Monthly Archive: October 2017

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South west for winter: Day 7

Day 7: Fine weather for a final cruise Middlewich to Aqueduct Marina, Church Minshull, 6½ miles, 1 lock It was Thursday morning when Cleddau cruised westwards away from Middlewich. This canal length (Wardle Lock at the eastern end, Barbridge Junction at the west), is about 10 miles in total, with four locks. It connects the Trent and Mersey Canal at Middlewich with the Shropshire Union Canal, which runs between Wolverhampton and Ellesmere Port, north of Chester. On a still and...

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South west for winter: Day 6

Day 6: Not speeding on a blustery day Wheelock to Middlewich, 6¼ miles, 6 locks Was Wheelock damned with faint praise in the previous post? In her search for items of interest in Wheelock Boatwif overlooked the very obvious: Barchetta  .     The old transhipment building on Wheelock Wharf     is now occupied by a fine Italian restaurant which serves simple pastas and pizzas between 5 and 7pm but offers a more extensive menu for evening diners. Despite passing it...

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South west for winter: Day 5

Day 5: Leaf drop day Hassall Green to Wheelock: 2 miles, 10 locks Away, away from the noise! The M6 is a constant presence at Hassall Green: when inside the boat cabin the traffic roar is just a faint and indistinct background sound, but outside the noise is inescapable. Down through Lock 57,    with just a wistful last look at what had been (until about four years ago) a delightful day and evening refreshment stop.  Locks 58 (a pair)...

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South west for winter: Day 4

Day 4: A numbers sort of day… Red Bull Services to Hassall Green, 4¼ miles, 13 locks Lock 44 lay directly ahead this morning.     It has a partner lock beside it. Between Kidsgrove (Lock 41) and Wheelock (Lock 66) many of the locks are paired side by side and during busy periods it is not uncommon to find both locks in a pair in use, one boat ascending, one descending. Today though, on a Monday in term time, boating...

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South west for winter: Day 3

Day 3: A gentle sort of day Biddulph Aqueduct to Red Bull Services Visitor Moorings, 6½ miles, 4 locks Not every morning needs to start with an engine being teased into life, ready for onward motion… Jaq, equipped with a Nicholson Guide, pen and coffee, arrived from nb Valerie, seeking local knowledge.     The combined efforts of three brains, three maps (her Nicholson’s, a much-thumbed Geo Cheshire Ring chart and the digital Waterway Routes) aided a bridge by bridge discussion...

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South west for winter: Day 2

Day 2: Downhill, on a dampish sort of day Bosley to Biddulph Aqueduct, 3¼ miles, 12 locks Rain-streaked windows at 8am is not the inspiring sight you want to see as you contemplate working a flight of locks. Via 12 locks the Bosley Flight on the Macclesfield Canal   lifts the canal 118 feet in just over a mile.  (View from the Top Lock). Working the locks requires muscle power and leg work from lock wielders, patience and accuracy from...

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South west for winter…

Cleddau is on an Autumn cruise. It’s a one-way trip: she’s off to spend the winter at Aqueduct Marina (near Nantwich) where she will be sand blasted (ouch!) and repainted. She’s going early while the weather is reasonable and before winter lock closures affect the Macclesfield Canal. As the crows (or the many Canada geese) fly, the route is a north east to south west diagonal across Cheshire – except that via canal there’s a lot of south, a fair...

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A cruise to a party…

Those who know him well recognise that the Captain is a Planner: give him a project to develop or routes for a long-distance cruise to coordinate and he is a happy chap… 2017 has seen various plans conceived and executed: the cruise of 433 miles and 235 locks from mid-March to late June, the Nearly 70 family gathering and celebratory party in South Pembrokeshire in July, as well as several shorter distance Cleddau exploits    – but in mid-September one...

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