We had a relaxing morning on the boat on Wednesday morning before setting out. Karen had noticed that the herons in this area are relatively tame like those near Bath – they don’t even fly away when the boat goes past (please note the flowering geraniums!).
We stopped after a mile or so as we saw a lovely large wood and wanted to give Buddy a good run after being cooped up in urban areas for a while. We came across the remains of an ice house – something we have always found fascinating that ice can be kept for so long in natural conditions.
The opening day was actually today but we found that it was only for invited guests for the first week so we missed out on seeing it. The Lion salt works was the last in the UK to use what is called the open pan method of salt extraction. Excavated brine was put in large iron pans which were then heated from underneath and the salt crystals raked off. Modern processes are far more efficient hence the demise of open pan salt extraction. The pans were about 20 feet by 30 feet and this is one of the buildings that housed a pan – ‘Pan House’.
Here is a discarded pan.
This boat has the largest number of solar panels we have seen on a boat. – they covered the sides, top and ends. There are even two vertical ones that also hold up the washing line which is on an old fashioned pulley system.
Many of the chemical plants in this area are owned by Tata, the massive Indian conglomerate.
South of Marston we passed the construction site of a new marina. All the pontoons seem to be up so it probably won’t be long before the dam under the bridge is broken and the marina flooded.
The Trent & Mersey canal in this salt mining area has many large lagoons or flashes. This were formed following subsidence caused by salt mining.
This is the largest swan family we have seen this year – eight cygnets.
We moored up next to two boats near one of the flashes. As we were mooring up one of the boaters came running down to us – it was a guy called Les who we were moored up with in London’s Paddington basin last summer. As it was such a lovely evening he joined us for a glass of wine and a chat on the bank before we had dinner. It was really good to catch up and talk about each other''s travels since the summer.