On Monday we moved to the other end of the long embankment that carries the canal around to the west of Nantwich.
Across the aqueduct over the Chester Road.
We moored just short of Marsh Lane Bridge, there’s easy road access here and we were expecting visitors on Tuesday. Val and John took a last opportunity to come and see us before we got too far away…
We had a good afternoon with them, it’ll be October or November before we’re back within sensible driving distance. We’ll probably be on the Llangollen for 4 months though this coming winter, the stoppage to repair Hurleston Bottom Lock will take at least that long.
This morning we set off in fine weather but a bit overcast.
We’re heading south now, on the Birmingham and Liverpool Junction Canal.
Opened in 1835, this was Thomas Telford’s vision of a modern commercial waterway. Long straights with gentle curves, high embankments and deep cuttings, and flights of locks grouped together for efficiency.
Fifty years earlier the norm was to follow the contours of the land, which resulted in winding canals with locks installed where necessary. But advances in construction techniques allowed Telford to survey a pretty much direct route from Nantwich to Autherley and Birmingham, 39 miles away.
The job wasn’t without challenges though. The high embankments at Shobnall and Sheldon took considerable effort to stabilise, and the deep cuttings often have rockfalls from the steep sides even now.
But the finished canal allowed boats to make the distance from Ellesmere Port on the Mersey to Autherley Junction in 30 hours, almost halving the time using the Staffs and Worcester and Trent and Mersey.
We had an easy day, pulling in on the moorings past Bridge 84, above the two Hack Green Locks, at lunchtime.
Hack Green Locks
Coole Pilate moorings.
Off to Audlem in the morning.
Locks 2, miles 4