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Sunday, 26 August 2012

In Manchester, away and on way home

August 12th to 21st
Sam & Hannah came to stay for 3 nights and we showed them things, firstly at the Trafford Centre where we caught a film before moving into Castlefields. We enjoyed having the kids to stay and they enjoyed Manchester.
Carol happy with our grandchildren

Bottom lock of Rochdale canal at dusk
the Beetham Tower behind

We decided that the moorings by the YHA in Castlefields had been very quiet during our stays & seemed OK for a stay for our trip to Forfar for Carol’s aunt’s funeral. I rang Bridgewater Canal Co & told them of our problem and they sanctioned our stay. Leaving on Thursday morning we returned on Monday, getting off the train at Deansgate Station just a couple of hundred yards from Lily. All was well, but we need to sort out wiring to let us keep the alarm switched on whilst the rest is off, a job for the winter. The amazing thing for me on our visit was seeing a red squirrel from cousin Isobel's kitchen window, the first one I ever recall seeing.
The mooring outside the YHA, Lily was moored on left.
Note fantastic Museum of Science & Industry dead ahead.

Wednesday 22nd  Carol was knocked up by the train journeys etc so we did little on Tuesday except leave Castlefields, using the services and noting that some boaters can’t read the sign I made about rubbish disposal and had again started dumping it near the Sanitary Station! We cruised to Sale and stopped there till Thursday, with me polishing the starboard side and Carol resting, though we did replenish our stores.

Thursday 23rd and after a coffee and lunch we set off on a reasonable day. We filled with water past Hyde at Ye Olde no 3 and then stopped at Heyford Marine and asked if we could try getting Lily far enough up the slip to expose the bow thruster tube. Second attempt worked after we had pumped all the water out of the newly filled tank and had filled with fuel at 87p. My feet & knees got wet but my cossie stayed dry. The blades were jammed but I could feel something trapped and with a few judicious pushes with a mooring spike I got them to move a bit and then I got out the bits of plastic that were jamming it and after 5 minutes work all was well. 
Preparing to poke about

Trying to see what is jamming it

And this was all that jammed it, a thin plastic moulding!!!

We couldn’t get Lily back out from the slip so despite Stuart having knocked off for the day he started up an incredible machine, built to haul Vulcan bombers, and gave Lily a slight push down the slope and she was afloat. We filled with water and moved on about a mile to stop for the night just past 6 having covered 7 miles but having sorted the bow thruster.

Friday 24th Surprisingly good weather despite the forecast though we needed a jumper much of the day. Away by 9 we had a steady cruise to Stockton Heath where we took refreshment & got fresh fruit before moving on to Claymore to pick up the glass, except it had not arrived. I called Worcester & got the impression it possibly had not been sent. I’m getting him to send it to the marina in Stone where we are stopping on Sept 1st to 6th.
The shop & P.O. at Moore is useful and the bin by the canal has recycling.

We arrived at Preston Brook tunnel with 15 minutes to wait for our passage time, so I tethered Lily with the centre rope.....bad idea. Just as we were about to cast off 2 boats arrived & I waved them past. Sadly the canal was shallow and as the first boat passed a bit fast Lily moved and with the rope attached to the roof she moved and rolled badly, throwing open many doors in the galley! I’ll not do it again!
One large area of Floating Pennywort,
there were many clumps between Dutton Lock & Anderton

At the lock past the tunnel there was quite a lot of Pennywort, I’ll moan at CRT & contact the local IWA about it. We carried on a bit from there to tie up at night with enough time to touch up a bit of paint before the rain came, just past br 213.

Saturday 25th and a pleasant day with just one heavy shower whilst cruising. The first boat past was at 6.30 and many more had done so by the time we cast off at 9.15. We met several boats and arrived at Saltisford tunnel for a 15 minute wait for our passage with 4 other boats. We arrived at Anderton around 12, found a mooring and visited the cafe.....but the coffee was poor. We met and chatted with several other boaters before moving to the sanitary station and then on through Northwich to Middlewich. We met far fewer boats after we had left Anderton, though one decided to hit us and another gave us a very near miss, both at bridge holes where they were travelling too fast. We arrived at Middlewich at 4 and moored up alongside the children’s park. A wander into town showed a newly reopened pub, the White Bear, which was very pleasant. 15 miles and 1 lock.

Sunday 26th It had poured with rain overnight but the forecast for the day was good, though it didn't look too good at first. We bought papers and set off around 10.30 and at each of the locks through Middlewich we crossed with boats descending and this was the case for much of the day with only about one lock having to be emptied by me. We arrived at Wheelock and tied up around 3.15 and we set off up to see Sandbach, a town we have never visited before. 
The cobbled square in Sandbach with several really old pubs in it.

These old Saxon crosses were reassembled in the square after
being recovered, having been broken by Cromwell's men

The walk totally upset Carol's back, even the Costa couldn't sort it, so I left her reading papers whilst I took a wander around the town. I had meant to take my camera, but I had forgotten it, so I took some using Carol's phone to use its camera. Suffice to say it is well worth a visit if you can manage the walk, a cab brought us home. 
With an atrocious day forecast tomorrow we may well stay put and if we do will go to the Italian restaurant by the services block which comes recommended. 6 miles and 8locks.

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