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Trent and Mersey, spring 2007

Anderton maze
Anderton lift exhibition centre - counterweights from the electrical incarnation now used as a maze for children.

A week re-discovering the variety provided by the Mersey end of the Trent and Mersey Canal.

Diary extract:

Sat 2007-05-19 {19395}
Arrived at Andersen Boats (SJ705661) ~14h30, others already there. Sunshine with showers. Onto Fjord Monarch. They accepted that three of us had experience; they watched me giving training at the 1st lock and seemed satisfied. It's a 3-cyl air-cooled Lister with gas cooker and central heating, electric fridge. Start ~15h15 and proceed in sunshine and a stiff breeze. No hold ups and made it to Wheelock at 18h30 (beyond br 154). Today 6 miles 8 locks 3h15m. Eat on boat, then to Cheshire Cheese.
Sun 2007-05-20 {19396}
Sunshine nearly all day. Rope back to water point. Another Andersen boat has been here since last night having a blown head gasket fixed. Left 08h30. Lots of locks; no wind today. Lunch 13h..14h20 at the Broughton Arms at Rode Heath, canalside at br 139. Stopped after lock 42 in Kidsgrove at 17h. Light meal on boat. Dropped one crew member by taxi. Eve to the Red Bull. Today 6.5mi 24 locks 6h25m.
Mon 2007-05-21 {19397}
Sunny start, sunny intervals and warm all day. Start 07h50, breakfasting on the move after the tunnel. Got to tunnel at 08h10, one boat was waiting at our end, and allowed straight in behind it (in the tunnel 08h15..08h45). Water in Caldon canal at Etruria, reversing out afterwards, ~30m. Stop at br 106 for the Toby Carvery ~13h..14h. Then pottering down to the winding hole just beyond br 104A, turn and moor here at 14h30 (SJ883400). To the Wedgwood factory. Today 10.5mi 6 locks 5h40m (including water time).
Tue 2007-05-22 {19398}
Mostly sunny but a little overcast about lunchtime. Start 08h10. Reversed into the Caldon at Etruria for water, waiting for another to finish and doing ours took ~45m. On from there to the tunnel, arr 12h30. Told 45m wait, actually 35m, for one plastic boat (well ahead) and two narrowboats to emerge. Lunch while we waited, or rather mostly while in the tunnel. Stop at Kidsgrove again before lock 42, as a couple of the crew want to try the food at the Red Bull. Moor 14h30. Today 10.5mi 6l 5h45m (water included in that). Eve to Red Bull for 3-course meal. Good food and well presented, excellent for a pub, 15GBP each. Non-smoking pub as well. Just after we got back to the boat, a scrapyard full of old cars close to the canal caught fire ("children" seen cutting the fence) and for a while there was a big plume of black smoke with intermittent small explosions.
Wed 2007-05-23 {19399}
Promised sun and 23degC, actually mostly overcast but warm. Start 08h10, then water after two locks for 15m. Lunch stop ~12h10..14h at Hassall Green for the Romping Donkey. This turned out to be a pretentious pub/restaurant doing mostly carvery for wrinklies, expensive and slow, though the food was good. Delay blamed on delivery of chips despite signs saying all food freshly prepared. When we complained that one of the burgers should have had cheese according to the menu, the waitress just said they didn't do it with cheese now. Poor. Aft lots of locks, stopping first at Middlewich before Kings lock, but noisy and grotty there so on through that lock to moor by Middlewich Narrowboats yard at 18h10. Today 12mi 29 locks 7h40m (including water). Eve eat on boat, then out to explore Middlewich, which wasn't much.
Thu 2007-05-24 {19400}
Shorts all day, though not sunny until after lunch, then hot. Start 09h10. Through the three Middlewich locks, then water 15m at town wharf. Big lock gave an example of rope use in lock, then on to Broken Cross, for a good lunch in the Old Broken Cross, canalside. Stop 12h10..14h. Afternoon moor just short of br 199 at Anderton at 15h30. To the lift exhibition and watch the trip boat come down while two narrowboats went up, the cassions moving together. Trip boat was empty, despite a booked trip. Only a very few watching. Cannot now see very much without paying 2GBP for the exhibition and access to viewing area at low level. Eve eat on boat. Today 10mi 4 locks 4h30m (including water time). Later to Stanley Arms for a few. Wandering crew member returned.
Fri 2007-05-25 {19401}
Was forecast light showers, but sunny most of the day, though not as warm as yesterday. Potter down for an easy non-contact turn in the generous winding hole just before the lift junction. Further visits to look at the lift (from the top - free) for the new arrival, then off at 10h. Stop 11h30 at Broken Cross again, same pub as yesterday. A little shopping for groceries and canal souvenirs, then lunch in the pub. Busier than yesterday. Group photo outside the pub (moored right alongside). Afternoon start 13h45. Moored just above Big lock at 15h45. Some crew left at the lock and walked back to boatyard then drove out to Anderton to fetch the car left last night, to make tomorrow's departure easier. Eve eat on boat. Today 9mi 1 lock 3h30m. No water stop.
Sat 2007-05-26 {19402}
A few minutes to get to boatyard, about 08h45, the last to arrive so furthest from the cars, but they have trollies. Away 09h15.
     Day  Date    Hours  mi   Locks   morn  aft     Water
     Sat  070519  3:15   6.0     8          CB
     Sun  070520  7:10   6.5    24    GB    LH      Wheelock
     Mon  070521  5:40  10.5     6    KW    NB      Etruria
     Tue  070522  5:45  10.5     6    DH    CB      Etruria
     Wed  070523  7:50  12.0    29    WO    NB      Kidsgrove
     Thu  070524  4:30  10.0     4    KW    CB      Middlewich
     Fri  070525  3:30   9.0     1    NB    GB/WO
     Sat  070526  0:15   0.5     -    NB
     Totals      37:55  65.0    78

     Day  Lunch                           Evening
     Sat  -                            Wheelock, Cheshire Cheese
     Sun  Rode Heath, Broughton Arms   Kidsgrove, Red Bull
     Mon  Hem Heath, Carvery           Barlaston, on boat
     Tue  Harecastle tunnel, on boat   Kidsgrove, Red Bull
     Wed  Hassall Grn, Romping Donkey  Middlewich, Narrowboat
     Thu  Broken Cross, Old Broken X   Anderton, Stanley Arms
     Fri  Broken Cross, Old Broken X   Middlewich, Big Lock
     Sat  -

©nib 2007-05-27..2011-05-13

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