We had been warned by so many people about mooring in Chester and they have all said it can sometimes be OK in the week but avoid anywhere around the main town at weekends,with the safest place to moor being the basin at the bottom of Northgate stair case locks.Even the guy on the Trust boat who we shared the locks with told us to be careful as it can get a bit unsafe at times. I’m sure hundreds of people have moored in the city and had no problems but unfortunately we had a bit of a bad experience. We were moored on a weekday next to the Gardens under the City wall which in the daytime was full of families and people sat about relaxing and soaking up the Sun. But as soon as it started getting dark the drunks and groups of youngsters moved in. To be honest they didn’t cause us any problems except for a bit of shouting and rowdiness.
The most disturbing incident occurred at 23.30 when we could hear men’s voices outside of our window. I looked out to see five men with a Staffie type dog and they were sat on the grass bank about 10 feet from our boat . Then some five minutes later another man turns up with a similar Staffie type dog, the two men with the dogs shook hands and then said ”right then, lets get on with it and let them fight” . They released the dogs and immediately they started fighting. As Carolyn was about to dial 999 on her mobile phone there was shouting from the wall above for them to stop and that the Police had been called ,the men separated the dogs and then hurried away . All the time this was happening Hamish was going berserk inside the boat . It’s obvious that it was planned ,but for it to happen in the middle of a city in a small park was very alarming. It certainly upset Carolyn and needless to say we didn’t sleep much that night. It’s an area of Chester we will never moor in again which is a bit of a shame.
Anyway after all that we pulled pins at 08.40 the following morning to move down to the basin for hopefully a better mooring. After leaving our mooring we headed towards Northgate staircase locks passing below Chester wall with all the houses perched on top.We are actually in what used to be the moat which was part of the city defences.
I thought this was a good idea . The phone box has been converted in to a cash machine but it has also retained the phone. I’m not sure how many people use public phones these days as I would have thought that most people have mobile phones.
Tomorrow we are going to walk the 2 miles around the city wall and after that Carolyn wants a bit of retail therapy in the hundreds of shops that are in Chester. No doubt she will try and visit most of them.