Friday 24 August 2018

Middlewich Branch - Church Minshull Moorings

As expected, we have found the Middlewich Branch extremely quite.  We made our way to Cholmondeston lock by Venetian Marina and found a nice mooring just above the lock for the night.  We passed only one boat moving and one  moored up in front of us later on for the night.  There was a small group of boats here and a group Bar-b-q was taking place on the towpath.  Later this was curtailed as a heavy downpour put an end to sitting out on the path.

This morning the sun was out but large grey clouds were beginning to appear.  As there is a water tap close by Chris took the opportunity to get a wash load done to keep on top of the laundry before we set off.

When this was completed we moved AmyJo the few yards to the water point and filled up.  C&RT appear to be re-laying the stonework around the gate on the off side of the lock and their fencing made it difficult to get to the paddle to work it but there was just enough room to squeeze in.

C&RT works at the lock and the awkward barrier access to the paddle

Just as we were full and left the water point a boat came up and out of the lock so we went straight in, for some reason, keenly watched by a group from the towpath.

This was the first moving boat we'd seen since joining the branch,  The group watch in the background from the towpath.

We left the lock and chugged slowly past the marina and under the railway bridge.  So quiet is the branch that these were the only two boats moored up on this popular stretch.

No queue for the lock and not a moving boat for miles.

We arrived at Minshull Lock to find it also in our favour.  Obviously no one had used the lock since we passed the boat at Cholmondeston lock.  The cottage here looked as though it has had some TLC as it looked splendid with its tended garden.

Straight into and down the lock on our own.

The lovely lock keeper's cottage

It was a nice cruise with the cut all to ourselves.  You can see the black clouds accumulating in the photo too.  We expected traffic as we passed Aqueduct Marina but here the moorings were also empty.  

We finally reached Church Minshull moorings to find we had them completely to ourselves.  By now a very big ominous black cloud was approaching across the valley and just as we finished tying the lines the heavens opened up.  We sat out the shower banging on the shelf until it finally eased so I could deploy our anti shelf tires to hold us off.  The sun later made a brief appearance but showers have scudded through all afternoon.  The temperature has notably dropped somewhat and for the first time this summer I've put on a jumper!

One of the most popular moorings on the branch and we are Billy no mates.

A rare moment with the sun out.

Its now 6pm as I type and so far only two boats had gone past since we moored up.  Its so peaceful its heaven here at the moment!

Total distance:3.11 miles Elapsed time:1h53m26s Locks:2 Bridges:8 
Average speed:1.64 mph (2.70 lock/mph) 

1 comment:

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

I was up on the Middlewich in late May and only four boats passed me in just over week. this year is a good one for those who like to moor up and have a slice of countryside to themselves.
Enjoy the solitude!

Jaqueline Biggs
NB Valerie