Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday with the descendants,.

On Saturday daughter Natalie arrived with Esme, seven, and Elliot, five, in tow. That evening we dined at the Black Lion, excellent food but the service was, to say the least, a little slow.
Sunday saw us taking the compulsory pre-prandial family stroll around The Mere from which Ellesmere takes its name.

A lake of some size with an island on which there is a heronry. Day tickets for fishing are available and I am led to believe that in the summer rowing boats may be hired.

Being British, despite low temperatures and a biting wind, we took the opportunity to enjoy an ice cream.

Now here is a poser. There is a resident population of waterfowl at the Mere and amongst the ubiquitous greylags, mallards etc. we spotted this chap. Not one I'm familiar with and I was unable to find him in that invaluable book of reference, the Readers Digest Field Guide to the Birds of Britain (1981). Anyone have any idea?
Monday dawned misty but with the hint of better to come. Natalie departed Plymouthward and we set off towards Frankton, stopping at the C&RT yard for water.

I was able to show them the dry dock and explain how it works and what it was used for, you can see by the look on their faces how impressed they were by Grandad's erudition.

By the time we arrived at Frankton locks the sky had cleared and shirt sleeves were the order of the day. we had booked our trip down for today so after mooring we wandered down the locks.

Just below the middle lock is the site of John Beech's boatyard where, in 1929, "Cressy", Tom Rolt's famous narrowboat was originally converted for leisure use, being fitted with a steam engine at that time. The dry dock is still visible, it's between the two walls in this less than useful picture. It now is part of a private garden.
Having viewed what awaited us on the morrow we adjourned to Armadillo for a substantial shepherds pie and several games of Old Maid.
This morning dawned bright and fair and, having already booked our passage for today, we waited impatiently for the arrival of the lockie at 1200.

He arrived on the dot and we were soon off down the four locks of the flight.

The top two locks make up a staircase where the bottom gates of one lock are the top gates of the next, it's always a bit worrying, picturing how much water is up there.
At the bottom of the flight we turned off into the truncated stub of the Weston Arm. In the original plans this would have been the main line to Shrewsbury but as the Shrewsbury Canal from Norbury Junction was already serving the town it would have been pointless building another canal and so it just petered out at Weston Lullingford. By 1917 the branch had closed but the short length that remains makes an exceedingly pleasant rural mooring, with water point and rubbish disposal.
This afternoon while Jill and Esme communed with nature at the blocked off section of the arm that remains in water, loads of frogs and frog spawn, Elliot and I indulged in a session of the piscatorial art.

 Never before has a three ounce roach been so proudly displayed.

This evening the sun went down in a blaze of glory. Tomorrow it's on to Queens Head.

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

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm fairly sure it's a Chinese Goose.(Sometimes called Chinese Swan Geese).They are a domesticated breed - so It's escaped from a collection or small holding. There are pictures on Google showing some of them with that distinctive knob on their bill.
Best wishes for your summer cruising,