Just before 8 yesterday morning (29th July)
we reversed back a 100 or so yards as quietly as we could to Turners Garage for diesel; they open at 8:30
I am too!
and by 20 past 8 (he opened early!) we were passing our mooring place of last night.
The engineer who masterminded the Shropshire Union Canal was Thomas Telford who rather than building locks to take the canal up and down the hills, he contoured the land creating some long straights and deep cuttings requiring numerous bridges as the pictures (all George's, I'm on the tiller) below show ...
Long straights ...
Deep cuttings which need high bridges
Rye Hill Cutting
at Little Onn
Heavy traffic on Little Onn Bridge (24) can't be good for a bridge over 200 years old.
Great Western Railway workboat Electra built in 1910 ... over a 100 years old!
Glad we didn't meet anyone here!
Looks like someone demented, but was actually the farmer and his dog rounding up the sheep who are standing here watching him!
A large tree branch in a bridge 'ole had me stopping the prop to get over it.
Cuttings are notorious for their slippery, squelchy, muddy towpaths!
Entering Cowley Tunnel, just 81 yards long now, was originally planned to be 690 yards long ...
but after the first 81 rocky yards the ground was found to be unstable and the remaining length opened out to form the current narrow steep sided Cowley Cutting ...
The Boat Inn at bridge 34 is very picturesque
Very pretty but no name on it or registration number
An old stop-lock which would be closed if the canal developed a breach to prevent water loss or if part of the canal needed to be emptied for maintenance purposes
Half past eleven we arrive at a busy Norbury Junction and it's still raining!
We moored up for a short time while George went to the Chandlers for a couple of items which they didn't stock!
As he walked over the bridge he met this boater who keeps his owl on the roof of his boat which was moored above the junction.
Norbury Junction Wharf
We were going to stay the night at Norbury but as the rain abated and the sun started to appear we decided to move on a few more miles ...
I needed to put What a Lark into neutral for a minute or so here to allow these two swans and their seven cygnets to go through High Bridge 39 at Woodseaves ...
High Bridge is a grade II listed building built in 1832.
Shortly after its construction, however, the pressure being exerted onto the bridge from the cutting walls required the insertion of a strainer arch. In 1861 the United Kingdom Electric Telegraph Company installed telegraph cables along the entire length of the canal and the strainer arch was subsequently used for the siting of a telegraph pole. The telegraph wires were replaced with telephone wires in 1870 and, although the wires have now been removed, the telegraph pole still survives in-situ. In the late C20 the parapet was rebuilt whilst the spandrel walls were cement rendered in 1961.
At one thirty we stopped at Anchor Bridge 39 ....
and sat in the sunshine in the bow watching the canal world go by ...
when the swan family came by to beg for food ... not provided!
There has been a gathering of Historic boats in Audlem over the weekend and as we sat lots of them came past ....
Willow Wren boat Warbler originally called Libra when it was built in 1935
Fellows, Morton and Clayton Plover built in 1915
Another FNC boat Clover also built in 1935
Star Class small Northwich boat Scorpio ...
towing butty Leo
Northwich boat Rudd
G U C C boat Stamford with crew!
and the last one we saw through at 18:45 was Swallow built for Cowburn & Cowpar, Manchester Shipping Company in 1934
Gosh, what an amazing day!