We had much discussion on where we wanted to be at the end of the day. We decided to have an early start and early finish as Mike and Maggie had to head back and pick the car up before they could make it back home. Wheelock was a likely stop and so at 8 am we pushed off and headed up the T&M.
The canal follows the main road as you head out of Middlewich, as we left the edge it gave us a reminder of what the area is famous for..
The canal itself takes a long meander with a few locks here and there and also with others closer together. Some parts are known as Heartbreak Hill , or the Chester flight. In fact from Middlewich to Kidgrove over 12 miles there are 28 locks.
To tease you some have two lock side by side. Some are fully operational. Some have fallen into disuse whilst others have simply disappeared over the years.. However they do produce some lovely views as you can see
As we planned to stop at Wheelock, when we finally got there at 12 it was a little early.. We meet another boat coming down and they has said they had left lock 42( at Kidsgrove) and it had taken them 4 hours. I was beginning to hope we could do most of the locks back to Kidsgrove and then off back through Harecastle Tunnel the following day..
We did however encounter the slightly uglier side of boating. As we were happily chugging away a boat which was already to go, pulled out in front of us, with out a bye or leave. It was the Sunday driver of the waterways. When approached at the next lock a working double, they seem surprised at our attitude to them, even after explaining they still couldn’t see what they had done wrong.
We ploughed on leaving them behind. We finally made lock 45 just before 3pm,but we had a problem shutting the gate and also the paddle was missing of one of the gates. We went for tying up at Red Bull, by the BW offices. As the tunnel entrance moorings a little dire. I informed BW of the problem and we settled in at the Red Bull Hotel for a well earned pint after doing 40 lock miles in a little under 8 hrs.
Mike went to retrieve the car whilst Maggie packed and cooked dinner. The birthday girl turned up soon after Mikes return and we headed to the pub for another quick pint to celebrate.
To top the evening off, as we left the pub just before dinner a passing working boat was offering coal and diesel as I need both I was happy to purchase both and let him go on his way soon after we were tucking into a feast of a roast dinner. All people left happy and tummies full.
I am now on own again till next weekend, I decided to have a day of rest tomorrow before setting off to Stoke and beyond.
I have also added a pic for a couple of people they know who they are…..