Category: Boat Update

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“Locked out…”

Congleton Wharf to Higher Poynton: 18½ miles, 12 locks, 2 swing bridges From Congleton the Macclesfield Canal weaves its way towards the Bosley lock flight. On the skyline there are two distinctive features, the huge microwave tower to the north east   and the massive hulk of the Cloud, to the south east of the canal. Do all regular canal and towpath users glance to the landing stage by the farm, just to check that the painted cow is still comfortable...

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Home is where you moor it…

HOME IS WHERE YOU MOOR IT are the cheesy words on a reusable shopping bag, another one of Techno Son-in-Law’s gifts that has had residence rights on the boat for some time.  So where has “home” been in recent days…? There was the lovely mooring at Wedgwood, cows and Canada geese near neighbours on the opposite bank. From Wedgewood   it’s now a familiar trip northward through Trentham to Stoke-on-Trent. At the southern end of Stoke’s boundaries (remember Stoke is an...

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Taking another look

Tixall Wide to Wedgewood: 14½ miles, 12 locks It’s a familiar route now, Tixall Wide northbound to the Macc…Time was when summer cruising was done at a belt, eight hour cruising days, “getting back to base on time” – and all that. Though there are still liaisons agreed and appointments to keep, generally cruise days now are of much shorter duration and, when days off from cruising occur, some local sight-seeing may be permitted. So what’s caught the eye in...

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Right at the Junction

Aston Marina – Stafford – Tixall Wide: 18 miles, 5 locks After a night at Aston Marina Cleddau crawled out of the marina, turned sharp left and headed south. This was to be her third southbound exit from the marina this year… The Trent and Mersey Canal in the Burston and Sandon area provides pleasing views and many sociable bank side onlookers  Often before there have been hold ups on this stretch and Sandon Lock was no exception. There an...

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 Numbers crunched…

Wedgewood to Aston Marina: 5 ½  miles, 9 locks Just as Cleddau was drawing away from one of her top favourite moorings between Trentham and Barlaston on Friday morning another boat drew in. “How far is it to walk to the Wedgewood Factory from here?” was the question. Boatwif was summonsed from the front deck to explain and advise. It was three months ago that her last visit had been made and shamefully some of the crucial detail was perhaps...

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Names and coincidences

Church Lawton to Wedgewood: 12¼ miles, 12 locks, 1 tunnel  Slowly Cleddau and Tentatrice are making their way towards the Staffs and Worcs Canal. The plan had been to continue south from Chester down the Shropshire Union and to turn left at Autherley Junction onto the Staffs and Worcs. There was a change of plan (another one) when notification was received that a week’s closure was scheduled to repair Wheaton Aston lock, from 31st July to 7th August… An alternative...

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Liaisons

Middlewich to Church Lawton:  11¾ miles, 26 locks Cleddau had cruised across the Middlewich Arm with a definite sense of mission. There were moorings to secure and people to meet. So what was the liaison indicated at the end of the last post? And what was that about the chippie…? It was in 2014 that a little flotilla crossed the Wash together, under the guidance of Wash pilot Daryl Hill. The 3 boat flotilla had first convened at Ely. There...

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Oh colourful world!

Chester – Middlewich: 26 miles, 17 locks It was farewell to Chester on Tuesday morning.    The first part of the route was the ascent of the Northgate triple staircase, aided, fortunately, by a pair of volunteer lock keepers – and supervised, as ever, by the Tentatrice boat dog, Monty. On below the city walls, out into the sunshine at The Lock Keeper, passing the gentrified Steam Mill  – and shortly afterwards, making a stop at the two hour moorings...

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A saunter around a city

A two night mooring at Tower Wharf in Chester gave time for a little bit of local exploration. Not far away is a plaque that will be of interest to canal historians. The efforts of Chester-born LTC Rolt are widely recognised in saving the inland waterways from post-war dereliction. The area around Tower Wharf has been redeveloped: smart apartment blocks and student accommodation overlooks the water.  Telford’s Warehouse is a thriving pub – and on hot summer evenings voices and...

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So how did the Romans manage without Gore-Tex?

Middlewich to Chester: 26 miles, 21 locks A Day Off had been declared in Middlewich, but how would the daylight hours be spent?  It was hot on arrival and Cleddau grabbed a conveniently shady mooring space beneath trees, between the play park and Big Lock. Middlewich is a useful stop: there’s a fish and chippery above King’s Lock, a very helpful DIY store, a Tesco Express – and a bit further away a Lidl and (a few more yards further...