Saturday, 30 May 2015

On Towards Middlewich

We were up early on Tuesday and set off with overcast skies, we filled with water at Calveley station it took a long while as we had used a lot of water when our son Sam and Rachel visited.
We cruised along to Barbridge Junction where we turned a sharp left on to the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union canal.
We Moored just before Cholmondeston Lock and took a walk along to Venetian Marina a nice looking marina with a coffee shop but as we had just had a drink on Tacet we did not use it.

Wednesday the weather had improved and the sun was with us when we left with only a short trip to Aqueduct Marina where we had Tacet booked in for her 250 Hr service on Thursday morning. So Thursday morning we took Tacet into the marina and waited for the service to be done.
The service was done by Phil who was really tidy in his work.
The wallet was a little lighter at the end but we are pleased to have had the engine done.
We left the marina and cruised to Middlewich on the way we passed these old stables which the old boaters would have used to stable there horses over night. They are now holiday cottages.

The views again are really lovely.

We moored in Middlewich as we need to get supplies and I need a hair cut.
We Stayed in Middlewich Friday and got everything we needed from Mr Tesco.
Our plans are to leave on Saturday morning and make our way along to the Macclesfield Canal over the next couple of days.

Time Travelled Tuesday 3.5 Hrs  Distance 5 Miles 6 Locks
Time Travelled Wednesday  2 Hrs Distance 3 Miles 2 Locks
Time Travelled Thursday 4 Hrs Distance 6 Miles 1 Lock
Total Distance Travelled is 250. Miles 
66 Locks (Broad) 116 single locks and 12 tunnel's, Total Tunnel length 7294  yards   
Total Time 139.5 hours  


Monday, 25 May 2015

Family & Visitors Then Beeston castle

We were up bright and early Saturday and got on with tidying Tacet for our visitors.
At 3.00 PM Dawn and her partner Peter came walking down the towpath looking for us. We first met  Dawn at the Fairport Convention Festival which is held in August in Cropredy and if you have not been to it we would recommend it,3 days of  great Music and very family orientated.

Dawn and Peter are looking to buy a narrow-boat soon and wanted to see what Tacet was like. they had a look around and a drink but had to leave as they were going back to Dawn's mum's who lives in Bunbury right near the canal. So after getting them to sign the guest book we said our goodbye's.
We waited for our next visitors to arrive which was our youngest son Sam and his girlfriend Rachel, they are spending a the bank holiday weekend with us. It was lovely to see them both.

Saturday we had a meal at The Cheshire cat which was a bit of a let down because they had been so busy that day they had run out of a lot of things on the menu. As we had been messed about with our order the waitress arranged that we would not have to pay for any of the desserts which were very nice indeed.

Sam & Rachel planned to visit Birmingham on the way back to Ipswich and have lunch at Jimmy Spices all you can eat buffet, we had eaten there when we were in Birmingham towards the start of our adventure.
 So we said goodbye to then both and it was a rather sad moment as they drove off.

We readied Tacet and left at 11.30 winding at the winding hole by bridge 121 and then heading back towards Bates Mill Bridge 109.

                                                  We passed a cricket match on the way.

We moored in nearly the same spot as we had on the way up and I decided to walk up to Beeston castle well ruins really. Well its a long walk up but absolutely worth it.
It is managed by English Heritage the photos don't do the views justices and apparently you can see 8 different counties from there.including the Welsh mountains.
Beeston Castle

Can you see the cow's


More Views

Worth the Walk.
 Time Travelled Monday 3.5  Hrs  Distance 6 Miles 

Total Distance Travelled is 236. Miles 
66 Locks (Broad) 107 single locks and 12 tunnel's, Total Tunnel length 7294  yards   
Total Time 130 hours  

Friday, 22 May 2015

Barbridge To Cheshire Cat

We left Barbridge on Thursday morning with the sun shining on our backs, the washing machine was on and we enjoyed a leisurely cruise.
At the Bunbury staircase we met a single hander on a hire boat. Allen is from Australia and told us he has had a fantastic time,
Allen filmed Clinton whilst he was working the locks and it seems Clinton may be going global !!.
We said goodbye to Allen when he got to his hire base.

We moored at Bates Mill Bridge. This is a lovely place to moor we had wonderful views from both sides of the boat.

                                                      This is Beeston Castle which was built by the Earl of Chester
in 1337 its just a ruin know but must have been pretty impressive all those years ago.

Friday we set off in over cast weather but the rain stayed off. We travelled  up to Christleton after a quick stop off at Waveton to pick up some supplies. We are moored by the Cheshire Cat pub for the next cou[le of days as we are expecting some visitors tomorrow. We are both very excited about the visitors.
Time Travelled Thursday 4 Hrs  Distance 6.5  Miles and 6 Locks 
Time Travelled Friday 3 Hours Distance 6 Miles

Total Distance Travelled is 232.5 Miles 
66 Locks (Broad) 107 single locks and 12 tunnel's, Total Tunnel length 7294  yards   
Total Time 126.5 hours  

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

We Leave The Llangollen canal

Monday it was raining first thing but the forecast was for the rain to clear out by noon so we waited and at 11.30 the rain stopped. So we slipped our lines and moved up to the staircase lock where the lovely Amy (locklady) helped us through the 3 locks that make up the stair case which drops us down by 19 ft.

We moved on through the other 3 single locks at Grindley Brook and headed towards Poveys Lock then Willeymoor lock which had a very nice locking pub by it but we unfortunately could not stop for refreshments, 2 locks followed then a gentle cruise to Wrenbury where we moored for the night.
The forecast for Tuesday was rain and high winds so we decided to stay put and do some chores on on-board Tacet.

I took a walk in to the village and found the shop as we needed a couple of things a very hand little shop with a post office. Wrenbury Church
Lovely Clouds Today

Wednesday we set off from Wrenbury the rain had stopped overnight but the wind was still blowing a bit.

At the lift bridge a HGV was trying to get over the small bridge and was holding up the traffic after what seemed like ages and lots of people telling the driver he would not get over the bridge he decided to reverse off and the traffic moved and we got through the lift bridge and headed towards Hurleston junction.

We passed NB Mountbatten and stopped for 2 bags of coal, I had a question I wanted to ask Hannah, it was to do with a teapot stuck to the stern of there butty boat which was moored in Wrenbury. I wanted to know what its significance was as we had been told a version of what it meant. Hannah had a good laugh then told me what it means !!!.

we got held up again at Hurleston Locks when a boat got wedged in the bottom lock but with the help of the lock keeper and others the boat was freed and we moved on to our mooring place for to night just out side the Olde Barbridge Inn which we plan to visit this evening.

Time Travelled Monday 4.5 Hours Distance 6  Miles and 7 Locks 
Time Travelled Wednesday Sunday 6 Hours Distance 7 Miles, 9 Locks

Total Distance Travelled is 220 Miles 
 56 Locks (Broad) 107 single locks and 12 tunnel's, Total Tunnel length 7294  yards   
Total Time 119.5 hours  

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Leaving The Montgomery Canal

We decided to stay put on Thursday as the weather forecast was atrocious, Sharon got on with some of her silk painting and I polished some brass we have a lot of brass on Tacet.

Sure enough at 11.00 the rain started and got very heavy into the afternoon. One or Two boats passed us by but the crews did not look as if they were enjoying themselves.

We decided to have an early start on Friday as the forecast was for a sunny day. We were up and set off at 07.30.
We went up to the lift bridge and turned in the winding hole and headed back the way we came.
It was a lovely morning and we were soon at the 3 Aston Locks which we were soon through. A lovely cruise all the way with some stunning scenery its odd but travelling back you see things differently but just as wonderful.. 

We soon arrived at Graham Palmer lock who is the founder of the Waterway Recovery Group. It is a shame that the commemorative stone of Graham which had his face engraved on it has worn and you no longer see his face.

We arrived at the bottom of the last 4 locks and there was 3 boats in front of us, but it did not take long to get through the locks with the lock keepers in charge of the staircase pair.

As we approached Ellesmere we saw NB Mountbatten which plies its trade up and down the Llangollen Canal selling diesel, coal and gas along with other useful things for the boat, so whilst we were filling up with water we hailed them and they tied up beside us and filled the diesel tank for us. Jon and Hannah who run Mountbatten are doing a great job trading on the canal, whilst talking to them both Hannah informed me that they are getting married in September and we wish them great happiness in there married life. 

We are moored at Ellesmere for Friday Night.
We stayed at Ellesmere Saturday as  Sharon wanted her hair cut, she found a hairdresser and they fitted her in for a cut and as always she looks wonderful.

Sunday we left Ellesmere at 10.30 although its been an overcast day it has been warm and we enjoyed a lovely steady cruise up to Grindley Brook locks. On the way we did get stuck behind a holiday boat that just pulled out in front of us and then went so slow zigzagging up the cut. However at a very tight bend he ran aground and we and another boat passed him after checking if he needed a hand which he replied NO.

So we are moored near the top of Grindley Brook locks for the night.

Time Travelled Friday 5 Hours Distance 8 Miles and 8 Locks 
Time Travelled Sunday 5 Hours Distance 13 Miles, 1 Tunnel, 5 Lift Bridges

Total Distance Travelled is 207 Miles 
 56 Locks (Broad)91 single locks and 12 tunnel's, Total Tunnel length 7294  yards   
Total Time 109 hours  

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Hello everyone it's Eddy here a comment was left as to when I will do my next blog well this is a short one but a good one I think.

The old boy with the camera missed some lovely photo's he took of the Pontcycsyllte Aqueduct, its a good job that I keep tabs on him.

You can see how narrow the edge                        is on the steel trough 

This one shows the supporting legs which are hollow top to keep the weight down.

Top to bottom, what a wonderful piece of engineering. The Aqueduct is a World Heritage site and well worth a visit.

I know it looks scary but even I looked out of the window before returning to my Futon.
 So as I said a short one but I hope a good one its time to go as the Futon is lonely.

On To The Montgomery

We were greeted by lovely blue skies when we woke on Wednesday. We moved round to the staircase locks which begins your decent on to the  Montgomery canal. Two lock keeps work these locks but to everyone's surprise they were letting 3 boats down and then 3 boats up. We thought that CRT recommends when using  a lock it is one boat down and one up !!. Anyway after a short wait
(2 Hrs) we were off.

At one of the locks a gentleman in his garden was cleaning his garden railway getting it ready for the summer, I would love one of them in my garden.

 Again we have been amazed at the scenery we really do have a beautiful country

This is the result of the high winds we had on Tuesday its blown
these trees over reviling the canal membrane under it  

We moored up at Bridge 79 and had a fantastic meal at the Navigation Inn, 3 courses for 15.99 we would highly recommend this to anyone you have to be seated before 7.00 to get this offer.

Time Travelled Wednesday 4 Hours Distance 6 Miles
Total Distance Travelled is 186 Miles 
 56 Locks (Broad) 83 single locks and 11 tunnel's, Total Tunnel length 7207  yards   
Total Time 99 hours  

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Leaving Llangollen And it Got A bit Windy

We have had a great time in Llangollen and today Monday we are leaving, we passed this really lovely castle/house which is right by the canal you can see how narrow it is here.

The narrows are really exciting to go through but you do need to concentrate a lot. It was easier coming back as the water flow is helping you along.

We have seen a roundabout in Birmingham and a lay-by on the Llangollen Canal well it’s a passing place for boats if they have not followed the instructions at the beginning of the narrow section.

Lovely views again.

Our new friends Mike and Karel exiting Chirk Tunnel,

The High Bridge Is for Trains. One is On The Left In The Picture
It was getting very windy as the day went on. We moored at Bridge 19 again and had a very enjoyable evening with Mike and Karel over a beer or three.
Tuesday the wind was still a bit blustery but we decided to head off, a lovely trip until we got to the New Marton Lock’s. The top lock was rather difficult as the wind was pushing us about a bit and it was very slow going.
However at the bottom lock things got a little scary as there is no shelter we really struggled to get Tacet on to the waiting bollards.
A hire boat came out of the lock and as it waited for its crew the wind caught the boat and pushed it across the canal and pinned it against the trees , when the next hire boat came up, friends of the first one stuck the same happened to them and they got pinned against the opposite side. We heard later that they had got under-way a while later!!.

We are moored by Lower Frankton Junction the start of the Montgomery Canal where we said our goodbyes to Mike and Karel we hope to see them again soon.

Time travelled  Monday 5 hours Distance 10 Miles, 2 Aqueduct 2 Tunnel 650 yds 
Time Travelled 4.5 Hours Distance 6 Miles
Total Distance Travelled is 180 Miles 
 56 Locks (Broad) 76 single locks and 11 Tunnel's, Total Tunnel length 7207  yards   
Total Time 95 hours  

Sunday, 10 May 2015

A Different Transport Today

We decided to take the steam train from Llangollen to Corwen today and so did our new found friends Mike and Karel with some of their family. We boarded a lovely old steam train for the trip.
Our Transport To Day
Lovely Scenery 


Horse shoe Falls Designed By
 Thomas Completed in 1808

Lovely Scenery


 I like to slow the shutter speed down a little it's gives water movement a nice silky sort of an effect.  

Tomorrow we start our journey back off the Llangollen Canal after a visit to the Montgomery canal.                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Llangollen Canal & New Friends

 All the while we have been on the Llangollen canal and heading to Llangollen we have been going against the flow of water as the Llangollen is a feeder canal to Hurleston Reservoir and is used to move 12 million gallons of water a day from River Dee to the Reservoir.

Well Tuesday morning we opened the curtains and it was raining Cats & Dogs so over breakfast we decided to stay put for the day. There was a boat moored just in front of use called Jessie May, we got talking to Mike and Karel  and they are heading to Llangollen so we decided to join up with them for the journey to Llangollen.
We left on Wednesday morning planning to get to Chirk Marina which meant a trip over Chirk Aqueduct and through Chirk Tunnel. The Nicholson warns that it will be hard going on the Aqueduct and through the tunnel, well although we were ready for the slow passage we were not expecting it to be so slow we had to keep the revs up a little. No Photos this time but will get some on the way back.
So we moored at Chirk Marina for the night, its free to moor there if you use the clubhouse which we did and we all agreed that the food was excellent.
Thursday mooring are plan was to get to Froncysyllte which is just before the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.
Friday was the big day and are trip over the Aqueduct so we set off both very excited and a little apprehensive. As you can see there is NO railings on one side

A Bit Scary 

 Sharon took this picture it is a shadow of Tacet going over the Aqueduct it shows both me and Sharon at the back of Tacet, if you can zoom in you will also see that I am wearing my favourite hat. We done Sharon.

 A view from the Aqueduct its like we are flying.

It got a bit congested as we approached the tight left hand turn at Trevor.

You really notice the force of the water when on this section of the canal but we made steady progress to Sun Trevor Bridge where we moored for the night.
Today Saturday we sent Sharon and Carol off in front as the canal narrows allowing only one boat to travel. Its a windy slow canal and where the narrows are the water makes it a struggle to make headway but slowly does it, the views are fantastic we are moored in Llangollen Basin for the next 2 days

Time travelled  Wednesday 1.5 hours Distance 2 Miles, 1 Aqueduct 1 Tunnel 459 yds 
Time Travelled Thursday 1 Hour Distance 1 Mile 1 Tunnel 191 yds
Time Travelled Friday 2 Hours Distance 3 Miles 1 Aqueduct FANTASTIC.
Time Travelled Saturday 2 Hours Distance Travelled 2 Miles and more Narrows
Total Distance Travelled is 164 Miles 

 56 Locks (Broad) 74 single locks and 89 Tunnel's, Total Tunnel length 7157  yards   
Total Time 86.5 hours  

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Bank Holiday Monday

We left Ellesmere at 9.30 on Bank Holiday Monday.  The sky was a little overcast but the forecast was for the sun to make an appearance by lunch time which it did. We filled with water and got rid of some rubbish at the CRT Wharf.
We followed a holiday boat and I was really pleased as the steerer was cruising at just the right speed for us as we had the washing machine doing what it does.
Again some stunning views for us to see.

The Llangollen Branch of the Shropshire Union canal is very twisty and narrow in places but it is great fun cruising it.

We passed Lower Frankton Locks which is the start of the Montgomery Canal which we plan to visit on our way back, you have to book a passage on to the Montgomery canal as the amount of boats allowed on it are restricted so a phone call to CRT when we have an idea when we will be passing again.

As we approached New Marton Locks there was a queue of 4 boats before us, so I went to the lock to help as 2 of the boats were holiday boats and these were the first locks they have done, not quite the same as the model lock they are shown when they pick up the boat.

I was talking to one gentleman and he was a bit worried!!! He said he had left his medication at home and needed it, he went on to tell me he had died 5 times, I told him he looked well on it which he laughed at.

At the second lock there was a man with a very long rake, raking the canal so I asked him what was he up to and he said the boat moored at the top of the lock had lost his propeller and he was trying to find it for him.

As we waited 2 old narrow-boats came past we were pleased to see Saturn being towed. Saturn is the last remaining horse drawn fly boat in the country, she is also towed by a narrowboat as well.
Fly Boat Saturn
This was a boat that would travel non- stop with its cargo.  She was being taken to Anderton Boat Lift for an event.

We moored at Gledrid Bridge NO 19 and as it had been a warm day decided to have a refreshing beer and a G & T for the lady.

Have stayed at the mooring all day as the wind has been very strong today with heavy rain at times. 

Time travelled Bank Holiday Monday 4.5 hours, Distance 9 Miles, 2 Locks
 Total Distance Travelled is 158 Miles 
 56 Locks (Broad)74 single locks and 87 Tunnel's, Total Tunnel length 6507  yards   
Total Time 81.5 hours  

Saturday, 2 May 2015

A Doppelganger Is Sighted

Friday Morning and again a very nice sunny day. I opened the Kitchen blind and was surprised to see this sheep grazing on the tow-path his 2 mates were walking in the other direction.

We got ready to do the six locks at Grindley Brook which consist of 3 separate locks and 3 locks in a staircase. We were through the first 3 locks quickly but at the bottom of the staircase we had to wait as boats were coming down under the guidance of the very helpful lock lady Amy. A holiday boat moving in to the lock behind us.

Once through the locks we had a very enjoyable cruise with some very pretty views, we passed this lovely cow standing in the canal drinking and further along the canal we saw these ones also having a drink.

The Llangollen Canal is indeed a really lovely canal to cruise on. Some off the bridges have these little doors in them which are used to store stop planks which are used if the canal needs to be dammed off for any reason these planks slid into a slot close to the bridge to create the dam.

We moored just before bridge 47 for the afternoon and I set about touching up some of the paint work that needed attention.

We woke to a very different morning today it was raining, well just a very light drizzle really so we set off for the short cruise to Ellesmere. We passed Cole Mere and Blake Mere on the cruise this morning, these are really large Meres and very pretty, as it was still drizzly I did not have my camera out so didn't take any photos but am hoping the sun will be out when we pass on the way back really beautiful scenery.
We have moored up just before bridge 58. I took a walk into the Ellesmere and had a look around, a few interesting shops. We will be popping in to the Tesco store which is at the bottom of the Ellesmere Arm which had a few moorings spaces left.

Eddy here I have just seen a doppelgänger on the canal, Please do not mistake him for me, He is easily identified by his blue collar.

Time travelled Friday 5.5 hours, Distance 8.5 Miles 6 Locks and 4 Lift bridges.
Time Travelled Saturday 2 hours Distance 5 Miles
 Total Distance Travelled is 149 Miles 
 56 Locks (Broad) 72 single locks and 87 Tunnel's, Total Tunnel length 6507  yards   
Total Time 77 hours