Saturday 12 August 2006

Cheshire Ring - Bartington Wharf to Moore

Cheshire Ring - Bartington Wharf to Moore
12th August 2006
Trent & Mersey and Bridgewater

6 Miles
1 Lock
3 Hours

This is an account of an clockwise circuit of the Cheshire Ring in Black Prince's nb Kiwi. The trip had been booked long before we seriously thought about buying our own boat,and by the time we had we would have lost nearly £600 had we cancelled.

In addition, Wand'ring Bark needed some major internal alterations to accommodate two teenagers and the trip offered access to a relatively remote section, so we went ahead. However, it did seem rather perverse to be taking a hire boat out when our own craft was bobbing at her moorings a mere 80 miles away!

Kiwi was a good 6 berth boat, with a cabin each for Tilly and Jeff. We picked he up from Black Prince's Bartington Wharf base at the northern end of the Trent and Mersey and departed at about 3.00pm, after the necessary but rather frustrating hirer's briefing. In no time at all we were passing through the broad Dutton Stop Lock and making a mad dash to catch up with the short line of boats passing into the Preston Brook Tunnel - before the traffic lights turned red. We very nearly made it and were on the final approach when the colour changed. Never mind, we speeded up a bit and soon caught up with the last of the convoy, emerging long before the lights at the other end turned green.

Just beyond the M56 motorway the Bridgewater splits with the Runcorn Arm on the left and the Bridgewater on the right. We skipped the Runcorn arm - leaving it as a destination for a future trip, and pressed on through open farmland dotted with stands of trees. The canal is broad and deep allowing an easy passage.

We had no plans for a long journey on the first day, we just wanted to have travelled far enough to ensure we could reach Castlefield Basin in central Manchester on the Sunday evening. We therefore stopped at at Moore Bridge, which offers quiet and secluded moorings.

No comments: