Marbury to Middlewich
15 miles - 10 locks - 10 hours
An amusing start to the day, a voice mail message from BW to tell me the replacement pump out card is under by gas locker lid. I crawled out of my pit and sure enough there it was, safe and sound in a poly bag. I was stunned how they had found us and gave then a all to say thanks.
They knew within a mile or so where we would be and decided to drive over a few bridges and see if they could spot us. By chance, the first bridge they came to was just behind us so they crept up and slipped it aboard - well beyond the call of duty. Thanks guys.
Wrenbury Mill, Llangollen Canal
We met the BW team just round the corner, loading their work boat in Marbury Lock and then we were off in unsettled weather. Showers kept hitting us all the way through Baddiley and Swanley Locks, only letting up as we descended Hurleston.
Traffic increased as we joined the Middlewich Branch, a couple of working boats were coind east from the gathering at Ellesmere Port and this resulted in a short wait at Venetian Marina which seems to me going through a major overhaul. Lots of piling and concrete mixers put us off stopping in spite of the "open for business" signs.
Middlewich Branch Canal
The evening was the best of the day so we pressed on and made the most of it, passing nb Sickle near Church Minshull with just time for a snatched "hello and goodbye". WE finally moored between bridges 20 and 21, a great spot with views over the Cheshire Plain to the north. We settled down to the sound of church bells ringing out in the still evening air - all very English.
Sickle heading west
We are back on familiar ground here, a route we often use to cross from the SUC to the T&M networks. Interestingly, the lock gates are mostly steel in this area - built in the 1970's when the Govt was encouraging the use of British Steel. They may not have the aesthetics of oak, but they seem to be staying the course ok.