Friday, 30 October 2015

A short cruise to Frankton Junction

The overnight rain decided to go somewhere else leaving us with a dark grey sky.  However after two days in Ellesmere we were itching to get on our way and winded Waiouru in the hole at the end of the arm before mooring on the CRT services to top up the water tank and dispose of the rubbish.

The CRT premises at Ellesmere appear to be quite extensive and I wonder how long it will be before they are on the disposal list.

There is an old two story brick building In the junction which has a turret style structure at the junction end.  Most likely this is where the canal company would keep track of passing boats and collect tolls.

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The building is now private residences but you can see the ‘turret’ at the left end.  What caught my eye were the two circular openings on the end and side of the building.

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Did hobbits live here?  What was their purpose.  Presumably canal related!

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The facilities block with CRT offices behind and above

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Looking back you can see the entrance to the dry dock at the end of the facilities

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The large workshop building .

We had a “blast from the past” just before Frankton Junction.  One private mooring had a mechanical parking meter!

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Are you old enough the remember these?

We stopped at the junction and then reversed a short distance down the Montgomery Canal to moor above the top of the staircase locks.

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We had a little giggle at the comments of one hire boat crew after we mentioned the impending winter closures.  The lady said “Well I suppose they have to close the canals at this time of the year to remove all the leaves!”  Jan immediately had visions of rows of CRT volunteers lining the banks picking leaves out of the cut. Today is Friday and their hire period finishes on Saturday.  The boat crew told us they had to returned the boat to Middlewich.  I must have looked surprised at the timeframe, but they seemed quite confident they would make it.  I doubt they will be slowing for moored boats!

A couple of CRT employees arrived at the staircase locks behind us and I wandered down to ask them about a rumour we had heard whilst at Ellesmere.  We had been told the planned stoppage at Bridge 15W between Ellesmere and Chirk had been cancelled.  If this is correct then we will be able to cruise between Ellesmere and Llangollen until the canal reopens on 18 December.  They were able to tell me the stoppage had been delayed until 18 November.  As a consequence the contractors are going to start work at the bottom of the canal (Nantwich end) and work their way up the canal to Llangollen.  With a little planning we may be able to head back down the canal on the 17th of November.

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