Wednesday morning was a little sad for us as we left Manchester behind for this year and took our last look as we left Castlefield Basin.
Just 300 yards from Castlefield and we passed the offending unsafe building which had closed the Bridgewater Canal for the last few weeks.
Our sunny exit from Manchester soon changed to threatening skies around Dunham Massey - and they didn’t just threaten, they delivered! Even James’ underpants got wet!
Anyway, with wet underpants and all, we moored up in pretty Lymm for the night.
The old stocks in the middle of the village are a reminder of quick justice from the past ……
….. and the “pond” a few yards further on provided a tranquil atmosphere.
Wednesday evening was our “last supper” with friends Les and Chris, who we’d been with for the past couple of weeks, as we were about to go our separate ways. A grand two weeks is was too!
On Thursday cruise friends Bill and Jill joined us on board “Chance” for the short hop from Lymm to Stockton Heath. Having not seen them for a while it was a good opportunity to have a glass of bubbly together ……..
…… which was followed by a buffet lunch …….
…… before reaching our mooring in Stockton Heath.
There are some lovely old ……..
……. and new buildings in busy little Stockton which is always lovely to visit, but our main reason for stopping there was that we have four sets of friends in the neighbourhood. On Thursday evening we were kindly invited to Bill and Jill’s home for a wonderful meal …………
…….. and, on Friday evening, we had a similar invitation to join boating friends Pauline and Neil (nb “Water Lilly”) for another fabulous meal. It was a pleasure to meet Pauline’s brother Martin and partner Penny who were also there and the evening ended at one in the morning after we’d all nearly laughed ourselves to death. James, Pauline, Doug, Neil and Martin.
And not to be left out – Penny with James, Martin and Pauline.
On Saturday morning Bill and Jill invited us back to their home for coffee and we had a lovely hour with them in blazing hot sunshine. We are in debt to both Bill and Jill and Pauline and Neil for helping us out with washing and, importantly, drying of a backlog of clothes from our two weeks in Manchester. We did two loads on the boat but, with the showery weather, the drying proved to be a bit tiresome.
After a quick visit to another friend, then topping up with fuel and water at Thorne Marine, we said farewell to Stockton Heath and took an evening cruise to the end of the Bridgewater Canal ….
……. through the Preston Brook tunnel and onto the Trent and Mersey canal.
Half an hour from the tunnel we found a super mooring just as the light began to fade. Here we are, overlooking the Weaver valley and all on our own after the most amazing 3 weeks being surrounded by friends and acquaintances in and around Manchester. How lucky we are!!!!