Posts Tagged ‘middlewich’

Day 14 – Grindley Brook to Middlewich

Tuesday 7 July, 2009

We have a 3G+ connection! The Internet is really fast!

Grindley Brook staircase at the crack of dawn (ish)

Grindley Brook staircase at the crack of dawn (ish)

Two alarms failed to go off, so this morning started rather later than planned. Fortunately we had the six Grindley Brook locks to ourselves and we entered the three lock staircase at about 7.37 and clearing the bottom lock of the flight at about 8.06. As we were the first to use the flight the water levels were a bit low and we ran aground as we crossed the cill between the bottom two locks in the staircase. A bit of nifty paddle raising ensured that we were soon on our way.

Continued passage along the Llangollen was rapid following the flow. At Wrenbury the electric swing bridge managed to hold up a fire engine because the boater who kindly let us through apparently didn’t know how to lower the bridge. Fortunately we couldn’t see a tower of smoke from a burning inferno in the village so hopefully it was a false alarm.

Going down Hurleston

Going down Hurleston

On reaching the middle of the three Baddiley Locks we accidently drew the lock ahead of a boat which subsequently was intending to ascend. In our defence, it looked like they were moored up (it was pouring it down) and had nobody on the lockside to operate the lock. Despite profuse apologies the gentleman (presumably Jim of Jim & Pearl on “Badger”) was extraordinarily rude and seemed adamant in telling us it was “bad manners” at least three timesĀ and no amount of polite reasoning was ever going to placate him. Thankfully we were soon away and prevented any further delay to the unhappy gentleman.

The aforementioned rain continued most of the way to Hurleston. On reaching the bottom of the flight we turned left towards Barbridge when the rain started again. We turned right at Barbridge onto the Middlewich Branch where it was generally windy rather than rainy and the four locks are particularly deep.

First lock after turning at Middlewich junction

First lock after turning at Middlewich junction

We turned left at Middlewich junction and moored by the Newton Brewery Inn which disappointingly served only Marston’s bitter. Dinner was accompanied by practice night at St Michael’s, Middlewich and a bottle of Optima & Ortega 1999 from the Bothy vineyard.

Tomorrow we hope to do the Anderton Boat Lift where we will hopefully meet Bondy, so expect lots of photos!

Menu: usual breakfasts; peppered Salami salad; stir-fry chicken with noodles and Pak Choi (followed by the customary cheese and biscuits).

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