Wednesday 20 September 2017


Today's Canals - Middlewich Branch, Shropshire Union

Although rain arrived late in the afternoon, it was pleasantly fine and warm for all of the time that mattered to us!

There was little remarkable as we cruised along to the only Cholmondeson Lock, the only one remaining on the Middlewich. Although there was quite a bit of traffic around, we had no delay. We had to turn the lock but that was compensated by a boat arriving at the top as we were ready to leave.

As we did the remaining section to Barbridge, Mike opted to prepare tonight's lamb casserole so that it could have a long slow cook in the oven, This left Christine to cope with several traffic jams along the way, mostly at bridges.

A boat ahead of us took some time to negotiate the junction to turn south and as we emerged through the junction bridge another boat arrived from the north wanting to turn into where we were. Both crew and steerer seemed somewhat miffed that they had to back off to let us out! Mind you, we did make the turn without hitting the bank.

We paused only briefly at the so-called services alongside the toll narrows just after the turn. The only facility remaining is the rubbish bin and that took some clout to make the lock work. The boat that turned before us was tied up with the crew looking worried as they consulted their maps and guides. They asked us where the nearest water would be and we replied that we thought that it would be Nantwich - at least that is where we were heading. The problem is that there used to be water here and it is still listed in Nicholsons.

We continued southwards, with by now a bright blue sky.

We passed Hurleston Junction and unusually there were no boats either working through or waiting at the bottom.

Plenty of moored boats on the run in to Nantwich which slowed us a little so it was around 12:30 when we arrived at the service station. It is often busy here and we found ourselves behind (in time) another boat which had been waiting some time for a boat that had been very slow in filling with water. As an ex restaurant boat perhaps it has an extra large tank. Since we were not in immediate need of water, but very keen on emptying our elsan cassettes, both of which were now almost full, as well as securing ourselves a mooring space on the embankment. So Mike carried both of them over the bridge and we were then able to move down to the moorings before the other boats had finished. As it happened there were several s[aces for us to make a choice and a number of other boats left (and arrived) during the afternoon.

Mike booked his train tickets for tomorrow's car shuffle online. They would be ready for collection at the machine at Nantwich station within the hour.

After an unusually long lunch break we walked into town, calling first at the station where indeed the tickets were ready to print out. We walked back through the town to look in the shops although most of our purchases were made at Morrisons, almost next to the station.

Along the way we spotted a building that we had noticed before - with its ornate inscription: Savings Bank and erected in 1846. Looking for a new use . . . (Nobody saves these days, only borrows?)

Back then to the boat and a chance to do not very much for the rest of the day.

Christine took a walk along thew towpath, snapped the aqueduct and discovered that quite a few of thew former long term moorings have been converted to visitor moorings which perhaps explains why there has been a little less pressure today.

6.2 Miles - 1 Lock

No comments:

Post a Comment