Sunday 19 May 2024

Bate's Mill

Today's Canal : Chester Canal

Today being Sunday our plan was to walk across a couple of fields to the nearby parish church of Waverton. We think we previously visited in 2917. After he warmer weather for the past few days, the footpath had largely dried out but it was possible to see just how muddy it had been.

The church was a short walk along the road from the footpath - apart from being able to see where we had to go we were also guided by the sound of the church bells. It is also said that when the church was heavily restored in the 19C, the Duke of Westminster who owns much of the land around here ordered that the tower should have the distinctive pyramid top so that he could keep his bearing whilst out riding.

Although the local bus stop starkly stated that there are no bus services from here, the Old {ost Office at least still has a bright red post box!

The church itself has parts dating back to just after the Norman Conquest and was at first owned by the Abbey in Chester. In modern terms it seems strange that the greater part of the parish population live in the development around Egg Bridge almost a  mile by road to thorth.

There were perhaps 50 people in the congregation, largely older but with a few much younger members. The service took the form of a Service of the Word but elsewhere it was described as a service with hymns. Whilst overall it took it basis from Common Worship quite a few sections borrowed heavily on more traditional material.

By the time we had walked back to the  boat, changed, made and drank coffee it was all but lunch time! 

Our 'plan' had no target for today but we really did want to put Golden Nook behind us so we set off in really hot sunshine, some of the best this year with no cloud at all overhead. We had moored just the other side of the above bridge and the steps up to the footpath are in the shadows to the left.

All too soon we had the slow passage. Various people have claimed that it took an hour to pass from one end to the other so on this occasion we timed it -  32 minutes from first to last. Of course it did feel as if it was hours! It was a relief to see the sign marking the end of the slow down sector.

Now we had a gentle cruise, no locks, a few moorings but a very pleasant Sunday afternoon - just so long as we found a place to stop for the night before the next lock!

This photo was taken to record the winding hole but, cropped down, the scene looks as if it is a store for ideas for the next Doctor Who adventure!

Christine kept an eye on the mobile phone service and she vetoed Mike's first attempt to moor as she could detect no signal. We were alarmingly close to the locks but one space was left on the Visitor Moor before Bate's Mill Bridge. Very pleasant, quiet and with good rings to tie to.

5.7 Miles - 0 Locks

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