Boatwif Blog

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Bedford River Festival

“Are you going to the River Festival?” friends and neighbours had asked all last week. “Will you be on your boat?” Yes – but no… Cleddau is tied up in Cheshire     and the Bedford River Festival  is 9 waterways, 297½ water miles and 141 locks further south…  This year, then, the Festival was to be viewed by foot rather than by boat. The River Festival “was founded in 1978 to celebrate the completion of a navigable route, by...

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 Takeaways

It’s a modern word, Takeaway, isn’t it? For some it might summon up images of kebab boxes dumped on the street or frankfurters smothered in onions and  tomato sauce. Sound as intentions might be for healthy eating options, sometimes the craving for a takeaway is just overwhelming… Not everyone gets the chance to attend a festival – but you can probably guess that a festival will likely provide new and unfamiliar sounds, sights    – and probably tastes too… It...

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The final stretch

Thursday 16th June. Back on the Macc – and there was a homecoming feeling about the cruise. The rounded bridge holes,    the dozy-eyed cows,   the vigorous growth of the bank-side ferns,   and from Congleton onwards the Cloud’s stark outline   looming high above the canal.   As ever, near Bridge 60, the painted cow sat watching the cut.     What a gorgeous thing she is!  Then it was up Bosley Locks on Friday,     past...

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Volunteers!

Canal and River Trust welcome volunteers to fill a host of roles. Most visible of course are those who fulfil lock keeping duties. Both on Cleddau’s outbound journey towards Liverpool and on the return journey there was a volunteer lock keeper, clad in yellow hi-vis jacket and buoyancy aid at the Middlewich Three. Middlewich is an interesting place for boaters: coming from the north there is the oddity that is Big Lock (wide enough for two narrow boats side by...

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SAL EST VITA

Down to the Weaver via the Anderton Lift    on Wednesday afternoon – and back onto the deep waters of a river.     The Weaver, which is about 20 miles in length, has a dual personality: there are some fine scenic rural stretches as well as lengths dominated by old or current industry. Right opposite the Lift is a huge industrial complex, formerly run by ICI, now owned by TATA Chemicals Ltd, its products being soda ash, sodium bicarbonate, calcium chloride and...

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It’s all in the timing

Dunham Massey, near Altrincham, is just a five minute walk from the Bridgewater Canal.    It was 1976 when the last (10th) Earl of Stamford donated the property to the National Trust. Visit it – and be charmed by the photogenic fallow deer     which roam the grounds. A current exhibition in the house emphasises the fame and infamy achieved by key members of the Booth and Grey families. One, Lady Mary Booth (1704 – 1772), the only child of the 2nd...

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Back on the watery road – and a few extraordinary things…

Hull care… you need to protect your hull if you want your boat to last. That’s an understatement for all boat owners. Cleddau has been ‘out to sea’ four times in recent years (across the Wash in 2014, last year down the tidal Severn followed two months later by a cruise up the tidal Thames and then in May this year the boat spent six nights in Salthouse Dock in Liverpool). The last time Cleddau’s hull was exposed to air...

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Just because…

Liverpool is an out and back destination. Down into Liverpool  Cleddau had gone on 16th May. Six days later, early on a Sunday morning, the boat was reversed off her Salthouse Dock mooring,      ready to cross Albert Dock, to wait for the half tide barrier to be lowered by the C&RT staff     and then to access the first lock. It was back through the tunnels…  back along Sid’s Ditch…  with a right turn at Victoria Clock Tower… a climb of...

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Tourists in Liverpool (2) – or Birds, bells and books

With so much to see in Liverpool where to start and what to investigate? The Maritime Museum is but a minute’s walk from the boat moorings in Salthouse Dock. From here two zany archaeologists         led a walk past fountains representing tide heights to a site below the streets of Liverpool One.  Here was the Old Dock,     unearthed in 2001. Below the streets visitors see a brick wall on top of sandstone layers – but the tour treats them to a...

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Tourists in Liverpool (1)

After five and a half days in tourist mode maybe it’s time to put words onto a screen… Liverpool is stunning – visually and aurally, culturally and commercially. It is a vibrant city, not afraid to recognise its past as a port so many people emigrated from      and one where laughter, music and humour    are always close by. Liverpool’s growth as a port came from a decision in 1710 to create a wet dock from a pool...