Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Anderton to Middlewich, a spot of painting and Amber gets her boat dog baptism!

Last Tuesday we left Anderton heading up towards Middlewich.

Halsall reloading coal and fuel at Anderton Wharf

Half-wide boats at Wincham Wharf, built to fit through Dutton Stop Lock and and the tunnels to the north to access the Bridgewater Canal.

We pulled in on the grass at South Flash on Tuesday night, then turned around on Wednesday morning to moor against the concrete edge a bit further back.

This spot is ideal to paint the gunnels as the boat stands clear of the bank due to the angle of the cast coping. I got one side done on the Wednesday, then cruised back to Billinge Green to turn around again to get to the right hand side.

It was as we came in to moor again that Amber decided to see if she could jump a three foot gap and realised to her dismay that she couldn’t… I hauled her out, looking very sorry for herself.

She’d not long dried off when she plunged into a muddy ditch while playing with another dog further along the towpath. So she had a second dip in the fishing pond alongside the canal. A most disgruntled dog.

Anyway, amongst the excitement I got both sides painted and the left side washed and polished too, so that was a job well done.

So Friday morning we were on the move again away from the wide waters of the flashes and up past the fine Whatcroft Cottages, beautifully situated beside the canal.

Some sections of the canal along here are getting very overgrown with reed beds extending well out across the channel. It makes negotiating the bends a game of chance whether there’ll be a boat coming or not…

Through the wooded section alongside the River Dane.

A pause while a boat comes over Croxton Aqueduct, the third since the canal opened in 1777.

Instead of going up into the town we pulled in below Middlewich Big Lock for a couple of nights.


It was busy at the locks, boaters taking advantage of what might be the last of the good weather before Autumn arrives with a vengeance.

We left it till Sunday before moving up through town, heading up Big Lock then the four narrow locks to moor above Kings Lock after turning around.

Leaving Big Lock

Up the three narrow locks…

..and waiting below Kings Lock.

Yesterday was Mag’s birthday. I won’t say how many years, but remember the old Two Ronnies sketch in the hardware store? Where Ronnie Barker comes in asking for fork handles and is given four candles? Well, Mag’s cake would have needed ninety fork handles… 

Val and John and little Harry came across to wish her a happy birthday, Val had baked a splendid cake but the candles were conspicuously absent… So I dug out some that said Happy Birthday.

Later on we spent over an hour on Zoom, a conference call with the family dropping in and out from all over the country and as far away as Canada wishing her a good day. And it was!

On another fine morning today we pulled pins and dropped down Kings Lock, filled with water then turned left under the junction bridge. Up the deep Wardle Lock and out to the edge of town saw us moored on the rings at the site of the breech below Stanthorne Lock.

Waiting to turn onto the branch under the bridge to the left.

Moored below Stanthorne Lock.

This will be the last fine, warm day for a bit, rain and wind with cooler temperatures are moving in overnight and are set to linger for the rest of the week so I got the right side of the cabin leathered off and polished before we had a late lunch. Glad that’s out of the way.

We’ll steadily roll across the Middlewich Branch this week, then down to Nantwich again when we run short of supplies.

Since last post… Locks 7, miles 12.


Richard said...

Late Happy Birthday Mags!! Congratulations Amber on your Baptism!! Hope you don't make a habit of it!!

KevinTOO said...

Happy Birthday Mags, that certainly looks like a nice cake :) But did the icing melt when the candles were lit? LOL

Carol said...

Let us know when you're close to Nantwich - we'll come and say hello. xx

Geoff and Mags said...

Thanks Richard, KevinToo. Amber's even less keen on water now than she was before! And no, there weren't enough candles to melt the icing, we decided the full set would have been too much of a fire risk!
Hiya Carol. Looking forward to it!

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Happy birthday Mags and many more fork handles!! It is grand to see pictures of you both looking hale and hearty.
Love Jaq xxx

Ade said...

Belated Happy Birthday to Mags lovely cake and an nice photo of you both.