Monday, 20 May 2013

Back on the Shroppie.


After 37 days on the Llangollen/Montgomery we’re now back on the Shroppie and heading North towards the end of the canal,at Ellesmere Port.We are in the middle of nowhere again,this time about two miles South West of Tarporley in Cheshire and eleven canal miles from Chester itself.We are three quarters of a mile from Beeston Castle and moored across the canal from The Shady Oak pub where we hope to sample their wares after I’ve finished the blog.So much to do so little time,how do we cope?

We left the Marbury area on Thursday,after deciding not to bother moving on Wednesday because of the rain and didn’t it rain? Along with everyone else we must have had about twenty hours of the stuff,enough for at least a month.Anyway,after a short cruise of about three miles and one lock we landed at Wrenbury where we intended to stay for another couple of days or whatever,again this would depend on the weather.It wasn’t too bad,it didn’t rain so we managed to enjoy a pint or two in the Cotton Arms and the Dusty Miller and also get the train to visit Shrewsbury for the day on Friday.

Barbridge 002 Barbridge 006

One of the Lift Bridges at Wrenbery,built by Thomas Telford and dating from 1790,though it has been upgraded because this one carries road traffic.The River Severn in Shrewsbury,as you can see it’s in flood,again,this time as a result of the heavy rain on Tuesday/Wednesday.

Barbridge 010 Barbridge 015

Not 100% sure what this duck is,we think it could be a female Merganser but we could be wrong.Lisa informs me that it’s a duck and not a bird,so I defer to her superior knowledge.It was all on it’s own on the floodwaters of the Severn.On the right is the reservoir at Hurleston,which supplies the good people of Chester with drinking water and is fed by the Llangollen Canal

On Saturday we only said au revoir to Wrenbury,not goodbye,because it’s our intention to return there for the Gardner Engine Festival at the beginning of June.From there we cruised the six miles to the end of the Llangollen at Hurleston Junction,where it joins the Shroppie,turned North and carried on for a mile or so before mooring up at Barbridge.The fact that the Olde Barbridge Inn was on the opposite side of the canal to our mooring had no influence whatsoever on our decision as too where to stop.Sunday was a great day weather wise,it’s good to watch the battery levels rising as a result of the input from the solar panels.Even with only modest amounts of sunshine we’ve managed five days this month without running our engine to generate electricity.

Barbridge 013 Barbridge 016

There we are waiting to enter the top lock of the Hurleston Flight and the view down the flight to the junction with the Shroppie.You can see the nimble footed Lockie as he sets the next lock for us.

This morning we topped up our water tank,emptied the loo cassettes and made our way here where we are going to stop for another couple of nights or so.From here there is a nice walk of six or seven miles that takes us along the towpath, around to the South of where we are and over to Beeston Castle.So tomorrow should be a good day out with light refreshment in the Shady Oak when we get back.

Beeston 001 Beeston 003

The old stables at Bunbury Staircase Locks.These would have been for the horses that pulled the narrowboats before engines made the horses redundant.There’s Lisa,emptying the bottom lock of the staircase,that is so when we empty the top lock to bring Chyandour down there is somewhere for the water to go.We come down staircase locks using the same water in each lock,empty one,fill ‘tother.

Beeston 004 Beeston 005

Looking back into the bottom lock of the Bunbury staircase and one of the distinctive Lengthsman’s huts on this stretch of the Shroppie.This one at Tilstone Lock.Lengthsmen were responsible for their “length” of canal which could also mean being a Lock Keeper as well as repairing and maintaining the canal along their particular “length”.

Beeston 008 Beeston 011

Beeston Iron Lock,so called because it’s an iron trough and not the usual stone,concrete or brick structure.Subsidence was a major problem here because of the sandy soil and this lock was a solution.If you look closely at the wall of the lock in front of Lisa,you can see where the lock has bulged making it impossible for two narrowboats to share this lock unlike other wide locks on this stretch of the canal .

Well,that’s all again for this week,since last week we have done 16 Locks and 16 Miles.Giving us a grand total of 265 Locks and 390 Miles since we set off in October last year.Take care everyone.

1 comment:

  1. Great info as ever Fred......Lisa, I do not want to cause a row here but a duck is a species of a bird......(Robbie is now ducking waiting for the slap) :-)
    Hope you both are well? x