Monday, 7 November 2011

Mist, Audlem and "The Slow Train".

Sunday morning brought our first taste of cold, I peered out of the window at 0700 and lo! The world was white,

at least that part of it which could be seen was white.
I walked the dog towards the bottom of the locks, I could hear the by-wash splashing but it was a while before the gates loomed out of the mist.

By now the old dog decided that enough was enough and headed boatwards at her best speed so I followed her, it was warmer on board.
By the time the compulsory Sunday morning fry-up had been consumed the mist had cleared and the sun was well up so we set off northwards towards Audlem. As usual the by-washes were giving it some.

But the sun shone, there was no wind and we sauntered down the fifteen seeing only two boats coming up and one ahead of us, November is definitely a quiet time on the canals.

Lock 12, the one above the village pound, that's Jill on the right by the balance beam, the one thing the flight wasn't lacking was gongoozlers, we had an audience at every lock, sometimes getting under our feet and on a couple of occasions borrowing a windlass and giving a helping hand. It's a great way of meeting people.

We stopped at the waterpoint by the Shroppie Fly, a real canalscape, a pub that was a warehouse, a craft shop that used to be a mill and a crane that came from the local railway goods yard, it's very popular though.
The crane reminded me of that wonderful song by Flanders and Swann that lamented the closure of so many cross country rail lines under the dead hand of that arch villain Beeching, one verse ran:

The sleepers sleep at Audlem and Ambergate.
No passenger waits on Chittening platform or Cheslyn Hay.
No one departs, no one arrives
From Selby to Goole, St. Erth to St. Ives.
They've all passed put of our lives,
On the slow train, on the slow train.

If anyone wants to hear the full song it's on You Tube. Brings a tear to my rheumy old eye.

Putting nostalgia aside, we were soon down the bottom of the flight and we are now moored at Coole Pilate with the place to ourselves, Jill is cooking a fresh tomato soup and cross stitching Christmas cards, she is one amazing lady.
Having nothing better to do I'm mucking about on the laptop, hence this post and the verse from "The Slow Train".

Watch this space............

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