Sorry about being a bit late with this weeks blog but after an excellent weekend with Heather and Steve,Lisa’s Sister and Brother in Law, we’ve been a bit otherwise engaged.Also,we got up to 26 degrees yesterday and that can only be enjoyed outside with a little light refreshment,there was no way I was going to sit in front of the Lappy and write a blog.We parted company with Heather and Steve early yesterday afternoon and we made our way slowly here to the SUCS Mooring at Hampton Bank on the Llangollen Canal.We are heading East again now,back towards Hurleston and the Shroppie,but,as I can’t decide which way to go when we get there,we’re not in any particular hurry.
After last weeks blog we moved on up the Montgomery Canal,on Tuesday,to the Weston Arm,formerly the Weston Branch,which is now disused.I can’t find much about this branch other than it was intended that it should have gone through to Shrewsbury but actually only got as far as Weston Lullingfields,a distance of,I guess,about seven miles and was closed in 1917,thanks to a breach,after 100 years or so of use.It’s not even possible to walk the old towpath because a huge ditch is blocking access.There’s a water point and rubbish disposal on the short bit of the arm that’s left and we spent our time cleaning and tidying Chyandour ready for our visitors at the weekend.We were booked to go back up the Frankton Locks on Thursday and from there it’s only an hour to Ellesmere,where we could do a bit of shopping and wait for Heather and Steve to arrive on Friday afternoon.We were the fourth boat up the Frankton Flight of locks on Thursday,all of us helped by the friendly Lock Keeper,Amy,who had helped us down the previous Friday.
As soon as Heather and Steve arrived on Friday afternoon we were off,I’d booked us a meal at the Jack Myton Inn at Hindford and never having been there before,we were eager to find out what it was like.We weren’t disappointed,the food was good and the service was excellent,I would most certainly recommend it.
Saturday morning saw us away bright and early,we expected it to get busy on the canal as the day wore on and we were right.There are two locks about a mile or so from Hindford,at New Marton,they can be a bit of a bottleneck and there were three boats waiting when we got there.From the locks,with Steve doing most of the steering,we set off for the Aqueducts at Chirk and,the most famous of all,the Pontcysyllte.Lisa and I have done them but we wanted to give Heather and Steve the thrill of crossing the “Stream in the Sky”.I’m pleased to say they both enjoyed it,which is fortunate ‘cos as soon as we’d crossed over them,we were going into the basin at Trevor,turning round and going back across again.Just having the weekend,and what could be a busy one,meant we had to watch how far we cruised if we wanted to be back in Ellesmere on Monday without rushing.
A view through one of the arches of the Chirk viaduct and Steve at the helm of Chyandour as we crossed the aqueduct.Lisa and Heather busy with their cameras.
One of the many other boats out on the canal,this one,a day boat from Anglo Welsh at Trevor,with what looked like a Hen Party who were obviously enjoying their day out.The Eastern end of Chirk Tunnel and a cyclist taking a well earned rest.
We moored up on Saturday at The Poachers Pocket,another pub we had never visited and another pub that proved to be excellent.It was packed when I walked in at 7 and there was an hours wait for a table,that suited us ‘cos everyone else was still getting ready,I was thirsty.The staff were true to their word though,and we were seated by 8.Ryan,Daryl,Caroline,Laura G and Little Chris D didn’t stop for one minute,they were rushed off their feet but still remained cheerful and helpful and as a result we had a great evening.The Poachers Pocket is another pub that I would recommend but be prepared for a wait if it’s busy.
On Sunday,with Steve again doing most of the steering,we found out just how slow the locks at New Marton could be when it’s busy.We had to queue at both of them but the bottom lock gave us the longest wait,very slow filling the last foot or so,fortunately we had anticipated it so no harm was done.We cruised on past the top of the Frankton Locks,giving Amy a wave as we did,and then on past Ellesmere, where we found a Winding Hole,turned and moored next to one of the Meres,where we enjoyed a meal cooked by Lisa and a quiet night in.
One of the well kept gardens alongside the canal and a view out over Blake Mere where we moored on Saturday night.
Yesterday we dropped Heather and Steve in Ellesmere and after doing a bit of restocking at Tesco’s,said our farewells and they set off back to Ferndown in Dorset.Heather and Steve had been our first visitors to stay overnight and everything worked very well,they even found the spare bed that,in the day,is the dinette,to be comfortable.They left with a promise to come and visit again,so it can’t have been bad.
Lisa outside with the chairs and her knitting as I write and looking East on the moorings at Hampton Bank.Only us here now,though it was full last night.
Well,that’s all again for this week.I’m going outside now to enjoy the rest of another glorious day.Lisa has the chairs out on the wide towpath,the sun is beating down and the temperature is just a tad under 26 degrees again.Since our last blog we have done quite a lot,14 Locks and 45 Miles,giving us a grand total of 240 Locks and 362 Miles since we set off in October.Take care everyone.