This is Steve & Viv Carter's log of the trips and travails on the narrowboat Adagio – liveaboards from October 2015. "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." (Mark Twain)” email@example.com
We left Wrenbury early in the morning, Viv working the massive electric lift bridge & holding up the traffic. On through Marbury and four isolated locks: Marbury, Quoisley, Willey Moor and Povey’s before halting on the visitor moorings, before the locks at Grindley Brook. A good, quiet mooring with excellent 4G signal (>50MBps!). We’ll stop here for a few days and watch all the hire (and private) boats scamper by. The next bit is rather hectic – 3 locks very close together, all with that awful strong bywash and then the 3-rise staircase locks – all 6 lifting the boater nearly 39 feet up.
Further on and further up – heading towards the Holy Land! We drove on further into this very rural and quiet canal – up the two Swanley locks, past Swanley marina and then up the Baddiley locks – trying to vector in against the very strong bywash at the foot of each lock. This canal has always been a feeder waterway down to Hurleston reservoir – something that helped preserve it but it does mean there’s often quite a flow. And then it was the approaches to Wrenbury.
Seem to have got a bit behind. We left Hack Green on Tuesday and chugged the few miles on to Nantwich, through the Hack Green two locks and moored at pretty much the first spot on the huge embankment. Off shopping, trolley bag in tow plus dog. Clewlows for bacon, cheese (Nantwich Blue!) and pies. Then a stop in the Gin shop and a final pause at the BeerDock for a pint and a chance to eat the pies.
Up early and off by 0730 – it’s going to get hot and we’ve 13 locks to do, so we choose to finish these before the heat of the day. Unfortunately for us, the last boat down last night was Becky and he left ALL the bottom gates open! This would have been a right pain as we would then have to close both gates and then fill the lock. But serendipitously, a local chap (moored on the permie mooring below) was out for his morning walk and he offered to close em all and prepare each lock for us! Magic!
Quite a quick descent – helped mainly by Alan. Just a short cruise now, past Overwater marina and on to moor near the Coole Pilate Halt (csd 1963) where there’s nice moorings and even picnic tables.
Got a bit bored and it was a bit shallow here – the boat bumps and the wee doggie da nae like it! And with the forecast of rain coming we pushed on just a short distance to Goldstone Wharf – managed to get in, just. This would mean our cruising time on the wet day was short.
👋 Big wave to all our readers! New hello to Tim & Heather 👋
The next day saw us chugging through Woodseaves Cutting – again our Mr Telford had got his navvies to cut thru the sandstone – this is an infamous couple of miles, shallow & narrow with the sides sometimes reaching 100 feet.
Well, that was the wet Thursday which lead to an even wetter Friday. Steve cycled to Morrisons to shop – inspired to make his own Jambalaya! Saturday & Sunday sees the Floating Market come to town – a dozen or so trading boats display their bunting and wares . . .
The day was rounded off with a swim in the river for Toby and a “wet” for us two, back in the Red Lion – to try their seasonal keg beer IPA! Nice. Off tomorrow . . . heading for Audlem and lots of locks.
Toby hasn’t had much in the way of walks – not long walks, anyway. So, it being Bank Holiday Monday, we thought we’d avoid the town & crowds and head off down the disused Stafford-Shrewsbury railway. This was a bit boring, well, it was a long and mainly very straight path but we met a local who suggested a detour – a loop around the Windmill hill.
Had our fill of Wheaton Aston – pubs with mediocre beer – one that let dogs in but didn’t open until the afternoon and didn’t do food and t’other that did do food but was dog unfriendly. And it rained and it was cold! Fire back on then. Time to move on. There’s a big canal festival at Norbury, so we’ll avoid that – there’s no moorings as they are all taken up by trading boats. Two hours to Gnosall – a good spot (see blog passim) with a good micro pub and a water point.
Steve often gets into his Victor Meldrew mode when he sees yet another No Name boat! So here’s the CRT official terms & conditions that we boaters all signed up to when licencing our boats – updated April 2019
Probably off tomorrow, Tuesday – beyond Norbury and to Black Flat bridge – a good spot (see blog 2 years ago – first time we saw Neville on the Bond boat)
Did we stay at this nice quiet and rural spot? No. There was a bird scarer nearby and it made quite a bang – Toby no like. So we pushed on to Brewood. But this was a bit dark and nowhere nice to moor, so we pushed on again to Wheaton Ashton (2 pubs, shops, Indian and cheap diesel).