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  • clivenmel

Oct 23rd

Normal 0 false false false st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} Today dawned very grey and a bit damp but surprisingly it wasn't particularly cold.   The wind was getting up a bit and waterproofs were de rigeur. There are only two locks on this canal and we both remembered them from our first time on the canal back in ?05. The Church Minshull Lock is a big, deep, single lock out in the country with a picture-postcard cottage sitting at the top (envious!) Considering the size and depth, it is a joy to use as it?s very free and beautifully balanced. As a boat was coming the other way, we could exchange places and have a chat.  (Unfortunately the photograph is not as pretty as it could be due to the construction that is going on at the bottom of the lock!)   The other is the Cholmondeston Lock (could be pron. Chumston??) at a busy marine base, shop and caf? (we stopped for sausage butties for ?second? breakfast!) This place is a real hive of activity in the summer and we remembered queuing here in ?05 as 3-4 boats were trying to go in both directions. Today was more civilised with no delays.   The key to today was only a mile or so further on ? the Barbridge Junction, where the Shropshire Canal runs North/South and the Middlewich branch comes in from the East under a cute white bridge. The 90? left turn dropped us on our way.   The famous Llangollen Canal with its infamous aqueduct soon cuts off to the right ? that?s for another trip.   Another hour's cruising brought us to Nantwich and we moored up just outside the main Marina base in the visitor moorings. They have an excellent launderette so we made use of the facilities to get everything sorted. Just beside the boat on the towpath we found a strange statue of a stylised horse. It is the first of a series of sculptures commemorating the restoration of this part of the canal network. There is another sculpture which is a "key" to the position of each item - we intend to try an spot them as we wander further down this stretch. Tonight we catch up with old friends ? Heather and Les Welch, who live close by.  Heather and Mel met on their first day at infants school when they were 5!  Heather has recently broken her leg, whilst on holiday in Australia - poor thing; I can feel a bottle of wine coming on!

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