Friday, October 01, 2021

Right turn for Chester

Over the last few days we've crossed over to the Shroppie main line, and made the right turn to head north towards Chester.

By late afternoon Tuesday I'd got fed up with resetting our mooring pins every time a boat went past, so we joined the queue to go up Stanthorne Lock. An hour later we were tying up on the rings just past Bridge 26.

Queue below Stanthorne Lock.

Since the breach a couple of years ago CRT have restricted the flow through the lower paddles, hence the queue.

Wednesday morning saw us off at around 10, fairly bright skies but with a cold wind blowing. I'd intended to get as far as Cholmondeston Lock but decided to pull in close to Aqueduct Marina instead.

Looking over the Weaver Valley to Church Minshull.

Yesterday we set off late, after waiting for the showers to blow over.

Past the marina and around the corner we came to Minshull Lock which had to be emptied before we could go up. Then we had a pleasant hour or so to the next, the delightfully named Cholmondeston Lock. A bit of a mouthful!

I was surprised but pleased to see a pair of volunteers working the lock, so it wasn't long before we were pulling up on the water point above the lock. 

Unfortunately filling the tank was considerably slower than coming up the lock, but it turned out to be a blessing. We'd just got going again when the heavens opened, so I dived into the first available space on the 48 hour moorings just up from the lock. 

We didn't move again...

Overnight rain had cleared by early morning and it has been a fine but cool day today. If only that wind was a little lighter...

Heading for Barbridge Junction

Bridge 1 ahead, crossing the junction

Along the left bank there's a row of Victorian gas lamps, converted to electric but most damaged now. They must have been installed for a reason, but maps dating back to the late 19th century don't show any sort of construction that would warrant the extra lighting.

There was a flour mill a bit south on the main line though, and a warehouse straddled the canal next to the junction. Both gone now.

We made a right turn at the junction, heading towards Chester.

The bridges are wider here, the Chester Canal was built to take barges coming up off the Dee at Chester to collect salt from Nantwich. Not just the bridges, the locks are all broad as well.

We stopped at Calverley services to empty a loo tank and drop off rubbish, then toddled on to Bunbury Locks, a staircase pair.

The building to the left is a row of boat horse stables. 

We shared the staircase with another boat, but she was just dropping down for a toilet tank pump-out before returning to her permanent mooring above the lock.

It's been a couple of years since we were here, and I'd forgotten how attractive it is.


Tilstone Lock, with an unusual circular lock-keepers hut alongside.


This was our last today, we pulled in above Beeston Stone Lock at around lunchtime, under a Simpson's sky.


We'll be here for the weekend now, waiting out the strong winds and torrential rain that the weatherman has predicted.

Locks 6, miles 13¼


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