Jan 31st 2010 - Nantwich
We left our lovely mooring out in the countryside on Wednesday morning and headed for Barbage Junction. We only had one lock to negotiate - Cholmondestan Lock, which we assume is pronounced Chumston! It wasn't long after that we spotted the junction up ahead but first of all we had to run the gauntlet between all the moored boats - thank heavens we didn't meet anybody coming the other way!
Running the gauntlet!
At the bridge up ahead is the Barbage Junction which marks the end of theTrent and Mersey Canal and becomes the Shropshire Union. We turned left at the junction heading for Nantwich. A short while after we got onto the Shroppie we passed the junction of the Llangollen Canal which has a flight of locks immediately after the turn. Unfortunately these locks are closed for maintenance work and won't reopen until March 12th which means that we are not going to be able to go that way again this year. One of these days we are going to do the Llangollen, we have promised ourselves and our good friends Shirley and Barry Collings who want to come with us too!
We had a very uneventful cruise really and finally arrived at Nantwich. It was very busy and there wasn't much room to moor up. We ended up tagging on the end of a row of boats but it isn't the best of moorings. There is a "shelf" along the bank which means that we cannot get the boat right into the bank, we have a foot wide gap to step over! It also means that our fenders are absolutely useless and so every time a boat passes us a bit too quickly it slams us against the shelf!
We arrived here at about lunchtime so had a cuppa and a sandwich then I packed up all the dark washing, including our bedding and headed off to the launderette - The Wash Basin - which is located in the Nantwich Canal Centre basin. I used this launderette back in 2008 when we came this way and I remembered it was an excellent launderette, very clean and very efficient and amazingly cheap! I managed to get it all washed and dried in just over an hour for the princely sum of £6.50!
We had a lazy day on Thursday and just stayed in and relaxed.
On Friday we were having visitors! We spent the morning getting the boat tidied up and giving her a good scrub. After lunch my good friend Heather arrived, with her mum! I haven't seen Heather's mum for a very long time, probably thirty odd years! Heather and I spent a lot of time together when we were kids, we walked home from school together every afternoon. Heather lived a little nearer to school than me so I would often stop off at her house for a while before continuing on my way home. Her mum used to work in one of the local textile mills, which we would pass on our way home and we would sometimes call in and see her if she was working. I used to love going into the mill - the incredible noise of the looms and the smell of lanolin and machine oil, it was fantastic. Heather's mum was a weaver and we would stand by her loom and watch her as she got on with her work, her fingers moving so fast as she handled the shuttle etc. It was quite magical. I am so glad that I experienced that as a child because it has all gone now, there are no more textile mills in Huddersfield any more.
Anyway, I digress!! Heather and her mum Suzanne came on board with a bit of assistance over the gap! They told us that it was absolutely perishing outside! Fortunately it was lovely and warm on the boat and they soon warmed up. We all had a coffee and piece of cake and a good chat. It was a lovely afternoon.
I saw them again on Saturday - Heather, with her mum, very kindly came to pick me up in the afternoon and the three of us went to Morrisons to do some shopping. Clive decided not to come so we had a girlie afternoon which culminated in a trip to the Snugbury's Ice Cream shop! Well - I have to say I am not an ice cream addict like some people I know but the ice cream that Snugbury's produce is out of this world! Its made on the premises fromJersey cream! It really is incredibly delicious. They have loads of different flavours - we each had a double cone and I had one scoop of Ginger and Honey and one scoop of Strawberry Cheesecake - awesome!! AsClive is a bit of an ice cream addict I felt a bit mean, so I got a small tub of Toffee ice cream to take home for him!
We also went out for dinner with Heather, Les and Suzanne last night. They picked us up and drove us to The Star in Acton. It wasn't actually far from where we were moored, in fact we could see Acton Church from the boat. We had a lovely meal, the food was delicious and the company was great. I asked the waitress if she would take a photograph of us to mark the occasion.
We had a bit of a shock though as we were eating our meal - it started snowing! At first it was more like sleet but then it turned into huge flakes and it started to settle! By the time we had finished our meal there was about an inch of snow on the ground so we decided the sensible thing to do was to go straight home and not linger, just in case it got even worse! So we all piled into the car and a few minutes later Clive and I were tramping along the towpath in the snow back to the boat. There was a full moon and it all looked very pretty indeed in the moonlight. However, we really have had enough of this cold, white stuff now - bring on the Spring!