With our passage booked down onto The Montgomery we had a bit of a late start not pulling pins till 09.30 . We then winded at Ellesmere and got onto the services. After a short time it was total chaos as several boats converged on the junction all at the same time. We were talking to an old local man who told us that he come’s down every day at this time for a bit of free entertainment as boats crash into the side and each other.
We arrived at Francton junction at 11.15 where it is controlled by a Lock Keeper and were we third in line to go down. After letting the first two boats down they then let two up ,so we had a bit of a wait for our turn.
Nearly at the end of the canal and we pass The Maesbury Smelting and Bone Works, or Artificial Manure Works which is situated in the village of Maesbury Marsh, on the side of the Montgomery Canal, behind the Navigation Inn .Fertilizer and glue were produced needing a good supply of horse and cow hooves and when boiled up, gelatine for glue was extracted while the bones were crushed up for fertiliser .The site is still in existence, a two storey brick building with a tiled roof and a round chimney. A larger chimney, 46m high and 7.5m in diameter was demolished in 1892 after the business moved to Rednal Canal Wharf, where manufacturing continued until the 1950's. The Canal & River Trust recently commissioned an archaealogical dig around the site of the smelting house and the report is eagerly awaited. Although its now in a bit of a state I’m sure a developer will soon get hold of it for a conversion into a house or two.
We were then lucky enough to pick up this mooring which is the same one we had when we were down here 2 years ago. It’s just past the visitor centre and Curly is waiting to see the Horse drawn boat which operates along this stretch.
With these guys swimming around us it will soon be time to get out the fishing rod and have a go at catching a few. We will now have a few chill out days down here in the peace and quiet of the countryside .