Friday, May 31, 2019


Friday 31st May 2019

We set off at 8:45 in a grey overcast sky towards Lymm; more specifically The Brewery Tap – spitting distance from the canal. A morning of watching the world going by, admiring gardens and home extensions, a short course in post-industrial architecture and the briefest encounter with the emergency services.FireEngine

A fire crew arrived at the winding hole just before Stanny Lunt bridge to practice drawing water from the canal and shortly afterwards, two bobbies on electric bicycles (cue for a song) were very interested in tow tatty tupperware boats.

When we arrived at Lymm, the mooring nearest the pub-du-jour was free so we moored. A quick BreweryTapstroll around the pretty village, restocking the fridge at Sainsburys and then into the Brewery Tap for lunch. Excellent real ales (some brewed in the basement) in a pleasant (modern) bar. The only food available was a pork pie, but they were happy for you to bring Lunchyour own food in as long as it is sourced in the bakery/deli in the village.

There were loads of hikers about. We only discovered the existance of a trail as we were leaving – next time? Onward towards Little Bollington collecting diesel and water on the way. We moored just past the Underbridge (21A) which means we have appeared to Swanshave swapped the Liverpool airport flight path for the Manchester one.

Graham spent some time re-arranging the shelves in the airing cupboard whilst I went and recce’d the route to Dunham Massey hall from the underbridge. A 10 minute walk and you are in the deer park. The National Trust allow access to the extensive park, allow picnics where the deer aren’t. If you are not members you pay for visiting the house and garden. Tomorrow’s treat.


Thursday, May 30, 2019


Thursday 30th May 2019

We set off from home just before 2pm on Wednesday expecting a 2.5 to 3 hour journey. There was stationary traffic and 50mph roadworks on the M40, M42, M5 and M6 but NOT on the M56. We arrived at Acton Bridge just after 6:30pm and so went straight to the Leigh Arms for dinner before unloading. The food was good but a little expensive – even by Oxfordshire standards. Drydock at DuttonA pleasant pub atmosphere with a full events program. Shame we’ll miss the American wrestling, steam fair and dog show.

Back at Jannock we unloaded in the rain and settled in for the evening. The rain had stopped when we got up so we readied for the off. Past the Black Prince base and on through lovely woodland to Dutton Stop lock where we arrived just as an ascending boat leaving. He was towing another boat so Preston Brook Flatshelped work us through so that he could pull his tow through. At Preston Brook tunnel we had time for a cuppa as we waited out time to pass through.

Under the M56 bridge and turn left onto the Runcorn arm to visit another new section of canal that Jannock has not been on before. A pleasant 75 minute cruise took us to the terminus at Waterloo bridge, Runcorn, in sight of both the Manchester Ship canal and the River Mersey – when you stand on tip toes. Primitive Work BoatingThey are upgrading the towpath to smooth tarmac along this section of canal and we met this work boat coming the other way near Astwood bridge. Once moored up we did a circular walk that took us down to the promenade and along to return up the route of the Runcorn locks that used to link the Bridgewater canal to the MSC but were closed in 1966 and subsequently filled in.

Runcorn BridgeThen into town to visit the Coop supermarket to see whether we could spend the balance on our Divi-card in this store – Yes we could and so two large bags of ‘free’ shopping we staggered back to the boat.

The moorings at Runcorn are right Walking up Runcorn locksunderneath the Liverpool airport flight path – we could see the colour of the pilots socks as they flew over us – so we decided to make our way back to find a quieter mooring for the night. Back up to Preston Brook junction and almost to Bridge 3 where we found a spot not to close to railways, M6 or flight paths.


Thursday, May 16, 2019

Bye bye River Weaver

Thursday 16th May 2019

After a peaceful night on Barnton Cut visitor moorings we wer up and showered ready for an early morning stroll back to Saltisford lock to see the engineering complex that is the repair job. Health and Safety signs

On the walk back to Jannock we picked up a carrier bag full of litter, mostly from three oiks who had cycled to the towpath in order to drink and smoke last evening (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) all while playing “their” music – loud Muster Point - smoking areaenough to send pulses into space for passing lifeforms to hear – decode – and then decide to invade a different solar system. Luckily they’d had to be home by bedtime – the oiks not the aliens.

We motored back to Northwich to fill with water and empty the rubbish (including all the litterpickings over the last couple of days) and then returned to the bottom of the Anderton lift ready for our 13:40 passage back up onto the Trent and Mersey again.

The lift had broken again needing bespoke victorian style welding and so only one caisson was operational and so we finally ascended at 16:00 – just two ascents Anderton Liftbehind Tyseley. Never mind, the sun was out and all the crews waiting on the lift moorings were chatting quite happile – and toilets didn’t get mentioned once.

Out of the lift at 16:45 and turn left. We managed a cuppa before we got to Barnton tunnel and then onto Saltisford tunnel where the waiting continued for another 30 minutes before we could pass through. We finally moored for the night immediately after Taylors bridge (207) which overlooks Acton bridge and the bits of the River Weaver we could not access.

the Daniel AdamsonAfter supper we walked, through corn fields a’la Teressa May – not, there were paths. We went down to the huge Acton swing bridge and found ‘the Danny’ – the Daniel Adamson, a steam boat of note, recently rescued from the breakers and restored, moored below the bridge. Further up-stream we found two old apparently dis-used MoD sites on the River bank, who knows what for or when.  Google told us that they were Project Pluto water pumping stations designed to enable rapid extraction of petroleum products stored during the cold war in underground old salt caves but they are not used now and currently up for sale if you want them.


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

A lovely day on the Weaver

Wednesday 15th May 2019
Tip of the day for chaps – It can help if you keep your glasses on to shave, but take advice from Mrs Jannock – remove them before washing your fizzog.
We set off in yet more sunshine and moved downWier through two locks to the visitor mooring pontoons in Northwich for an explore of the town. We love the stone structures used to hold the wier sluces on this river. In Northwich it seemed odd to be mooring on a pontoon outside a very modern, glass edifice that is the Odeon cinema. Aaahh, the waft of chips (McDonalds) and popcorn all before elevenses.
PennyBlackAfter last evening’s  boat- washathon, G immediately took the opportunity to get some gloss paint on the new Alde chimney whilst the weather was good.

We went to have a look around the town.PBHistory Its a good stop-over place with plenty of moorings. There is a Waitrose, Asda, Sainsburys and M&S although we understand the latter is one of the stores selected for closure. There are pie shops a plenty and the pub
selection is excellent. Hungry for breakfast? – The purpose built Post Office, all black and white timbered and designed to withstand land subsidence by being able to be jacked up, is now a Wetherspoons. Another of their collection of interesting historic buildings.
Knowing that the Anderton lift had problems we decided to call in and make a booking for our passage back up to the Trent and Mersey canal as soon as possible. Having got a slot for tomorrow we went further down the river to explore the Saltisford area – we cant go any further as the lock
there is out of action. At the lock we turned and returned to Barnton Cut moorings for an overnight stop. We’ve now navigated all that is possible on the River Weaver.
During the evening we were buzzed by two powered paragliders, one of which was practicing landing and taking off again in the field next to the river.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

And down onto the Weaver

Tuesday 14th May 2019

Beauty Tip of the day – when applying moisturiser to your face do not forget if you are wearing glasses. It seems that yesterday’s sun has got to my brain even though I wore my sun hat all day.

EnteringLiftTimeToLeaveFirst stop of the morning was Anderton services to dump the rubbish and fill the water tank. Then off up to the Anderton Lift to see if there were any passages down to the Weaver available today.

 “When would you like to go?” was the response. Errm! today? Can
you be here in 15 minutes? Of course! We went down solo within 45 minutes of requesting passage.
What a beautiful day to be on the river. The scenery is gorgeous, the locks are manned and the lockies provide a great tourist information service too! Graham loved the use of railway type signal to
indicate which lock is in use.
SignalsThrough Northwich and onto fresh waters. We passed nb Tysley, complete with a crew of Mikron actors, tied up at Northwich boatyard and then almost immediately passed Yarwoods yard on theYarwoodsYard opposite side.

The countryside is rural but with salt and other mineral works intersperced. We cruised right up to Winsford wharf where we stopped and went for a post-lunch pint in the Red Lion. Good selection of beers, good music, a live music venue and art centre. Friendly too! The pub has moorings for about two narrowboats adjacent to the beer garden but is only short walk from lots of free moorings at the wharf two bridges further up.

WeaverWe reversed out of the wharf and made our way back down river to Vale Royal visitor Saltmoorings. It is beautiful in the May sunshine and so quiet, only woorland birds, a pheasant and occasional walkers and cyclists passing to disturb us. Graham took the opportunity of being on a river to give Jannock a good wash as she was definately looking grubby.


A wander around a country park

Monday 13th May 2019
This morning was for domestics, Graham CroxtonFlashrode back to Stone to collect the car and bring it to Middlewich whilst I was on re-provisioning duty. Jannock was logged by a CaRT operative at 9am so no overstaying at Middlewich then. Chores over and the EEC fabric mountain safely stowed in the car and we were off through an ever changing countryside – fields, flashes, chemical works and the outskirts of Northwich.
We passed Lion Saltworks. It has developed as an industrial heritage site SaltWorkssince we were last there. Then on to Marbury Country park in search of the visitor moorings. We failed to spot them on the towpath side immediately south of bridge 196 (isnt hindsight wonderful) so we moored up out in the sticks beyond and walked back to cross over to the lovely woodland. There is a Ranger station, outdoor swimming pool (£8/£5 per day) and toilets (and at weekends, a cafe) across the cow fields in the middle of the estate – just follow SolarPanelsthe signposts.
During our circular walk on this bright sunny spring afternoon the birdsong alone was worth it. We passed the Flash, an Ice pit and a grotto on our route. The country park is a lovely place for a shady stroll, dog walk or even a RUN (aaargh!) on a hot day.
Engineering of the day – grinding a chamfer on the bottom of a door bolt to enable a weakling (me) to be able to actually bolt the front door. Plumbing phase #XIVILC – fitting two air release valves in the highest point of the engine to calorifier pipe run.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Down Cheshire locks to Middlewich

Sunday 12th May 2019

As we started our descent of the main drag of Heartbreak Hill the weather gave us a break. By 12:00 the sun was warm and we were wind free.

At Lawton Triple top lock we met Mary, a lady who sits on the lockside and sells CheshireLocks‘cakes and makes’ for her chosen charity. It was her first day out selling in 2019 as she has had a hip replacement so missed most of 2018 as well. Her surgeon had mentioned that there was a piece of orthopedic equipment he’d like to buy for the NHS and so Mary is raising money for it – over £1k so far through coffee mornings and sales. Graham purchased a lemon drizzle cake and I donated some of my ‘beat the boredom’ brooches for her to sell.

Did I say this area is beautiful – it is! At Hassal Green the Romping Donkey is no more and St. Barbies has now got a tiled roof. We stopped after Hassal Gn locks for a logistical lunch and were overtaken by another northbound boat – drat! Daisy

As we were about to set off again, we watched a cow approaching the canal in the opposite field. As she walked along the rest of the herd followed but she ended up getting into the canal for a swim. The rest watched on and then set off along the canal towards their in-field drinking area after the next lock. She swam and waded along the canal following them and ended up swimming into lock 59. Traffic was stopped in both directions and Graham rang the CaRT emergency line whilst I walked down to the lock to see what was happening. Daisy was shooed out of the lock by some walkers and then the gate was shut. Meanwhile Graham was having fun updating the CaRT call handler with the latest goings-on. Just as all the relevant details were logged on the system in the call centre, Daisy had made her way back to a shallow bit of bank that had collapsed and extracted herself from the cut. Whilst the Cart call was being finished, the boat that had stopped behind us set off and took our lock and so then Graham had to turn most locks for the rest of the day until we met someone coming south.

Steam2Once in Middlewich we moored below the three locks in the pound before big lock. After dinner we walked up to visit John and Gillian at their house. We admired Tam Lin’s new paint job, the house extension all finished and the evolution of the garden. After an enjoyable evening catching up, we left them at 10:30 and walked back to Jannock via Tesco Metro. When we first started boating in the 70s and later when we started family boating in the 90s life was much more complicated – shopping for food had to be planned due to restricted opening and a shortage of canalside shops. We needed some milk and at 10:45 on a Sunday evening were able to get some from Tesco’s on the way home.

Middlewich is well appointed with a Jacks (cheaper Tesco), Tesco Metro and also a Lidl all in the town as well as a plethora of take-aways and hardware shops.


Saturday, May 11, 2019

Serious shopping and a tunnel

Saturday 11th May 2019
Graham was up and set off on the lock wheeling bike back to Etruria Yard to dump all of the waste left over from yesterdays plumbing extravaganza as there will not be another refuse dump before Red Bull.

We then breakfasted and walked to Humbert St (5 mins) to catch the number 4 bus to Newcastle under Lyme. The driver advised us to have a day rover ticket instead of two returns as that saved us.BrendaHeaven

£3, he also gave us warning when our required stop was approaching – many thanks for excellent service! Newcastle is an interesting town with it’s history written in the varied architechture housing a good variety of shops.
The purpose of our trip out was to revisit a fabric shop that we discoved by accident last year. We will need new curtains for the lounge diner at home when it’s re-decorated later this year. We even managed to find suitable fabric to replace all of Jannock’s curtains as well. Brenda will be busy ;^)


To get over the surprise of us both making choices and being pleased with what we’d bought, we hopped back on the no. 4 bus, got off immediately opposite the Holy Inadequate and went in and celebrated with a beer and pork pie lunch. Therapy for the soul as the purse was already lost – no redemption there.

Back to Jannock and we cast off in glorious sunshine, but with an accompanying biting wind, and made our way up past Middleport lake to the Southern portal of Harecastle tunnel. I suspect the tunnel keeper would have let us go straight in but we wanted to fill with water first. By the time I had filled the tank and taken a picture ofOldTunnel the entrance to the original Brindley tunnel, it had started to hail so we entered the tunnel into a drier environment followed by a Black Prince hireboat.

We appeared out of the other end 35 minutes later and it was glorious sunshine in a cloudless sky but still accompanied by that wind.
We did the first five Cheshire locks before mooring for the night at Church Lawton, one of our favourite ‘peaceful moorings’.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Three day catch-up

Thursday 25th April 2019

Back to normal April weather today. We stopped at Great Haywwod junction for a water-fill. The flow was initiallyslow as another boat was filling from the other tap but once they’d finished it sped up. The service area was covered in notices advertising a local launderette only 10 minutes away. This could be usefull for our extended cruising plans. We googled the postcode and yes, it was 10 minutes away – by car! We wont be lugging all our dirty clothes that far for a wash.
Today, we only had hot cross buns as bread. Graham’s home brewis very good for making bread so I looked in “Cut & Pastery” and decided to use up some of our aging ingredients and make Bannock, whilst also steering as the locks arrived quicker than expected.
At Hoo Mill lock there were three distressed ducklings at the entrance of the lock, mother was no-where to be seen. As we entered the lock we found a solitary duckling in the lock.Having decided not to try and ascend with said duckling accomapnying us so we managed to shoo it out using the boat hook to join its siblings.
As we travelled between locks, Graham found that the solar panel controller had packed up and so he rigged a diode in place to ensure the batteries were kept charged as we are planning to leave the boat for two weeks in Stone.

As we approached Stone the skies darkened and as there was no space on the 14 day moorings below Star lock, we hoped to get through the locks before the rain started. We didn’t and had to pass through  one lock in a thunder hailstorm.

We moored up at the top-end of town and then had to move as our chosen mooring was only 5 day – no signs were obvious as you head north but Graham found one pointing back towards where we were moored when he went to investigate the area. We then moved a further 20 metres to be on the 14 day moorings.

We walked to the station and caught the train back to Rugby to find the car at Brinklow. On our way we found the Southernmost 5 day mooring sign that we obviously missed as we passed – I wonder why?

Thursday 9th May 2019
We returned to Jannock in the drizzle, after a cold week at home, with the knowledge that the central heating was not functioning due to a leak below the floor. With the low single figures predicted for night time temperature I hope we can get it fixed quickly before we get frostbite.

We hit Morrisons at Stone for groceries before going to the boat. Luckily Brenda treated herself to a new at Asda at Wheatley and not relied on Morrisons’ as they had nil stock. Food of the day was Morrision’s doughnuts as they have a really good filling, nice powdery sugar on the outside and a lovely light dough.

We set off as the rain was seeming to stop but HaHa – April fool in May. We made our way up the Meaford flight in cold drizzle following a hire boat up the locks. I walked up to the top lock to find them sat in the lock having dropped their windlass into the cut above the top gate. To speed things up I gave them a replacement windlass from our fishing stock and then used our sea-searcher to locate theirs as we ascended the lock after them. Fair exchange!

As you approach Barlaston the graffiti on this bridge says it all ;^)

On through Barlaston and Trentham lock to finally moor at one of our favourite peaceful mooring just past the bridge in Trentham.

In the evening I removed all of the skirting boards to inspect the heating plumbing and found that we had a leak in the pipes that cross under the floor in the bathroom.

Friday 10th May 2019

Brenda had a cozy night under her new duvet accompanied by her new ‘best friend’ – a hot water bottle. We set off from Trentham under an overcast sky and managed to complete the Stoke flight and moor up just past Festival park before the rain appeared.

I loved the figurehead on a boat we passed.

I then cut open part of the floor and replaced the two pipes that cross under it whilst Brenda went off to explore the local shops and find B&Q to get some contact adhesive with which to stick the carpet back down with.

The major surgery was a success and the heating is now working again. We celebrated our success with dinner at the Toby Carvery,Festival Park before returning to a warm boat.

Graham & Brenda.