Showing posts from June, 2012

Trent and Mersey Canal/River Weaver. Middlewich to Northwich.

We’re on a RIVER! And as you may gather, are ridiculously excited about it.

Before leaving Middlewich we breasted up alongside Alton, filled up with diesel and took a couple of bags of coal on board. There aren’t any fuel boats where we’re going and we don’t want to be at the mercy of marinas. We also went out and bought an anchor; as rivers and tidal estuaries are going to be part of our life in the near future we thought it might be prudent.
On the way up to the boat lift at Anderton, we had a couple of stops near the flashes on the Trent and Mersey between Middlewich and Northwich. A flash is a wide lagoon off the side of the canal where the land has subsided and filled with water, in this case caused by salt extraction.
They are notoriously shallow no-go areas, and have been used in the past for storing old wooden boats. Apparently if it’s submerged, old wood doesn’t rot anywhere near as fast as if it’s exposed to the air. It must work as they have mostly been removed and brought …

Llangollen and Shroppie. Ellesmere to Middlewich.

Before we dragged ourselves away from Blake Mere, Rob (another cuz) and Tracey, along with their beautiful kids, Charlotte, Rebecca and Vincent, came to visit us for the afternoon. Rob is off to Afghanistan next month so it was good to see him before he goes. They joked that as a family they have a “Window of Acceptability”, but we thought they were perfectly well behaved. And the kids were pretty good too. Boom - tish.
After they left we went up to the car park and found a little Rebecca sized pink wellie where their car had been, so as we were going to Wrexham for an oil filter anyway(more about that later) we took it with us with the intention of dropping it in at their house. By coincidence they went across the front of us at a T junction, so we followed them till they stopped at some traffic lights. Unlike London, where getting accosted by people at traffic lights is a regular occurrence, it doesn’t often happen in Wrexham, so when Ann-Marie jumped out, small pink wellie in hand,…

Llangollen Canal. Ellesmere to Trevor & Back

Once again we've had both barrels from Miss Serendipity's happy-gun. Being here and now was something we’d organised in a loose kind of way at the beginning of the year. It was Mandy’s birthday at the end of May, she said that she & Chas would love to visit and we said that we could probably be up on the Llangollen canal by then and a trip over the Poncysyllte aqueduct might be a fun thing to do. We hadn’t gone into dry dock by then but we thought it would all work out ok. Well it did. In spades.

We picked the guys up on the town arm in Ellesmere in the afternoon. In honour of their visit and to help celebrate Mandy’s birthday we’d put up the bunting and the Happy Birthday banners and Legend looked suitably festive.
We turned right out of the arm heading west, past Frankton Junction where the partly restored Montgomery canal goes off to the south and moored up for the night at Brooms Bridge.
In the evening we went for a walk and just happened to come across the Myton Inn a…

Llangollen Canal. Hurleston to Ellesmere.

It’s been six years since we’ve been on the Llangollen canal and it’s just as beautiful as we remember. This is not the jewel in the UK waterways crown without good reason. As well as the scenery starting off in rolling pasture land and becoming ever more dramatic as you get further into Wales, there is all the classic canal architecture to marvel at; lift bridges, pretty lock cottages, a staircase, a good smattering of tunnels and, of course the two spectacular aqueducts at Chirk and Pontcysyllte. Even though this is going to be a three week flying visit we’ve been looking forward to it lots. The big difference is that it was October and the end of the holiday season when we hired Shadowfax, this time we’re right in the middle of it and we‘ve heard stories of boats queuing for hours at locks and water points. Undaunted, we set of from Hurleston and soon decided that, ok, there are more boats about, but even when it’s busy, it’s not that busy. We moored for one night at Wrenbury, outs…