Monday, 17 June 2013



Here we are,moored this week in the village of Wheelock,about a mile or so south of Sandbach in Cheshire.We’re going to stop here for a day or two to do a bit of boat tidying after the excellent weekend we had in Middlewich,at the Folk and Boat Festival,and also to give the wallet and liver a bit of a break.

We left Church Minshull on Wednesday,waving to a friend on NB Blue Buzzard as he headed off in the opposite direction,we’ve been running into each other since the beginning of March.While we were moored at Church Minshull,Lisa had been reading the Towpath Talk,a free waterways newspaper,and noticed that the Middlewich Folk and Boat Festival would be on over the weekend,so we decided to give it a try.We’ve not done a boat festival before so we didn’t know what to expect and what it would be like for mooring.As it turned out,it wasn’t too bad,there were a number of festivals on other canals at the same time so there was plenty of room.At no time,over the weekend,would I have said it was full,with only a few boats breasted up,ourselves included,but for us,only on Friday night.

Middlewich 002 Middlewich 006

Swans dining out.Every day,at the same time,someone comes along with bags of seed and feeds them.The Swans know they are on to a good thing as there can be as many as 70 of them feeding at times.NB Saturn,the last of the Shroppie Fly Boats,built in 1906 and restored between 2002 and 2005.She was the express of her day,carrying perishable cargoes on the canals pulled by horses that were changed regularly to enable her to travel round the clock.

Lisa's Middlewich 008 Lisa's Middlewich 009

A band that entertained us while we waited for the parade,and very good they were too,and the Pipers at the head of the parade.

Lisa's Middlewich 017 Lisa's Middlewich 020

A couple of groups of Morris Dancers.the usual on the left,the Earl of Stamford and Jockey Morris and on the right,something a bit different,Boggarts Breakfast,described as “Tradition Challenging” and the “Dark side of Morris”.Very good though,and colourful.

There were a dozen or so entertainment venues for the Festival,all of them staging a couple of bands a day,as well as having a bar.The entrance to most of the venues was free and not all of them were pubs,Middlewich Narrowboats being one with a little stage and a beer tent.Some were so popular you could barely get through the door.The bands were varied and all the ones we saw were worth a listen,even though Folk Music is not my favourite.There was a parade through the town on Saturday with the crowning of the Middlewich Rose and there were large crowds watching,helped of course,by the absence of rain.All in all it was a very good weekend with a very friendly and cheerful atmosphere and,from what we saw,an absence of any problems.The Boat Band on Saturday evening at Middlewich Narrowboats was the highlight for me,plus making a few more friends of course,so many thanks to all those who helped make it a very good weekend.

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A couple of the venues at the FAB Festival.Middlewich Narrowboats on the left,with a band called Pastry Shoes,don’t ask.On the right,opposite the Big Lock pub,is Gordie MacKeeman & his Rhythm Boys from Canada.

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I couldn’t go without posting a couple more pic’s of Boggarts Breakfast.The costumes and face painting were brilliant.

We met up with a couple who I only knew previously through Twitter and it was great to put faces to Linda and Richard off NB Mary ll.We’ll meet again,I’m sure of it.Also there was Marianne and Mike off NB Dormouse,aka,Cast off & Blast off,we had quite a few enjoyable hours with them over the weekend and we’ll keep in touch.

That’s all again for this week.Since our last blog we have done the monumental total of………………………wait for it…………….13 Locks and 12 Miles.Giving us a grand total of 306 Locks and 448 Miles since October.Take care everyone.

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