Calf Heath to Norbury Junction
Easter 2010 - Part 1
2nd April 2010
22 Miles - 2 Locks - 7 Hours
Index of posts in this series:
1. - To Norbury Junction - this post
2. - Norbury to Audlem
3. - Audlem to Barbridge
4. - Barbridge to Anderton
5. - Anderton Boat Lift
6. - Anderton to Weston Point
7. - Frodsham Cut to Winsford
8. - Vale Royal
9. - Vale Royal to Thelwell
10. - Thelwell to Manchester Castlefields
11. - Castlefields images
12. - Salford Quays
13. - Manchester Bolton and Bury Canal - the new bit
14. - Clifton Aqueduct (MBBC)
15. - Manchester Bolton and Bury - southern end towpath walk
16. - Manchester to Marple
17. - Marple Aqueduct
18. - Marple to Whaley Bridge
19. - Whaley Bridge to Macclesfield
20. - Macclesfield to Kent Green
21. - Kent Green to Stone
22. - Stone to Acton Trussell
A change of plan
Night one finds us at Norbury Junction, not an obvious choice of route from Calf Heath to the River Trent I hear you cry.
Our plans to travel down the Trent to the Chesterfield Canal were always subject to the vagaries of the weather and the one thing we didn't want was a sucession of rain bearing low pressure systems to sweep the area the week before we set off. Murphy's Law being what it is delivered rain by the bucket full the week before Easter, with many of the rivers going into flood.
Boat with character on the Shroppie
I was caught on the Trent in flood two years ago and am not in any hurry to repeat the experience. It's a mercurial and tempremental navigational route and when the water level rises is can quickly become both frightening and dangerous. We therefore took an eleventh hour raincheck and opted to a safer canal based route for Easter instead.
Our plan B is a route up the Shropshire Union, across to the Trent and Mersey and then spend a few days on the Weaver Navigation befoure moving on to Manchester and then home via the Peak Forest and the Macclesfield - basically the combined Four Counties and Cheshire Rings.
The forecast for day one (Good Friday) was grim but as often happens, it turned out better than expected and what rain there was fell whilst we were moored.
Turner's new landing stage
We passed a small group from Wolverhampton Boat Club below Wheaton Aston Lock, opposite the newly refurbished landing stage.
Stretton Boatyard was it's usual busy self, rammed full of interesting craft in varying states of repair. The one that caught my eye was the backside of Chertsey, freshly blacked and covered in sheeting where the engine was removed. I was surprised by the relaively diminutive size of her propeller - I has expected someting larger if that isn't too rude a thing to say about such a venerable old lady (the boat - not Sarah!).
NB Debdale was out and about as well, but without Adam or his trademark hat.
Jeff - crew or cabin boy.
We (Jeff and I) had planned a night at Gnosall, but with the sun making a surprise appearance we pressed on to Norbury, mooring just beyond the bridge and very near NB Starcross. All in all a good day with the weather much kinder than expected.