Friday 15 April 2022

Hack Green

Today's Canal - Shropshire Union

Although we were only about 100m from the top of the Tyrley locks, we were held up for a little while with a boat that appeared just as we were casting off and who wanted to the use the winding hole between us and the lock.

They were not helped by finding that one boat is moored permanently in the winding hole and also a CaRT work boat was tied up there. (Not visible in he photo as it is behind the white boat)

Today was very much warmer than so far this trip and occasionally we did have some sunny spells.

Plenty of water coming down the flight.

Ah! There is the first of today's blue patches!

The bottom lock emerges into a narrow rock section and in the past the bywash, which emerges just below the lock, could be fierce and make manoeuvring either up or down rather difficult. The exit  from the culvert has now been modified and the water is diverted along the side of the towpath rather that straight across the canal. We had no problems today.

We decided, after much debate, not gto go shopping in Market Drayton but only do a speedy 'splash and dash' with the elsan, and hope to find the shop in Audlem still open (it is closer!) We passed nb Jubilee with the Halfords (Jan is the chair of BCF). Alas we were past by he time we realised which boat it was and we had overlooked their plan to be here this weekend. 

We also failed to take any photos as we came through Market Drayton, until the last part of the moorings. Still, what a great sky!

At this time of the year the green foliage is only just coming out and as a result the views can be quite special on days like today.

The next locks was the Adderley flight of five. When we arrived there was another single hander waiting so we joined the queue. Below the lock he kindly let us through as he also knew that ahead was yet another single hander and even slower so he felt that we might be able to speed things up a little!

We stopped just before the Audlem flight to have lunch. However it was a shortened break as Andrew would like to catch a train from Nantwich. He could have stayed another couple of days but that would put us out of reach of useful public  transport. Hence we aimed to moor tonight just before Hack Green locks with only an hour then in the morning.

The Audlem flight has 15 locks and several of them have one of these small huts which we imagine would, on the days of freight traffic, have kept the lock keepers warm when waiting for boats in winter. On busy flights like this the canal company would employ the extra staff to speed the boats through and 'time is money'. No doubt they also built this cost into their tolls!

There were quite a few boats in this flight both going up and down. Occasionally this meant we had a short wait to turn a lock.

Just above lock 12, Andrew and Christine went off to the Co-Op shop in Audlem, very close to the bridge. Mike was left to take the boat through and down to the water point at the wharf outside the Shroppie Fly. either Mike was rather slow or the shoppers very speedy but they returned just as Mike was tying up.

As we waited for the water to fill up, the sight of people eating choc ices sent Andrew back to the shop for a box of three.Yummy!

We then completed the remaining three locks. A family with a small boy followed along - he very much enjoyed being able to push the lock gates.

Just below the flight we spotted Brian on nb Harnser who had left a note on yesterday's blog that out=r paths might cross today. We had a typically fleeting chat - as one does on the canal!

No more photos as Mike then went inside to prepare tonight's fish pie whilst the others continued to cruise until finding a useful mooring just before Hack Green.

10.5 Miles - 25 Locks

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