Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Locks and Dogs and Fairy Villages

We upped-sticks yesterday morning to continue cruising along the Middlewich Canal.  This is a lovely stretch of water, once through Middlewich there is rolling countryside all around - a real pleasure.
 Between bridges 14 and 15 - this shop is worth a tie-up and a look around
 BW boat Churnet tied up just before the Auaduct, no sign of work being carried out here, the operator appears to have stopped for his elevenses.
 Approaching Minshall Lock with Thomas Clayton boat Spey - No88 on the left.
 Leaky gates at Minshall Lock
 obviously used to this sort of thing - that's NB Cheshire Lass next in line for the lock
 looking back from Cholmondston Lock at Venitian Marina - Cheshire Lass is still following us
 that space after the first boat looks just the right size for Rock n Roll
 Toadstools in abundance by the towpath
 a real fairly village - husband George is convinced we'd see them (the faries), (if we looked) when it goes dark!
Finished the day off with a walk to The Barbridge Inn where we met up with the couple from NB Cheshire Lass and had a good old gossip about Tattenhall Marina where they keep their boat.  After dinner was cooked eaten and tidied away we watched Mel Gibson in 'The Edge of Darkness' on dvd - not bad.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Kingfishers - Brilliant!

Took these at 07:25 this morning 28th September at Top Flash visitor moorings
on the Middlewich Canal by bridge 22.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Walking on the Middlewich Canal between bridges 22 and 23

I've spent most of today 27th Sept updating this blog as the internet signal is so good, but took a break this afternoon to get some fresh air and stretch our legs
the smaller of the flashes here with a whole flock of Canada Geese - the noise was amazing
we took a path off the canal at bridge 23 and found these horses at Pear Tree Farm; they were obviously used to people stopping as they all came up to the gate as soon as they saw us.
Hotel Boats Duke and Duchess heading towards Middlewich Junction
walking home 
 to our mooring
and the view from the galley (kitchen) window across the canal as I sit here at 18:02!

Bramble Cutting Trent and Mersey to Top Flash Middlewich Canal

As we cruised south on the Trent and Mersey canal from Bramble Cutting
 there were lots of partially submerged objects 
 these are in Croxton Flash
 where it is necessary to
 keep well within the markers.
 more weeds obscuring the view of a bend and a bridge just past Croxton Aquaduct.
 the first of the narrow locks up to Middlewich Junction
 looking back at the Anderson Hire Boats closed on Sundays
 we're now on the Middlewich Canal
 with it's lovely open countryside
 the approach to Manchester Airport taken from our mooring at bridge 22 Top Flash
I forgot to put this photo on my blog for 11th September - it's an A380 Airbus belonging to Emerates Flights. George couldn't see it's number of course, but if it was No.4 it would have been the one he'd worked on whilst out in Toulouse a few years ago. 

Ryans Bridge to Bramble Cutting

On Thursday 23/9 we moved from Ryans Bridge 210 to Bradley Meadow Bridge 206 as the forecast was heavy thunder storms so I thought that this may be a good day for housekeeping.  In the end we decided to stay Friday too and managed to get lots of jobs done on Rock n Roll.
  Saturday dawned bright at cold it was still only 5degrees C at 9am.  Not long after we'd upped-sticks just past the aqueduct we saw the above ?? another marina in the making? Saltersford and Barnton Tunnels were done without incident and we picked up water and disposed of our refuse at Anderton.   It wasn't long before we encountered the weed infested waters that occur on this stretch of the Trent and Mersey - in some places the weeds are well over half way across the canal making bends somewhat nerve racking.   Fortunately this time we did not meet another boat coming towards us on these stretches.
 pins in at bramble cutting ....
 .... first the priorities as we sit in the last of the day's sunshine
 .... while Molly expended some energy
 the following morning we're about to set off again from Bramble Cutting ..
.. it will probably be a while before we're this way again.

Stockton Heath, Blue Ray and Preston Brook

You've heard of Wimbledon Common I'm sure .... well ....
.... this is the canal version - he apparently cruises up and down the Bridgewater removing the rubbish.

Yesterday when we stopped at Stockton Heath we did a Morrison's shop.  George had asked me to get two dvd's - Robin Hood (Russell Crowe) and The Ghost - which I did.  It wasn't until I was preparing our evening meal whilst moored at Moore that George opened the sealed packet containing the dvd's and announced that I'd bought Blue Ray ones (I thought they were dvd's which happened to be in blue boxes) and that they wouldn't work on our player.  So today 22/9 we walked the 2 1/2 miles back to Stockton Heath to see if they would exchange them.
It was a pleasant walk ...
when we approached the swing bridge at Lower Walton the barriers were down and the bridge in motion, unfortunately it was closing not opening so we didn't actually see this boat go by.
We walked along a footpath from the MSC bridge and found these derelict locks
Three cormorants in the sunshine on an old lock gate
a wide view of the site
the old lock gate barely visible in the vegetation.
When we got to Morrisons they agreed that they could refund the cost of the Blue Ray discs and she of course opened the covers to check that the discs were there - and low and behold the Robin Hood one was empty - I couldn't believe it!  I bought ordinary dvd's and we walked home again where we searched RnR from stern to bow and top to bottom - and we still can't find that disk - it really is a mystery.
Moore Post Office and General Store as we upped-sticks and continued on our way
we've heard a few Pheasants recently but this is the first we've seen this season
The sun continued to shine as we exited Preston Brook Tunnel back onto the Trent and Mersey Canal and stopped to visit Midland Chandlers.  I had purchased shoes the last time we were there (about 2-weeks ago) and whilst walking at Dunham Massey in the rain they started to leak so I returned them for a refund.
We ended a very busy day just past bridge Ryans Bridge 210.

Dunham Massey to Moore Bridgewater Canal

09:20 Sunday 19th September and we've winded (turned round) and are on our way back to Sale to meet once again with friends Sandy and Mick for lunch - and yes it's raining again - and cold! 
Travelling with the hood up today ... Molly hates being cold ...
 ... and there she was ... gone!
 she likes to sleep under cover - cosseted or what!!
Had a lovely time with them - hoping that we'll see them next at Tattenhall when we get back from our holidays. We winded once again and returned to Little Bollington for the night.
 On our way to Lymm on the Monday this cormorant was ducking and diving 
 and starting from the town centre went for a walk around Lymm Dam finishing up by the church - I'd forgotten my camera and so George used his phone camera
 Tuesday we came across these Manchester Ship Canal working boats
 the men upgrading the towpath ... 
... with gravel from the barge.
 three little white ducks .. a long way from Aylesbury
a Jay - these are quite shy birds but we've seen several in the last week or so.
After using the services provided by Thorne Marine  at Stockton Heath we cruised on towards Moore where we'll stay the night.
PS: Thorne Marine have had yet another reprieve from closure for another 3-months. It would be a great loss to the Bridgewater Canal to lose this valuable and friendly service.