…and it wasn’t wrong!
Our first frozen canal this winter! Not really surprising as the temperature dipped to five below last night.
We come onto the Llangollen Canal to avoid getting frozen in, but every time we make a short excursion down here on the Montgomery we seem to choose a cold snap. And this canal does freeze!
It wasn’t any thicker than 3 or 4mm, so not a show-stopper, but we did wait until around 11 o’clock to let the bright sun start to work on the temperature.
A beautiful morning
The sanitary station next to Bridge 79 is on the site of an old wharf. There’s a restored crane here, believed to be the only remaining 15cwt crane still existing on the network.
On open, exposed sections of the canal the ice was about 3mm, but thinned a little where there were overhanging trees. It still seemed to take a while though before the bottom of the three Aston Locks came into view.
When we came down yesterday I left each pair of lower gates open, just a few inches but enough to ensure that the chambers stayed empty. But a boat left the moorings behind us in the afternoon, and he had the benefit of those empty locks. Not content with having a “good road”, though, he was too idle to close the top gate after he’d left the lock. Not normally any more than a nuisance, but today it was difficult to close the gates against the ice that had formed overnight. He got called a few names…
After the locks we pulled in for lunch at the Queens Head moorings. My shoulders were aching with the heavy tiller working against the ice. But we pushed on again for another hour or so after we’d eaten, pulling in on the offside just before Perry Aqueduct.
Crunching past Rednall Basin.
Moored near the aqueduct.
A breach here in 1936 caused the canal to be closed and finally abandoned in 1944 by an Act of Parliament. It wasn’t until 1996 that this length, from Frankton Locks to Queens Head, was reopened.
Locks 3, miles 5½