This week finds us moored,on the Middlewich Branch of the Shroppie,on the embankment,overlooking the Cheshire village of Church Minshull with it’s early 18th Century church prominent in the distance.We arrived here yesterday morning,having cruised all of 3 miles from Cholmondeston Lock.It’s nice here,moored overlooking the surrounding area,the sun shining down and with a steady stream of narrowboats cruising by.This branch is quite busy just now,being part of the popular Four Counties cruising ring.In the short time that we’ve been here we’ve managed a couple of walks along the towpath and though there isn’t much else here,it will do us for a few days.Yesterday evening we took a stroll into the village itself where we enjoyed a drink in the Badger Inn,there are no shops but we’re ok for provisions for a while so all is good.
Last Tuesday we were moored at Beeston,where we intended paying a short visit to the local market the next day,and then,afterwards,to make our way here.It didn’t quite work out like that though.As well as the market there was a tool auction and as we browsed the lots we saw a couple of items we would like to bid for.There is what is called a Collective Implement Sale at Beeston on the first Wednesday of every month,with lots varying from Agricultural Machinery to Spanners,quite a wide variety of tools in fact.We had our eye on a Singer Sewing Machine,the one you operate by hand,and a 56lb Potato Weight,the sort you seldom see now and are a tad expensive when you do.Our lots were not due to be auctioned till late afternoon so we amused ourselves watching the Auctioneer and assessing the likely bids we would have to make.Both our lots became ours for slightly more than we had hoped but less than we were prepared to pay,so we had a successful day.The sewing machine works a treat and all without electricity,marvellous.
Chas Harden’s Boat Yard at Beeston and on the right is the best I could get of what was an Aviation Fuel Dump during the Second World War.This overlooks the canal at Beeston and stretches for quite a distance alongside the canal as you head to Chester.It seems there was 29,000 Tons of fuel stored here and this dump was situated on a pipeline that ran from Gloucester to the Stanlow Refinery at Ellesmere Port.
Lisa enjoying one of our BBQ’s and on the right,how do you get through this lot??? It’s the approach to the Bunbury Staircase Locks,you have to negotiate a way through the hire boats moored at the Boatyard at the bottom,as well as other boats coming from the locks.It does look far worse on camera than it really is,though there isn’t a lot of room.
On Thursday it was across the canal to Chas Harden’s Boat Yard,where we filled up with fuel and water,emptied the cassettes and our rubbish and then set off for here.After 5 Locks and 6 Miles we decided that the moorings before Cholmondeston Lock looked welcoming so that was as far as we got,after all,what’s the rush?? Shortly after our arrival,a couple we had met while moored at the Shady Oak turned up and that was all the excuse we needed for breaking into our stock of Wine and Cider.A good night was had by all,thanks to Andy and Rachel off the good ship Damsel.We look forward to meeting up with them again sometime in the future.Krystal and Robin came out to see us on Saturday,bringing with them all the makings for a BBQ,which we enjoyed on the towpath in the sunshine.
We finally set off to cover the last few miles to here on Sunday,calling in to Venetian Marina,just after Cholmondeston Lock,to fill up with water and empty the loo.There was no charge for using their facilities,so,as a way of showing our appreciation,we put a donation into the Charity Box on the Chandlery counter.
Chyandour waiting at Minshull Lock and then there’s us entering the lock with Lisa waiting to close the Top Gate.
The view from our mooring towards Church Minshull and there’s Chyandour on the mooring.We have moved a bit now cos’ this mooring,like many others,suffers from the dreaded Shroppie Shelf,a concrete ledge about a foot or so below the surface,sticking out about 18 inches,preventing you from getting close in.Surprisingly,at the end of the moorings at the front of us in the picture,the shelf isn’t there,so it’s possible to get right into the side
A couple of views of the Middlewich Branch,close to where we are now.
Well,that’s all again for this week.Since our last blog we have done the fantastic amount of 7 Locks and 9 Miles,not bad hey???? Giving us a grand total of 293 Locks and 436 Miles.Take care everyone.