Monthly Archive: May 2021


Just lookin’

   Cleddau’s first trip into Stourport-on-Severn was back in 1994. Boat and crew had come up the river from the Avon (from Evesham, joining the Severn at Tewkesbury) to be met by an acquaintance of Senior Sis and Salty. There is little memory of that first excursion up the offset Stourport narrow staircase locks but some recall of the Clock Warehouse, of a raft of hire boats and a lengthy anecdote about badly behaved lads creating canal havoc on a...


Right – or left?

A Friday night mooring in an urban or semi-urban area is not generally a good idea – but it was a case of needs must… A mooring stretch (on the southern end of the Shropshire Union) after the M56 proved hard to identify, an attempt at bringing the boat alongside some metal piling failed as there was insufficient water depth – and with the Captain protesting loudly into the constant downpour “I WANT TO GO HOME!” a mooring spot was...


  “Luvely day…”

Shropshire Union Canal: Nantwich – Autherley Junction It’s hard to know when the Shropshire Union Canal is actually in Shropshire. It is in Market Drayton (15¼ miles south of the Barbridge Junction where Cleddau had joined the SU Canal) but back at Nantwich the canal is in Cheshire and so is Audlem. Right now, in rainy Gnosall (south of Market Drayton), the canal is in Staffordshire and a local road sign has Stafford as only 7 miles away. ….. Cleddau...


Tunnels and junctions, flashes and breach sites

It was Monday morning and overcast as Cleddau and crew cruised the last few flat miles of the Bridgewater Canal. There was a local landmark, the Norton water tower in Runcorn,   there was the entrance to the Runcorn Arm (a three mile canal stretch that used to give boat access to the Manchester Ship Canal) – and there was another motorway bridge (M56). Within 3 miles the canal was narrowing, passing a warehouse now used as apartment living,  ...


Bowling along on the flat and level

After descending the Rochdale Nine (the southern end of the Rochdale Canal) Cleddau joined the Bridgewater Canal. This waterway stretches 28 miles between Castlefields at Manchester and Preston Brook (in Cheshire) where it joins the Trent and Mersey Canal.   2 miles west of Manchester at Waters Meeting (lovely name) an unassuming arm leads off northwards for a further 10.8 miles to Leigh where the Bridgewater joins the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. The Bridgewater is unusual – it’s noted for...


The Great Descent

A summer cruise, where to – and how? Ever since news broke of the collapsed culvert and de-watered canal at Macclesfield there’s been pondering about alternative cruising plans. Delay all cruising until the canal is reopened? Head down the Lower Peak Forest Canal and turn right for lock-heavy Huddersfield? Or head down the Lower Peak Forest and turn left for Manchester and the Bridgewater Canal…? The third option won – so grit the teeth, grab the windlass and prepare for...

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