We pulled pins from our mooring on the Middlewich branch at 08.20 and started cruising towards the junction at Barbridge with the Shropshire Union Canal. After turning left at the junction there is a good long lock free cruise until you get to Hack Green. At the start of our passage through Nantwich we passed this fine looking Horse which stands by bridge 92. It is made from lock gates by two artists, John Merrill (who recycled the wood) and Julian Taylor (who did the iron work).
Then who should we come across but fellow bloggers James and Doug on NB Chance . Being the useless blogger I am for some reason I didn’t get a picture of them on Chance although I managed to get one of their lovely boat as we left. . Still it was good to stop and have a chat, hopefully we will meet up sometime again in the future..
After a night moored below the Audlem flight we pulled pins at 07.45 which was a huge mistake . We should have left an hour or maybe even 2 hours before. It seemed like everyone had the same idea as us and there were loads of boats on the flight. What made it even worse was that there were two single handed boats in front of us . With 15 locks to do we knew it was going to be a long day. It ended taking us nearly 5 hours to do the flight even with Carolyn helping the single handers and then another hour and a half to do the Adderley flight of 5 locks. We eventually moored up in Market Drayton where we did a shop and spent the night.
The following morning after a visit to the vets for Hamish (Poorly leg, after a few antibiotics and a £73 bill he was soon on the mend) we never pulled pins until the 11 o’clock which I think is a first for us to ever start that late in the day . About a mile outside of Market Drayton you pass these Stump people on the approach to The Tyrley flight of 5 locks.
You can never pass along this stretch with out taking a picture of this double arched bridge which used to carry the telegraph line and stretched for the whole length of this canal. It is also said that it is haunted by a Black Monkey like creature ever since a boatman was killed here back in the 19th century.
After a good cruise we arrived at our destination of Gnosall pronounced No-zull and met up with friends Rich and Sharon from NB Oakapple . With them heading North and us going South we decided to meet up for an evening out at The boat pub (not a Wetherspoons Ha ha) . We last saw Rich and Sharon back on the Thames when we cruised together for four or five weeks. After a great evening we parted company the following morning and have arranged to meet up at New Year and are planning a cruise up North next year. Good to see you both, enjoy The Llangollen !!