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Monday, 22 June 2015

June Cruise Part 3

After another quite and peaceful night we left towards Middlewich around 10am, passing Crofton Flash then across the aqueduct towards Middlewich locks.
Crofton Aqueduct.
Not as spectacular as some we have been across.

After the Middlewich locks Father hopped of with his bike for a few necessities whilst Gill and I turned on to the Wardle Branch then on to the Middlewich branch of the Shropshire Union Canal.
Wardle Lock Cottage in the Sun.
This branch of the canal is reasonably straight, towpath well kept and neat. Not many kinks in it but we did meet oncoming boats. The rumours from these boats was that Cholmondeston locks was closed.
Oncoming boat.
Caught up but Dad happy to keep on cycling.
Sods law, always meet a boat at a bride.
Class 66 pulling a trainload of Range Rovers.
We carried on to Church Minshull pulling over for a snack and drinks. Finally letting father on board.
We had passed the old stables and house, very picturesque.
Church Minshull.
Canal Stables - Church Minshull.
Moving on again we reached Cholmondeston Lock, as suspected it was closed for replacement of the buffer on the front of the cill, however the foreman informed us that they would be finished within an hour. We pulled over to the Venetian Marina pontoon for water then tea and ice cream from the cafe whilst we waited.
Canal & River Trust staff installing the new wooden buffer in front of the cill.
Once the buffer was installed, after perhaps a 1 1/2 hour delay we where invited to be the first to use the lock, its easy to see how the boat that sunk got caught out, if both paddles are opened at once, as the CaRT guys did for us, there is a pull forward that even masses of reverse gear will not hold, so we where the first to test the buffer.
We carried on in early evening sun, turning on to the Shropshire Union at Barbridge before finally mooring at Nantwich on the far side of the Aquaduct. We wandered into Nantwich for our evening meal at a quiet pub down Welsh Row.
Crossing Nantwich Aquaduct.
Away from the mooring at around 9-30 towards the winding hole the other side of Nantwich, seems quite shallow since we used it last year, we then crawled back through all the moored boats and turned left at Hurleston junction back on to the Llangollen Canal.
LMS Butty Olive at Nantwich.
We passed a couple of downward boats in the locks then called at the services at the top of the locks for water and rubbish disposal.
Father and Son locking up at Swanley Locks.
On the home leg now we completed the Swanley locks and headed for Baddiley Locks, pretty stretch of canal this which which I always enjoy, even though it is the last day of the boating week.
Baddiley Locks.
Father passing a boat between Baddiley Locks.
We moored shortly afterwards for lunch before father set of on his bike for the train at Crewe.
Gill and I carried on to Wrenbury, mooring before Church Lift Bridge then carrying out all our cleaning before returning to Wrenbury Mill on the Saturday morning.
Another enjoyable week, despite not been able to get down Anderton lift and on to the River Weaver.

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