Monday morning from our mooring at the River Weaver Aqueduct on the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal
… and Monday evening at Nantwich Aqueduct …. the bit in-between these two pictures was just ... well …. wet!!
Awoke to a very pretty morning today though … looking towards the aqueduct
… and from whence we came - very nice indeed!
Uneventful cruise today to Overwater Marina except that for the majority of the way it seemed that the whole world was still asleep it was so beautifully quiet!
We’ve settled in this afternoon, electric hookup etc., and will leave Rock n Roll here whilst we spend Christmas with our son and family, hopefully by then we’ll both be fully over our flu bug and starting to feel much more relaxed.
… of the ice this morning - it was minus 7 a 6am and as I write (10:52) it still only minus point 6, but George informs me that down at Wardle Lock and in the T & M basin the ice has melted in the once again brilliant sunshine. Temperatures below freezing are expected again tonight and tomorrow but lots of rain is forecast for Thursday night/Friday so it's ‘ration water’ time until we can reverse down the lock to refill the tank before moving on.
This morning George chanced to speak to our over the water neighbour about his boat (click here) for yesterday’s posting where I stated that I’d love to have a peek. George told him how interested I was in his boat and was told to look on the web for NB Elizabeth in France and all the pictures posted here are from that website -
Well worth a read - written in French and translated into ‘pigeon’ English!
Buttes, Namours, France 2001. NB Elizabeth has travelled the canals of England, France, Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg.
Considered by the author (of the website) to be the 'oldest narrowboat on still water', and he’s probably right - built around 1860 and still going strong today - 152 years!
Elizabeth’s owner Jimmy McDonald on-board in the galley/dining area ...
… and at his piano
Elizabeth’s bathroom is the bow.
Jimmy was telling George that for 47 years he operated a boat wharf in Watford but then found out that some idiot one had planned to run a railway straight through his business. He moved from there to a house here in Middlewich just 2-months ago where Elizabeth is moored at the bottom of his garden. He added that he’s made more friends in those 2 months than in all those years in Watford!
NB Elizabeth was certainly attracting lots of attention from towpath walkers over the weekend being so new to the area.
… it wasn’t!! We’ve moved just under the next bridge because on Saturday and Sunday mornings when we drew the curtains on Rock n Roll there was fresh dog poo outside and we were sick of it, this morning though it’s ok so far. Why do dog owners allow it - if I catch anyone I won’t be able to hold my tongue.
Believed to have been built circa 1860 Elizabeth started life as an unnamed 70’ horse-drawn cargo vessel on the Birmingham Navigations, her final job was carrying coal from Neachells to Saltney for FMC’s long haul steam boats.
Her cabin is mahogany and her hull was originally made entirely of riveted iron but later work used riveted and welded steel
In 1928 she was sold by FMC to Robert Teal of Newport and used for carrying gravel on the Kelham (?) cut until it was deep enough to take larger boats such as Trent Barges until …
… around 1935 when she finished her commercial services and was taken to Warren’s Shipyard in New Holland where she was shortened to 61’9” and the original horseboat stern removed. Propulsion was by sail and engine from 1936.
In 1938 modifications were done underwater to a more conventional narrow boat counter and a more powerful engine installed.
In 1966 Elizabeth was purchased by it’s current owners (correct at 2009) as a houseboat and their first home. Apparently the saloon and living quarters have been kept to a 1930’s style and has two central heating systems, one running off waste engine heat and both designed in 1936.
Yesterday we were iced in at our mooring at Hassall Green Lock 57 and we did wonder if we would be able to move today but the rain came - and did it come down - all evening and all night
… but at least the canal was ice-free this morning as we set off
The sky and water was so blue but I was glad that that sun was not shining in my eyes!
Looks like a lake in the distance, but it could be flood water
Coming into the industrial part of Middlewich
… but on the other side of the canal it’s beautiful open countryside
Middlewich is an important centre for the extraction of salt
An impressive lock house at Rumps Lock
I wondered what those gathering clouds were carrying as I waited for George to set Kings Lock for me
It has been very windy today and I was having trouble keeping Rock n Roll on the straight and narrow!
Kings Lock Chandlery - not the easiest place to get into for fuel - once the tanks were full we turned left through the arch into ...
Wardle Lock on what has been claimed to be the shortest canal in the country at 100 yards. We’ve moored up just past that blue CRT boat under the bridge in the picture above and will stay here for the weekend at least.
An early start - ready to go at half past eight at the south portal of the Harecastle Tunnel ...
… the sun is just coming up but the moon is still in the sky ...
… 9 o'clock and we’re in ...
… and 35 minutes later we’re out again!
C & R T offices at Red Bull are getting a makeover
Most of the locks on our cruise today are paired but this one hasn’t been in operation for a good while - it’s got a tree growing in it!
Mow Cop in the far distance
Number 7 above Thurlwood Lock - check out the link!
What a glorious day but by this time (half one) the arctic wind felt as if it was slicing through my face whilst at the helm of Rock n Roll
We arrived at our mooring at Hassall Green just after 2pm ...
… and watched the sun going down at 15:30…
… behind the towpath vegetation.
It was another grand day, lots of sunshine but a bitter wind; George was taking layers off as he ‘warmed up’ - he walked the whole 5 miles from Harecastle Tunnel to our mooring operating the 15 locks dropping us down by 137 feet! I was at the helm for the cruise wearing so many layers I dread to think what I looked like - George told me I reminded him of Joan of Ark going into battle (??!!!) and ‘popping to the loo’ was a logistical nightmare!!