Boatwif Blog

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Tunnels – love ‘em or leave ‘em

Cleddau‘s been down the Caldon Canal, (nearly) to the end and back again… The Caldon Canal was opened in 1779, its purpose being to allow limestone transport down from the Peak District to the Potteries and to the Midlands. For her first night on the Caldon Canal Cleddau had moored just below leaky Engine Lock. There had been reports of the water level being shallow along the nearly 5 mile pound between Planet Lock and Engine Lock. Waiting to work...

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Round the bends – and a couple of rescues

                                              Higher Poynton (Macc Canal) to Milton (Caldon Canal):                                                35 miles, 16 locks,  3 movable bridges, 1 tunnel Predictability – and unpredictability: these are the dual components of an interesting cruise. There are habits formed...

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Let’s go! Let it go! Letting go…

For many boaters this year’s season has been determined by the level of restriction – both coronavirus restrictions and canal restrictions: breaches, culvert collapses, lock closures, water shortages, landslips… What affected Cleddau? Well, there was the three month saga of the culvert repair in Macclesfield, the landslip at Anderton (channel eventually reopened to one way passage), the water supply affecting lock opening hours at Bosley and staff shortages affecting the operation of the Weaver locks. Elsewhere there’s been a major...

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When the journey’s nearly over

If it weren’t for other matters this final post might be titled: The Tale of Three Bosleys . By mid-afternoon (Saturday 14th August) Cleddau had been moored at Ramsdell Hall Railings. Little did they know it but the company from the other side of the railings provided free open air therapy. Watching and listening to the quiet tugging and munching of grass by the very good-looking young cows was an exercise in  mindfulness, while the glowing sunset that followed provided...

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Incidents and Breakages

Breakages seem to have been a recurring theme in recent days. Remember that bit in Tales of the Unexpected about the aborted visit to The Lion Salt Museum?   Late on in July the Cleddau crew had “camped out” (moored outside) The Lion Salt Museum at Marston, toured the outside exhibits, paid the entrance fee – and then been banished from the site due to a COVID notification. Safely back up from the Weaver Navigation (Wednesday 11th August) Cleddau continued her...

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Completing…

It was a wet Saturday in Northwich. Mooring at Northwich can be incredibly easy (as on Tuesday morning, 10th August) – or very difficult (as on Saturday 7th August). The lengthy pontoon in front of the new(ish) cinema and retail area at Baron’s Quay could take half a dozen or more narrowboats,    but if it’s full the options are the opposite side of the river, further away from the town centre (though closer to Waitrose) or The Wall. With...

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Tail End Charlie…

Would it be right or left on the river at the bottom of the Anderton Lift? The owners of Ruby Ann, the little boat also in the descending caisson, planned to go left towards Northwich until talked out of it by the lift keeper. “Lots of traffic on the river up there,” they’d been told. The Cleddau crew had already decided to head downstream first. So Cleddau followed Ruby Ann away from the Lift and both boats turned right. For...

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Time to go

A three night mooring at the Bridgewater Marina at Boothstown (on the Leigh Branch of the Bridgewater Canal) had been a very positive experience. On arrival the manager (Dave?) had pointed out which pontoon to tie up to with the words: “There it is, all ready for you, with electric hook up and water.” His tone was similar to that of a proud B&B owner who’d say, “Your room’s all ready for you, top of the stairs, fresh towels on...

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A new garden from an old…

Something had been going on at Worsley when Cleddau passed in 2019 en route to and from Liverpool – but what? Over time realisation dawned – perhaps the excavations weren’t for a new housing estate but part of the RHS Bridgewater Garden project,  a bold new venture for the Royal Horticultural Society co-funded by the Salford City Council and landowners Peel Group. On arrival at the Bridgewater Marina at Boothstown on Friday residents claimed that the newly opened garden was...

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Tales of the Unexpected

Middlewich (Trent and Mersey) to Boothstown (Leigh Branch): 43 miles, 3 tunnels, 1 lock Before leaving the teeming hordes of boats and people in Middlewich on Sunday there was a stroll to the towpath stretch above King’s Lock to view the floating traders.  Fairies and wizards     were in evidence – plus a periscope sextant   and plenty of cushions… There were songs of praise emanating from a Community Church in a garden opposite the old Middlewich Boat Centre and...

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