Friday, May 24, 2019

Back to Ellesmere for the weekend.

With no locks or lift bridges to deal with we’ve had a gentle couple of days, heading back east to Ellesmere.
We left our overnight stop below New Marton Locks at around half-nine. It was such a beautiful day it seemed a shame not to be moving.

A demolished railway bridge near Hindford used to carry the Oswestry, Welshpool and Whitchurch Railway.

The railway was proposed in 1861, sponsored by a newly formed Cambrian Railways and the established London and North-Western Railway, but didn’t open until July 1864, following difficulties constructing the route across Fenn’s Moss.
It continued operations until the mid 20th century, when, two years after being amalgamated into the London Midland Region network, it felt the sharp edge of Dr Beeching’s axe. Passenger services ceased in 1965, goods trains hung on in the southern section until 1971.

We seemed to be scraping the bottom more than usual, looking at the level control weirs it appears that the water was down by five or six inches.

There were four boats waiting to drop down Frankton Locks onto the Monty as we cruised past, then shortly after we had the awkward bends and blind bridges as the canal winds around Val Hill.

Frankton Junction

Bridge 66 just around the corner…

…leaving Bridge 65…

…and clear of the bends, heading for Bridge 64.
We pulled in on that pleasant bit of mooring before Coachman’s Bridge at half-eleven.

After a quiet night we were on the move again this morning. A bit cooler and more overcast than yesterday, but still staying fine. We‘d had to hold off pulling out though. Boats were passing in either direction and the one heading our way got well stuck on the muddy bottom on the offside. After 5 minutes of shoving with poles and alternate forward and reverse they got clear and we able to follow them.

Near Bridge 60

We’d filled with water on Wednesday so only needed to stop at the service wharf at Ellesmere to dispose of rubbish and recycling, but weren’t even able to do that…

We turned into the arm, hoping for but not expecting a space only to see that there were plenty. We got pulled in about two-thirds of the way down towards the end.

We’ll be here over the weekend now.

Locks 0, miles 6½

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