Thursday, 4 June 2015

Sandbach




It seemed that everybody who was moored at Middlewich decided to leave when we did on Tuesday morning.  As we got to the first of the four locks in Middlewich there were four boats in front of us and four behind.


The sun was shining and it was quite still – a welcome relief from the recent windy weather.  Fortunately none of Karen’s plants suffered apart from me knocking a stem off a geranium by mistake.  After the first three locks which were in a flight close together we reached the junction with the Middlewich branch of the Shropshire Union canal.  

We had been to this junction a couple of months ago when we were headed to the Peak Forest and Yorkshire.  This meant that we had completed what is called the Cheshire Ring – circular route taking in several canals or sections of canals.  Starting from Castlefields in Manchester at the top it heads anti-clockwise on the Bridgewater canal onto the Trent & Mersey at Preston Brook then down to Kidsgrove where it joins the Macclesfield canal to Marple.  From there it’s onto the Peak Forest canal to Ashton and then the Ashton across to Piccadilly in Manchester and then down the Rochdale canal back to Castlefields.  


There was a lot of activity at the junction.  I have just come through the bridge at the top.  Just ahead of me is a boat turning into the Shropshire Union.  The yellow boat is a hire boat which is trying to get into the water point.   


Once things had died down I continued past and into the last lock at Middlewich.  We are not including pictures of this lock or any others on the section down to Kidsgrove as they have been included in previous blog entries.

Here is a pile of salt at one of the several salt plants still in use around Middlewich.

At one of the locks an Eastern European was using a magnet to try and retrieve scrap metal from the water.   We often see the Eastern Europeans fishing on the cut but they do it by walking along with a rod rather than sitting in one spot with a load of paraphernalia like the Brits do.  We suspect that they do this for a few reasons including that they probably have no rod licence and they also tend to eat the fish.  Karen’s son Matthew who lives in the Czech Republic was really surprised at the river fish the locals eat – no one would eat them over here.

Buddy was very lazy and laid down at every lock and also as soon as we moored for lunch.

We moored at the end of the day opposite these rural allotments outside Sandbach…

… hung out the washing and took on fuel from the coal boat Alton.

 There was a rather elaborate scarecrow lady in the allotments as shown at the top of the page.


We were really happy to be on the move again and it was great to be wearing tee shirts although this is the first time I have worn shorts this year as can be seen by my white legs!

Whilst sitting outside in the evening this fudge boat went past but we declined to buy any.

Here are the three locks that we went through in the morning that were new to us.



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