Bridge 84, and work continues beyond there. But there’s no winding hole until the restoration reaches Crickheath. I walked up the restored section way back in 2013. Post here…
We returned back through the lift bridge and moored before Spiggots Bridge. My feet were getting cold, but my head was nice and warm!
Thanks for the hat, Johnny!
Heading back tomorrow.
Locks 3, miles 3