Monday, 1 June 2015


Hi again,
This week we are at the very Western end of the Bridgewater Canal in Runcorn,moored on the Visitor Moorings of the Bridgewater Motor Boat Club.
After taking the hire car back to Bolton last Tuesday morning we left our mooring at Boothstown Basin just as soon as Enterprise got us back to Chyandour.We headed South East along the Bridgewater Leigh Branch,once again passing through Worsley and over the Barton Swing Bridge,then past the big Kellogs factory,before turning to the right at Waters Meeting onto the Main Line of the Bridgewater.We only traveled for a total of about eight miles before we moored for the night near the Bridge Inn on the outskirts of Sale.Sorry to say we didn't go in the Bridge but it looked ok from the outside and we had a quiet night,the towpath is a busy cycle route though so you need your wits about you when you step off the boat.The following morning we were off again to our next port of call which was Lymm,we'd arranged to meet up with our eldest Daughter and the Grandkids on Thursday and we wanted to be sure of a mooring in this popular spot.We were lucky and got a good mooring when a hire boat moved off and Lisa and I then spent the rest of the day wandering around the village trying to recall the sights from our last visit in 2012.That had been after we'd sold up and moved out of our bungalow in Perth to take the first steps on our new journey towards living on Chyandour. Our first night away from Perth had been in the Travelodge off the M6 Motorway here and we'd spent the afternoon mooching around the village.Lymm hadn't changed but it did seem a bit smaller.
At Oughtrington,just outside Lymm,you can see this unusual sight at the side of the canal.
The centre of the village of Lymm and the pond.The last time we were here I remember the water here being clear and the pond full of fish.Couldn't see any this time as the water was murky.
The moorings on the canal in Lymm,there's not all that many though it's possible to moor just before and just beyond here.We're moored towards the far end on the right
 We'd got ourselves a bit of a plan for when we were going to leave Lymm on Friday but,as with all our plans,they are likely to change at short notice and this one was no exception.The plan was to go to the Western end of the Bridgewater by Saturday,stay overnight in Runcorn,and then make our way down the T&M to the Anderton Lift and then go onto the River Weaver Monday or Tuesday.The first hiccup came on Thursday,in the form of an email from CRT informing us that the Anderton Lift was broken and there would be a further update on Friday at around lunchtime.Then came a call from our youngest Daughter asking where we would be on Sunday evening and could she treat us to a meal? As Lisa and I aren't noted for refusing food the answer was yes,where would you like us to be? Anyway,all this made us take a look at our original plan and then,when CRT updated us on Friday,saying the lift was going to be out of commission for at least the weekend,we decided on a Plan B and that's why we're here in Runcorn now.Plan B had us doing things a little in reverse 'cos we knew that if the lift were fixed by Monday,it would be busy for a day or two,stranded boats would want to get off and onto the River Weaver before new arrivals could be accommodated, and we're in no particular hurry.
Looking through the guides for somewhere where we could moor and where there was somewhere nearby we could get a meal on Sunday evening,and also bearing in mind that the weather on Sunday morning was likely to be unpleasant.We decided Acton Bridge near Bridge 209 on the T&M looked the best bet.As a result,on Saturday morning,we left our mooring opposite Daresbury Science Park where we'd had a quiet and solitary night and made our way about a mile and a half to another Waters Meeting.This one at the junction where the Bridgewater splits,one way the canal heads North West to Runcorn and the other way South,on the Preston Brook Branch,towards the T&M.A quick nip up to the services by Preston Brook Marina for water etc. then down the last mile of the Bridgewater past Midland Chandlers and Claymoore Hire Boats to Preston Brook Tunnel.As we passed Claymoore we saw a familiar sight,NB Beeston Castle,the boat we had enjoyed when we hired from Claymoore nearly five years ago when we did the Cheshire ring.
Preston Brook Tunnel is only wide enough for one boat so entrance is timed.It takes about fifteen minutes to traverse the tunnel,which is just under a mile long and a bit crooked,though it is just about possible to see the other end when you enter.Just after you leave the tunnel there is a Stop Lock at Dutton and then you're on the ninety three and a bit mile long Trent and Mersey Canal.As I understand it,the tunnel was built by The Duke of Bridgewater too narrow for the boats that used his canal and he made quite a considerable profit from warehousing and transhipment at Preston Brook as a result.On Saturday evening we took a stroll down to the River Weaver and the Acton Swing Bridge,there's a couple of pubs nearby and we tried them both,finding the Leigh Arms to be the better of the two.On Sunday evening the three of us did enjoy a nice carvery at The Riverside,on the bank of the River Weaver,just upriver from the swing bridge when our youngest visited.
Acton Swing Bridge on the River Weaver,just short walk down the A49 Warrington Road from our weekend mooring on the T&M.
A view over the fields to Dutton Lock on the River Weaver as we cruised back up the T&M this morning.
Lisa opening Dutton Stop Lock on the T&M this morning.It only has a fall of a few inches.The smell of the Wild Garlic as we approached the lock was awesome.
Entering Preston Brook Tunnel,we'd enjoyed glorious sunshine up to here and now it had turned grey.
The end of navigation in Runcorn,we winded here to go back to the BMBC and in a day or two we'll be heading back onto the T&M and hopefully the Anderton Boat Lift.We have just heard that the lift isn't likely to be opened before Thursday so we'll keep out of the way till things ease off a bit after that.
 We arrived here at the Bridgewater Motor Boat Club this lunchtime after leaving Acton Bridge and retracing our steps back through the tunnel to Waters Meeting at Preston Brook.We turned left at the junction and cruised for just under five miles to the end of navigation at Waterloo Bridge 89 where we winded and came back about half mile to the BMBC. The moorings here are very neat and tidy and there's a club house but that,sadly,is only opened Fridays and Saturdays.This is our first time on this stretch of the Bridgewater and we found it quite pleasant 'cos though your traveling though an urban area the canal has a rural feel about it,it's like a tree lined corridor with only brief glimpses of housing and it all seems well cared for.
Well,that's all again for this week folks.Since last Monday we have done two Locks,the same one twice,and we've cruised 35 Miles.That gives us a Grand Total of 1,156 Locks and 1,890 Miles since we set off in October 2012.Take care everyone.

1 comment:

  1. So glad you are having fun.....Did you know that there is at least one book in all of us? Just a thought....lovely photographs as ever xx