Wednesday, 30 June 2010

A quick view of Stone.

Stone welcomes canal travellers.

I suppose this is the most iconic view of the canal in Stone, The Star and the lock, it's not a bad pub but does rather trade on its' location.

If you want a real pub The Swan, just up the road, has a much wider selection of real ales, seven on today and the beer festival hasn't started yet.

The Crown is where, it is claimed, the first meeting to put forward the plans for the Trent and Mersey was held.

The High Street, all the shops you need and pedestrianised.

At the top of the High Street is the Crown and Anchor, it just looks totally out of place in a town that is all red brick.
All in all Stone is as pleasant a small town as you will find.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Through the Potteries.

Off to Stone, on the way through Stoke

you pass many reminders of what was once there and the reason for the canals existence.

Middleport pottery is still producing but the old bottle kiln is long out of use.

The top of the Stoke flight, the Trent and Mersey goes to the right and the Caldon Canal heads off on the left on its way to Leek.

The old side arm that once fed Shirleys Etruscan Bone and Flint Mill, now the Etruria Industrial Museum.
And now for something completely different, and in very poor taste.

Is this the dead centre of Stoke?

And was this once the Madonna pottery?

Monday, 28 June 2010

Heartbreak Hill, Rawhide and Harecastle Tunnel.

Back to reality, Middlewich for shopping, dare I mention Tescos? then up through Kings Lock,

that's the Middlewich Arm coming in under the bridge middle left, don't worry if you can't work it out, it is there.

Then it's the paired locks of the Cheshire Locks (aka Heartbreak Hill), 26 locks in 7 miles. Please note left hand lock out of use, you get used to it on the way up.

Next to one of the locks, can't remember which one, wild sweet peas, what a blinding colour.

The simple elegance of bridge 137 where the towpath changes sides, just below yet another pair of locks.

The skyline to the east is dominated by Mow (rhymes with cow, see next picture) Cop with it's folly perched on top.

Head 'em up, move 'em out, Rawhide

Is that Clint Eastwood sitting on the bollard?

Oh look, another duplicated lock.

Clever eh?

Pool Lock Aquaduct, the Macclesfield Canal goes over the Trent and Mersey

Before joining at Hardings Wood (Red Bull) Junction.

We had to wait for an hour and a half at Harecastle (Note the entrance to Brindleys old bore to the right, as opposed to the old bore who writes this blog) and then as we went to enter the tunnel we picked up up a yard or two of blue poly on the prop and only a quick trip down the weed hatch got us going in time to get though without another wait.

Out again after forty five minutes, just doesn't look like the entrance to the underground world of Kit Crewbucket, Harecastles resident spook.
Moored for the night by Westport Lake, nice urban moorings.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Not Chelsea but flowers anyway.

After yesterdays foray into boat painting today we cleaned and polished one side of the boat. After all the hard work we went for a bit of a walk and as one view of green fields is much like another we decided to get up close and personal with some of the local flora.

A white thing.

Red campion, I think.

I know these are clover.

Honeysuckle, used to be called Wild Woodbine, just like the ciggies.

A vetch of some kind.

A true English rose.
Who needs garden flowers when these are all along the towpath? Took lots of other pictures but enough is enough.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Hooray for a low bank and fine weather.

We have finally escaped from the Weaver, diesel was getting desperate. I cannot recommend the river enough, it is a shame that it is lacking in some facilities but why sell diesel if there are no boats to buy it? Get down there and enjoy the loveliest waterway in the north.
The Trent and Mersey seems very small

although we moored in one of the flashes.

Guess what we moored next to, havn't spotted any reptiles yet but you never know, could be a cobra about somewhere. I seem to remember that when Noah told the animals to go forth and multiply these snakes had a problem.

Hooray for a low bank and fine weather.

I did enjoy painting, honest. Another job jobbed.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Northwich town.

After various wanderings we are back at Northwich to top up the store cupboard, we now have plenty of food but the diesel situation is getting tight.

There we are moored just below the lock, really nice moorings and only about a twenty minute walk from the town centre. I did remember the camera this time and here are some of the more attractive buildings in town

The Penny Black(Wetherspoons), it was once the main post office.

Northwich library.

The thing all these half timbered buildings have in common is that they are not ancient but date from the late 19th and early 20th century. There is a lot of subsidence here due to salt extraction and it was discovered that this style of building was flexible so when they started to sink they could be jacked up straight again and new footings put in underneath them. As older buildings collapsed this type replaced them and now a large part of the town centre is made up of them. One more example of Victorian ingenuity.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Just another day.

Up at 0410, walked dog and then set up for a mornings fishing, loads of exotic baits, ready for anything, result, nowt. Eventually wised up and started using good old fashioned bread paste and landed two nice bream but by then the sun had burned the mist off the water and the fish decided enough was enough and went elsewhere. I stayed there though just enjoying sitting in the sun and watching the wild life, actually saw the first kingfisher that we've seen on the river, just a flash of blue but he was there. Perhaps another day here (Just above saltersford Locks) or move elsewhere? Decisions decisions.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Still on the Weaver.

Dipped the fuel tank yesterday and found we have enough for at least another week and as the river fishing season starts tomorrw it looks like a few more days on the river.
Also learnt that Louis and Joshua have gone into receivership, as they built our boat does it mean that Armadillo is an orphan?
Rods are set up, bait is prepared, an early start tomorrow and the fish can look out because I'm coming for them! If I get up in time that is.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

The Weaver (cont.)

We came down on to the Weaver for a week-end, we've been here for a fortnight, it's quite addictive. The only problem is that there is no diesel available down here.
Northwich is a pleasant town with a Sainsburys and most other shops. As it rained I didn't take the camera into town

but did get a couple of piccies of the swing bridges.

These are the moorings at Vale Royal, we spent three days just enjoying the peace.

This chap was opposite us every day, well perhaps it was a different one, they all look the same to me, but there was a heron there every day!

We did make it up to Winsford, passing the salt mine, they're stocking up ready for next winters big freeze.

The head of navigation, there's about room to squeeze two boats onto the moorings but as no one has a good word to say about Winsford we didn't stop

but went back down past the remains of the old wharves,

squeezed under New Bridge

and back to Vale Royal.
We are now back at Northwich, moored just below Hunts Lock, much nicer than the town centre and only a twenty minute walk to town.

Must decide what we are doing next, can't remember what plan B was.