Sunday 25 September 2022


Today's Canals - Middlewich Branch, Shropshire Union, Llangollen

Only a short stretch left to do today which we hoped to be able to complete by lunch time, giving us the afternoon for various housekeeping tasks.

It was rather grey, but not as chilly as yesterday, with glimmers in the sky. None of the warming sunshine however. After we had moored for lunch there was a short shower and late afternoon what, in this season, passes for a sunny spell.

There were already quite a few boats on the move. The branch is always busy and often queues at all four locks. We wondered if we would have as long a wait as yesterday but as we neared, passing Venetian Marina we could see no boat waiting and, after a boat (0ne of the stag party) came out, there was a wave from the lock bridge to beckon us straight in. The lock is immediately after the marina - its cafe was doing a good trade in breakfasts and morning coffees.

On then to the junction, passing an almost continuous succession of moored boats. No sooner had one stretch finished then another started.

As we rounded the turn onto the Shroppie we spotted two signs in the new CaRT branded style - both the same except each pointing to the other with about a boat length in between. For those who know tis area, these were just as we entered the narrows, formerly a toll stop. The text reads, "Mooring for services only. Max stay 30 mins"

Not unreasonable, you might say, and quite common. The only problem is that there are no services, each was removed some time in the past for different reasons, long before these signs were erected! It is a pity that the sign erecting people are not given some discretion or at least the means of checking when asked to put up something so self evidently a waste.

Arriving at Hurleston there was already one boat in the process of starting up the flight with another waiting on the lock landing (really only room for one boat) We had to wait on the main line before we could make the turn, with then two single handers arriving from the south. With a steady stream of boats leaving the Llangollen, the single volunteer lock keeper was having a rather busy morning.

We continued a short distance to moor in the same spot as when we came up in the spring. It was time for lunch and then down to various items of housework, including preparing tonight's meal. Unusually not a roast (using up time) but a beef casserole.

We had a call from the marina to warn us that the boat which had been using the slot we were booked into had decided to stay on a little longer so the may be some shuffling around to do, but we can go in as soon as we are ready.

5.0 Miles - 5 Locks

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