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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Shropshire Union 2014 Day 6 and 7.

Getting a bit repetitive, but Thursday was another sunny day. In no rush our plan was to get water before heading back to the Llangollen canal.
We left Barbridge about 9.30am and reached Calveley services which are situated in an old canal and rail transhipment depot.
Calveley services.
We winded at the winding hole before Bunbury staircase locks then made our way back to Barbridge and to Hurleston Junction for the 4 locks up to the Llangollen Canal.
Bunbury locks ahead.
Very nice property near Hurleston Junction.
It was straight up into the first of the 4 locks with no queue, Gill prepared the first lock whilst I worked the other 3.
Entering Hurleston Bottom Lock.
Neat manoeuvre by Gill in the pounds.
Hurleston Top Lock.
We carried on, past Swanley Marina before stopping for lunch just before the locks. Sadly, we suddenly remembered been moored here on 9/11/2001 when the news of the World trade Centre disaster occurred so we quickly upped pins then negotiated Swanley Locks.
Approaching Swanley No 1 lock.
Next up was Baddiley locks, set in nice pasture lands with wooden fringes to the canals, very pretty on a sunny day.
Near Baddiley.
Baddiley Top Lock.
We where on home ground now, just a mile to Wrenbury Mill, we headed for the first stretch of visitor moorings before Wrenbury, passing NB Beefur Sorry, I was the one who shouted out to you as mentioned on your blog post of 23rd September.
We moored just before Wrenbury Church lift bridge and settled in for a spot of polishing and cleaning before heading off to the pub for a meal and a drink.
We awoke to an overcast day on Friday morning, after a good breakfast we walked to Wrenbury for the car and drove to Chester for a day of retail therapy for Gill. Firstly we walked round part of the city walls, had a look at the cathedral and gardens before hitting the galleried shops.
City Walls.
Clock on the city walls.
Eastgate Street.
Galleried Shops in Eastgate Street.
Grosvenor Shopping Centre.
We had a light lunch in Chester before continuing our walk around the city. We did not walk down to the canal, having been through Chester on the canal a few times in the past.
Abbey Square
Entertaining Squirrel.
Chester Cathedral.
We headed back to Wrenbury late afternoon, then moved the boat up through the lift bridge and reversed into Wrenbury Mill Basin where we completed the cleaning and packing before heading to the Dusty Miller for a well earned meal.
Back in  Wrenbury Mill Basin.
Saturday was the normal shareboat turnaround day, we dieseled up, new gas cylinder, filled with water, pump out then a final packing up and cleaning before heading back to Norfolk.
Another lovely sunny week on Centurion, which has run well with no problems. That's it for the boat this year, we have enjoyed all our 4 weeks and look forward to next year.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Shropshire Union September 2014 Day 5

Wednesday morning we had a bit of a lie in before I made Gill get up and make me a nice breakfast. With no more visitors planned and the boat pointing in the Audlem direction we headed off that way, again. As can be seen it was another sunny September day.
Sunny September Day.
At Hack Green locks we encountered a radio controlled boat called Victoria Plum which pushes a small butty before it called Victoria Plums Garage! The owner looks to be slightly disabled and has the remote round his neck whilst he does the gates, he appeared to be a single hander.
Remote control round his neck for the boat behind him.
Centurion goes away as the boat is operated by radio control, the bow thruster's
also operated by radio control
Safely steered in by remote control.
Mooring at Audlem bottom lock we walked up to the village and the Audlem Mill craft centre for Gills crafty fix, before popping in to the BCBM office who now manage our Centurion syndicate.
Shroppie Fly and Audlem Mill.
Former Audlem Lock Keeeprs cottage..
St James Church - Audlem
Audlem seems a nice little town, but it is blighted by traffic, chelsea tractors everywhere and the new co-op seems to have had an affect on some of the local shops we have used before on previous visits, looks as though the bakers, and Fruit and Veg shop have shut down.
Walking back down the locks we saw FMC Dove working down the locks. I like to see traditional boats and this guy was doing it the traditional way, paddles dropped with hands on the shafts to control. bow up on the gates with engine in gear, pulling the gates open with a rope and engine in reverse, then pulling shut the gate shut behind the boat, where the rope then falls away and is retrieved whilst his partner lock wheeled ahead. Good to see, but I forgot to take photos of the rope work.
FMC Dove
FMC Dove in Audlem lock 13.
A couple more traditional Boats.
We had a late lunch back at the boat before setting off back to Nantwich, firstly calling in at the large Overwater marina for ice cream from the cafe, then on through Hack Green, across Nantwich Aquaduct, past Hurleston Junction before mooring opposite the Barbridge Inn.
Overwater Marina.
Barbridge Inn Mooring.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Shropshire Union September 2014 Day 4

Tuesday morning, after a boatie breakfast of Bacon and Egg Sandwiches we prepared for our guests, Gill sorting out a buffet type lunch, myself having a tidy up. My cousins from Marple and Cheadle arrived with their partners around 11am and away we went to the winding hole at the end of the embankment, then back through Nantwich before tootling on passed Hurleston Junction. We moored for lunch at Barbridge. After lunch we gave them a locking experience, turning right onto the Middlewich branch to the reasonably deep Cholmondeston lock.
Gill and George on lock duty. George remembers as a child helping
boatmen down Wigan Locks for a bucket of coal.
Jim and Carolyn. 

First time in a lock for them all.
Leaving Cholmondeston Lock.
Carrying on we turned at the next winding hole then made our way slowly back to Nantwich before mooring on the embankment again for the night.
Nantwich Visitor moorings on the embankment.
We showed our guests the aqueduct before saying farewell. They really enjoyed the day, made all the better with the good weather and are looking forward to an invite next time we are nearish to Manchester.
Gill and I had all the buffet leftovers, including the rest of the wine for a late tea before relaxing in front of the telly.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Shropshire Union September 2014 Day 3

On the Monday we awoke to an overcast day, although this soon cleared to sunny spells. We had no guests today and the intention was only to travel as far as Nantwich to pick up Tuesday's guest's.
Passing Coole Pilate moorings we noticed they where absolutely rammed full, very popular mooring. We encountered a small queue at Hack Green which took half an hour to clear.
Gill waiting patiently for the locks at Hack Green.
We soon reached Nantwich where we passed the aquaduct before reaching the service block where we had a water fill which took ages with a ridiculously low pressure tap. We then went up to Henhull to wind before mooring the far side of the aquaduct ready for the guests the next day.
Very nice boat just past the Aquaduct.
We spent the afternoon looking around Nantwich, walking first down Welsh Row with some lovely old properties.
Welsh Row Alms Houses.
Gill likes this house, but not the position next to a busy road.
We had lunch and coffee in Nantwich, a little bit of window shopping and a general wonder about. I used to work at Rolls Royce cars many years ago and lodged in Crewe, but on an evening we always headed for a pub in Nantwich, which is posher than Crewe, but could I find it, I think my memory is failing me!
Tudor architecture in Nantwich Town Centre.
French Baroque stlyle store in Pillory Street.
St Marys Church - Nantwich
Nantwich Workhouses.
We spent the evening aboard with a nice meal and a few glasses of wine, very quiet mooring on the embankment once the residents dog walking was finished.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Shropshire Union September 2014 Day 1 and 2

We are back from another week on NB Centurion, we where very lucky with the weather with no rain until Friday night. Just Gill and I so we had no real destination in mind other than entertaining relatives for a couple of days.
We had a decent journey to Wrenbury from Norfolk, arriving at 1pm and loading up the boat, we had already stocked up with food the day before using the cool bags to keep things cool for the journey.
We left Wrenbury around 2pm and headed down the canal towards Hurleston, cruising for a couple of hours to get the water hot and batteries topped up. Gill operated the lift bridge near the sight of the proposed marina, there are still objection signs up but I had heard the plan was shelved for now.
Church Lift Bridge, Marina will be on the right hand side here.
We cruised down the 3 Baddiley Locks set amongst lovely Cheshire pastures before mooring on a quiet Shropshire Union Canal Society provided mooring near Swanley.
SUCS mooring at Swanley.
After a nice on board meal I opened Octobers Waterways World and discovered we got a mention and a picture of Centurion and ourselves from our May trip when we rescued 3 girls on a boat. Turns out one of the ladies in question is a freelance journalist and regularly contributes to Waterways World.
Page 40 Waterways World.
A light mist soon cleared on Sunday morning, so after our traditional boat fry up we set of down the Swanley locks towards Hurleston. The locks are easy to operate however I still cannot get Gill to walk over the end gates when one is still open.
Swanley Lock 1
GIll having shut one gate, has now walked round to shut
the other gate rather than risking the step over the gap.
Hurleston locks where not as busy as we have seen in the past with just a couple of boats on the way up. We exited the flight then took a right turn on the Shropshire Union towards Nantwich
Hurleston Locks.
Leaving Hurleston Locks.
We moored at Nantwich for lunch, before heading in the direction of Hack Green, now quite sunny and warm with the odd cloud now and then we pottered along, up Hack Green locks along the long wide straights typical of the Shroppie to the bottom of the Audlem flight before winding.
Straight and Wide Shroppie.
We had intended to moor at Audlem but all moorings where taken so we went past the large Overwater Marina until we found some piling to moor against rather than the concrete sections. With our deep draught the "Shroppie Shelf" really affects our boat.
We passed Petroc moored at Audlem. 
We passed another blogger moored below Audlem, NBPetroc. See - Petroc Blog
Another secluded mooring.  
Our early evening view.