Boatwif Blog

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Downhill to Middlewich, then a sharp left turn

The boat trip to Llangollen continues. Boating is great but occasionally, just occasionally, it’s good to go ‘off piste’. Moored still on the Macclesfield Canal at the Ramsdell Hall Railings Boatwif and the Tentatrice First Mate ploughed across the fields (and the odd cow pat) to Little Moreton Hall.     It was not the first visit for Boatwif, nor the first guided tour.     Viewing  the long table in the Great Hall leaves you impressed.     It’s...

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A HALOUS Experience…

Cleddau’s late summer cruise is under way.  A leisurely cruise to Llangollen (92 canal miles, 69 locks, 12 movable bridges, 3 tunnels and  2 major aqueducts) cross-country from north Cheshire to North Wales) started with a deadline to meet… Conditions on Thursday were grey     – then wet, very wet… The sky was a tiny bit leaky at Bollington (look, those floats are marking the site of the leak earlier this summer     – and look, there is...

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Bottoms up!

The Cleddau crew have spent some time in the home land. In far west Wales the Cleddau Bridge that strides above the Daugleddau waters that feed into the tidal Milford Haven is an impressive sight.      Car drivers are charged at 75p per crossing. Those with a head for heights (and suitable weather proof clothing) can stroll across for free…  On a glorious sunny August afternoon the water sparkled     and foaming wakes left sharp white patterns on...

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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...