Tuesday, 13 August 2013

On the Flash!

Before leaving Swanley marina yesterday we had coffee and cake with Lyn and Chris on board nb ‘Niamh’.


It’s been a great pleasure to meet up and spend time with them this weekend.

The weather was good, if a little windy, yesterday as we set ‘sail’ from Swanley.  Passing down the Hurleston locks and onto the “Shroppie” we were able to say a quick Hello to the good people on nb ‘Rocky’ who told us they follow our travels on the blog.  Thank you guys and we hope you enjoy your cruise!


This is ‘action man’ working Cholmondeston Lock, the first one on the Middlewich Arm.


We soon stopped for a bit of lunch, at the picnic site just down from Venetian Marine, which is a rare occurrence, before moving on……


……. through the very well kept Church Minshull Lock…….


……. past some very beautifully converted former canal stables and finally mooring at bridge 22 overlooking the Top Flash of the River Weaver.

This morning we got going at 6:30 so that we could get through the often very busy Middlewich Locks before the holdups which we’d been advised about.


At Stanthorne Lock (the first of the day) we noticed, what very much looked like, blue / green algae that C&RT have been advising us of.


Getting to Wardle Lock we just had to take a photo of the shortest canal on the system.  Set between the lock and Wardle Bridge it’s less than 100 yards long and was built by the Trent and Mersey Canal Company to charge increased tolls from traffic coming off the Shroppie.


‘Chance’ in Wardle Lock – Maureen’s lovely old cottage behind, is sadly being allowed to fall into disrepair.


And talking of disrepair, we were glad to get through the three Middlewich locks quickly as it was on the cards that something would fall on us if we hung around too long!


We’ve not seen a set of locks in such a precarious state.  All three are in need of urgent attention.  Acro props holding the lock walls apart!


From Middlewich, the Trent and Mersey Canal has been subjected to a lot of subsidence due to the past mining of salt in the area.  The bridges have no nice arches but are built flat so that they can be more easily repaired if they subside.


The gatehouse to Whatcroft Hall, and its garden, are always in tip top condition.


We moored up at 10:30 this morning at the largest “flash” on this part of the canal.  This “flash” is another feature induced by the subsidence of the ground due to mining.  It’s a very pretty spot to stop, although the large expanse of water is very shallow and boaters must keep to the main channel.  The weather this afternoon was due to be wet but instead we’ve enjoyed wonderful sunshine for most of the day and we’ve managed to pick a tub of early blackberries to boot.


nb Turnothworld, another interesting craft to add to the collection.

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