Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Middlewich

There are only three locks between Nantwich and Middlewich and they are all rather deep.  We came this way last winter so we’re retracing a previous route more quickly than anticipated.  Despite having cruised the Middlewich Branch less than a year ago it was the first time I’d noticed the CRT sign on the bridge at Barbridge Junction.

IMG_0982Initially I thought it might have been a new sign erected after the recent changes in access to the Bridgewater Canal.  Then I noticed the CRT decal and realized it’s me who hasn’t been observant.

A couple of interesting boat names.

IMG_0983P1030419The moorings on the long straight below Cholmondeston Lock were occupied by only three boats, all well spaced out to ensure a long tick-over.

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We’re not in a hurry but I suspect some of the hire boats may be tempted not to slow down.  The canal goes through a cutting before Brickyard Bridge and the Shropshire Cana Society have constructed a very pleasant mooring area in the cutting.  After a long and cold day last winter we were going to moor here.

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We’d actually tied the ropes and erected the TV aerial when Jan noticed the ice growing out from both banks in front of her.  If we had spent another 30 minutes on the mooring we’d have been iced in.  Instead the crew went back out into the cold and moved to an ice-free mooring near Aqueduct Marina.

Almost every blogger who passes this way takes a photo of the former canal side stables which have been converted into rather nice residential accommodation.

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There was a particular odour on the breeze today.  It can’t be us because we pumped out yesterday.  It didn’t take long to work out the source.  The local farmers are spraying ‘slurry’ onto the fields and we have the proof! Smile

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CRT were fitting new armco sheet piling on a length of canal above Stanthorne Lock.  I’m not sure if they were using an air or hydraulic pile driver, but it was certainly noisy.

P1030423We arrived in Middlewich at noon to find plenty of vacant moorings.  Probably not unexpected at this time of year.  However we did note they were all occupied by 4pm.  In the afternoon I managed to get the second coat of varnish onto the oak porthole liners.  Just a little more varnishing to do in the back cabin and that’s the interior completed.  There were a few light showers in afternoon which precluded any exterior painting.   

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