We called the police, who helpfully never arrived, reasssuringly calling at 10am the next morning to say that they had been busy that night! Now that's what we pay out Council Tax for! Full marks to Cheshire Police, we can rely on you 100%!!!
The local chandlery said it was common! We set off up the Shropshire Union canal when we soon encountered a strange scene of cows passing above us. Ryan thought it was hilarious.
Yes OK, a boat with my name on, how remarkable.
The boys waiting for a lock, looking rather bored again.
We stayed overnight in a secluded area after the junction of the Llangollen canal. That would be tour to do another day.
Next day we moored in Nantwich Marina to plug into their electric and wash some clothes. The alternator was not putting the power back into the batteries at the rate it should so I had not been using my washing machine, hoover etc. A plug in overnight would hopefully bring the batteries back from the brink until we could get a bigger pulley for the alternator.
Nantwich is a picturesque and historic town, with the canal going over an aquaduct on the outskirts from it's high embankment. We all went for a walk around, bought some goodies and explored the area, before returning to the boat moored in the basin.
As we turned the boat around in the morning in order to carry on up the Shropshire canal, predictably, there was a dramatic moment when I nearly walked on the water and failed. To give you an idea of the humiliation, Ryan plucked me from the depths as the sides were too deep to jump out. Fortunately, I only went in up to my waist, and it wasn't as unpleasant as everyone made out. Could have had a swim!
At Hack Green, a Second World War radar station had been secretly designated to play a role as Regional Government HQ in the event of a nuclear war. Now a tourist attraction, of course we had to go and have a look! Very interesting, if not unnerving, but the signs were quite ironic, don't you think?
15 locks run through a cutting taking the canal across the Shropshire/ Cheshire border. Some designed like assault courses for the boater, like this one - on a bend before, under a bridge, strong bywash and then a staggered lock entrance. Nobody died, but hard work!
The next day we entered the narrow Betton cutting, before Market Drayton. Very pretty but meeting a boat coming the other way can get a bit hairy if the boat grounds, as happened quite a lot. The channels were fine in the middle but stray out of them and you take your chances!
We slowed down past Knighton Wharf where a sign tells of Cadbury collecting milk from local farms and transporting it here for processing by canal.
Woodseeves Cutting is in some places cut through solid rock. There is a speed limit of 2 miles per hour because of the fallen sandstone rocks, making passing other boats nearly impossible. 2 huge great bridges span the canal like entrances to other worlds - very Lord of the Rings!
This picture (not that clear) shows the double arched bridge carrying the A519 and a tiny telegraph pole below. This was a survivor from the line which marched beside the 'Shroppie' for much of it's length.
Grub Street Cutting is 80feet deep taking the canal to Norbury Junction, where we intended to stay for a while to get a pulley ordered.
Martin painted the bucket for something to do, and predictably I caught up with the washing etc.