Thursday, 29 January 2015

Welsh Row and a snowy duck.

We are sitting out the current cold snap at Nantwich. it's a splendid town with lots of local shops, butchers, bakers and a wonderful, but expensive, fish mongers in Pepper Street.
We always moor on the embankment on the southern edge of town,
 there is a short cut to town through the housing estate and park. As you can see the moorings are not exactly crowded at the moment.
Most boaters are inclined to moor down by the aqueduct and make their way into town via Welsh Row so this morning we walked down the towpath and took that route into town..

It was once one of the main routes from Wales into England and there are some splendid Georgian houses showing that it must have been an area of considerable wealth.

The grand houses rub shoulders with more humble dwellings from earlier ages.

It's one of our favourite streets anywhere because of its eclectic mix of building styles.
But my favourite building will always be

The Black Lion, the oldest pub in Nantwich.
We had barely returned to the boat when, unlike New York, the promised snow arrived.

It came down so hard it even settled on the ducks.

To be honest it has now stopped and mostly melted away.
We are now just waiting for the wind to drop so we can move on, Saturday looks good?

Watch this space........

Monday, 26 January 2015

Down the thick at Audlem.

After a pleasantly lazy weekend at the top of Audlem, (We did walk down the flight on Saturday for lunch in The Shroppie Fly but that was the extent of our activities), this morning we set off down the "thick" of the flight.

We have now got into the swing again, it only took us an hour and ten minutes to clear the first ten locks down to the water point. Not that we were racing, it was cold out there so the exercise kept us warm.

Intriguing building by Lock 10, I have seen described as stables but that seems unlikely as it is on the offside with no way to get a horse to it. I suspect it was a maintenance department workshop, with the chimney it could have been a blacksmiths forge.

The by-washes were a bit frisky but nowhere near as bad as I have known them in the past.
Where are all the boats? There were only three moored at Audlem and we have seen a grand total of two on the move today, which is one more than we saw all weekend.  I bet they will all be at Nantwich which is where we are heading tomorrow.Looking at the Met. Offices prognostications we may be there for a day or two, more gales and possibly snow, we will have to see what comes.
So for tonight we are at Coole Pilate where we have the forty-eight hour moorings to ourselves.

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

Friday, 23 January 2015

A cold day to the top of Audlem.

After a couple of days at Market Drayton, waiting for the freeze that never came, we set off this morning heading north.

What a disappointment, for years Bill and Ben have sat proudly in this garden and now they have gone. I used to really look forward to seeing them as we passed.

It must be winter, another grey and murky day as we headed for Adderley locks.

Through Betton Wood the sun came out, no sign of the screaming spectre said to lurk around here. Interestingly a friend recently pointed out that a lot of the canal hauntings were claimed to take place where there are, or were, game coverts. Perhaps a well invented ghost would discourage the old working boaters from lingering and helping themselves to the odd pheasant?

Jill let me loose with the windlass at Adderley, definitely out of pratcice, it felt like hard work.

Hmm! Looks like I need a haircut, in this weather? It may have to wait for spring.

Out of the bottom of Adderley and heading for Audlem.
We have descended the first two locks of the Audlem flight and are now snugged in for the weekend.

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

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

On the move again. At last.

Well here we are, three weeks into 2015 and this is the our first post. To be honest we have only been lurking up around Norbury and The Anchor, we had intended to be moving earlier but we have been deterred by the wind and rain. Yesterday morning there was cat ice on the canal at High Offley with the forecast of worse to come, so we girded up our loins and made a run for Market Drayton.

Much of the way was clear but we had to push our way through across Shebdon valley, not enough ice to even tinkle as we passed but a possible foretaste.

It was one of those winter days that makes you glad to be alive, blue sky, frosty air and winter sunshine.

In Woodseaves cutting C&RT's contractors were busy on the towpath but they kindly moved their work boats over and let us through.

Through the cutting the sun was struggling to shine into the Stygian depths and although the cut was clear there was abundant ice on the puddles on the towpath.

Well I guess that makes it clear whose fault it will be. Sign on the wall of the cottages at the top of Tyrley locks.

Tyrley was the first flight we had done since September but we soon were back in the routine, being very careful though as there was some ice on the locksides.

The locks provide a very different prospect at this time of year from the bosky picture they provide in the summer. The by-washes were not too frisky and we were down in just under the hour with no dramas.

At the bottom the strange angler still sits hopefully although now he has half a bottle of scotch on his hat and sign wishing those who pass by a belated, "Merry Christmas", hanging from his rustic fishing rod.
So we are now moored in Market Drayton, hoping for a break in the weather although it looks as though the freeze is in for a few more days.

Meanwhile we have some exotic neighbours to admire.

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