Friday, 27 November 2015

Coffee in Brewood

We left Gosnall yesterday and the first encounter was a short tunnel which you can see was hewn out of the rock. It is short so we didn't need to use our tunnel light.
Cowley Tunnel
 We stopped for lunch at Wheaton Aston then shortly after moving off there was a lock! First one for days. We were really lucky with a boat coming out as we approached and another waiting as we came out. It doesn't get better than that! Especially as there are not that many boats moving at the moment.
Turnover bridge
On our way to Brewood we passed this turnover bridge. For non boater among you this is where the tow path swaps from one side of the Canal to the other. The bridge was constructed so the horse could cross the Canal without being untethered from the boat. We are moving on later today towards the Staffordshire and Worcester Canal. We think we will be making our way to the Ashby to moor at Hinckley for Christmas.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Gnosall pronounced 'know all'!

Top of Tyrley locks
We spent the weekend in Market Drayton. We did move about half a mile on Saturday filling with water along the way. We walked into the town a few times whilst there. Quite a few shops including Lidl and Argos. Also as always lots of charity shops! So on Monday we moved on working five locks in the afternoon. Now a long lockless stretch ahead.
Yesterdays cruising seemed to be full of seldom seen bird life. First of all 2 mandarin ducks. We see lots of ducks but these beautiful ones are seldom seen. Also a kingfisher and what seemed to be a family of buzzards, with the parents trying to call the young one to them.
Arrived at Gnosall this afternoon. A small village in Staffordshire. Went for a walk to the village. We are now sat by the fire all snug as it is dark.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Now at Market Drayton

In a week we have moved on just 12 miles! Surviving both storms Abigail and Barney. Thankfully we have been tucked up inside when the rain has been really heavy. The wind though has had us rocking. One of our planters did blow over but otherwise everything was fine.
On Saturday we arrived at Hack Green. Place of the Secret Bunker. You can't miss it there are signs everywhere. There used to be RAF Hack Green during the war. Then during the Cold War it became a government control Bunker. Now it is a museum. Very interesting if a bit harrowing at times.
Looking up 9 of the 15 locks at Audlem
We completed all 9 in 2 hours - phew

Canal side building used by blacksmiths, stonemasons
and carpenters to maintain the flight

Another smaller buil

Moving on we have been about 3 days traveling up through Audlem. 15 locks in total and a comms black hole. No phones or internet.
Arrived this afternoon at Market Drayton. Off to explore tomorrow.

Thursday, 12 November 2015


Arrived at Nantwich this morning, currently sat in The Talbot having had a lovely lunch, and chatting to a couple of characterful locals.
Mooring at Nantwich in the sun this morning.
 Just off now to get supplies. We are on a 48 hour mooring so will see what storm Abigail brings with her.

Yesterday at the junction, grey skys.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Shropshire Union

Coming out from the Middlewhich Branch 

We didn't move on Sunday, didn't want to risk loss of TV signal for Downtown and Strictly results. So glad we did as Lorraine was on the results show. She was in London selling poppies in full uniform. A speaking part too! We did move on Monday but not very far as it was pouring with rain. Much better weather since then. So now we are out on to the Shropshire Union and heading south. Next stop Nantwich.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Out on 'The Cut'

Well we are well and truly back out now. We still had Dave's car until Wednesday so on Tuesday we visited Jodrell Bank. Very interesting. All about radio waves and how long they take to travel through space. A very worthwhile visit. We also got stocked up on board, not knowing when we would be close to a big supermarket again.
Lion Salt Works at Marston
Thursday saw us finally leaving Anderton. We didn't travel too far, mooring for the night at Marston. The next morning we visited the Lion Salt Works Museum which is right next to the Canal. It was very interesting and good to learn some history about the area we have been traveling through. We then looked at the winter stoppages and discovered if we didn't get a move on we would be stuck up north for Christmas.
View from our side hatch on Friday evening
This made us decide which way to go, as on Monday the first lock on the Middlewhich arm closes for several weeks. But all is well as we came through there this afternoon. So for the moment we are traveling west until we meet up with the Shropshire Union Canal and start heading southwards.

Monday, 2 November 2015

On the M6!

We have been to the Isle of Wight for the weekend. Traveling down on Friday. Meeting up with Lorraine, Paul and the grandchildren on Saturday. They have a house there. Currently it needs some work, but there is a lot of land. This is the first time we have been, so it was very exciting seeing them and the house.
We did manage to do some sightseeing too. It is many years since we were last on the Island. We stayed in a lovely hotel in Shanklin called The Belmont. Lovely room, excellent breakfast and they are very welcoming.
Currently we are on the M6 toll services. Been a bit foggy today, but not too much further to go. Whilst we have been away hopefully our gear box leak will have been fixed. We have Dave's car again, returning it on Wednesday. So all being well Thursday will see us back 'on the cut'.