Thursday 21 September 2017

Car Shuffle Day

Today was set aside for collecting the car from Fettlers Wharf. Mike had bought and collected his train tickets yesterday and the first off peak departure was 11:20 from Nantwich.

We both walked into town - Christine was still in search of Red Cheshire. The quality butcher that we found closed yesterday (one of the few shops still keeping half day closing!) was thankfully open this morning. They were able to offer a choice of three but recommended the farmhouse variety. Christine bought a piece for our friend who often talks about it - he once managed a cheese shop - as well as a slice for ourselves.

After she finished shopping, thankfully the rain which suddenly appeared quite heavily, disappeared and the rest of the day was pleasant, if not often sunny. She had also bought herself a pork pie from the butcher and walked back to the boat in time for lunch. This set her up for her programme of cleaning etc which traditionally accompanies car shuffle day.

Mike's journey took him from Nantwich to Crewe, another train to Wigan North Western, a short walk to Wigan Wallgate where he caught the third train to Burscough Bridge. The last stage was by bus but there was around 45 minutes wait so he popped into Tesco for a meal deal which he ate, sitting in almost sunshine at the wharf.

The bus dropped him at the turn to Fettlers Wharf, about ten minutes walk. After a few words to Richard to let him know that we had collected the car, Mike set off to drive back down the motorway to leave the car at Swanley Bridge Marina where we are leaving the boat for the next couple of weeks.

After a short wait at the entrance to the marina for the cows to wander back out from milking to their pasture, Mike checked in at the office and had a brief chat with Andy who was the salesman who we dealt with last year when selling our previous boat.

It was then a nearly two mile walk back by road - fortunately it was level all the way. He passed the grand entrance gates to Dorfold Hall, a fine Jacobean House. The gates came from an even older house in the centre of Nantwich. The lodge looks quite smart as well.

The house and estate is now used for a variety of money-making businesses, including events, a film location and weddings. It is also open to the public one day a week. A showground has been gradually improved and hosts the annual Nantwich Show, one of the largest one-day agricultural shows.

A little further he could see the boat moored on the canal much higher than the road - shortly after the canal goes over Nantwich Aqueduct - and having texted Christine where he was so that she could put the kettle on, they were able to wave to each other across the fields!

By the time he was walking up the the path to the canal, it was only six minutes later than the original ETA! Since the train were generally five minutes behind their published pace - and still count themselves as 'on time' that slight time gap can surely be forgiven!

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