Monday, 11 August 2014

The Longest Coffee Break on Record!

Yesterday (Sunday), with the vestiges of hurricane Bertha upon us, we decided to stay put at Rode Heath.  It rained continually until 1 o’ clock in the afternoon but, no worries, ……..


……. at 11:30 we invited Les and Chris for a coffee and they left at 4:30! We can’t remember how many cups of coffee were consumed (and a bit of lunch was had somewhere along the line) but we all had a splendid and very relaxing day – it makes a change to just sit for a while!


Today we continued our decent down “Heartbreak Hill” ( as the 26 locks in seven miles is known) before reaching the Cheshire Plain.  The only real heartbreak though is the condition of the locks and lock gear along the flight.  We lost count of how many paddles were out of action.


The duplicated lock chambers continued (off and on) down the flight, giving us a good run down – at Hassall Green the M6 crosses the canal and the noise is quite remarkable.


Much of the original lock architecture is still to be enjoyed …….


…….and at Malkin’s Bank there are some charming canal side cottages with even more charming “lavvies” still in good condition at the bottom of the gardens. Probably being used for a different purpose these days!


Getting to the last lock just before Wheelock we discover much industriousness going on in one of the duplicated chambers – it seems that new gates and some major maintenance is being carried out (about time).


After watering up at Wheelock we went on to moor up just past Ettily Heath.  Les came with us for, what turned out to be, a much longer walk into Sandbach than the canal guide had us believe.


There are some very nice buildings in the town centre and all around everything looks very spick and span.


The market square is a delight ……….


…… and, tucked into the corner are the ancient Saxon crosses - one of the things the town is famous for.  The other is that it is the original home of Foden (ERF) lorries.

With a few bags of shopping we returned back to the boats and to prepare for the evening meal.  We will be celebrating both Chris’s birthday and Les and Chris’s wedding anniversary today – congratulations both!

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