Living With Our Rapido 963f Le Randonneur Motor Home.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

This is Audlem part 1 - The canal

Oh what a lovely weekend again. It gets better, this weekend we have clear blue skies, sunshine and warmth, - all together! Having completed the fitting of the laminated glass to the cratch during Friday, (we came down Friday morning this week), that left us the weekend free to explore again. This week we chose Audlem, a country village by the side of The Shropshire Union Canal, about 10 miles south of Nantwich. I will cover our visit in two parts, one about the canal, the other about the beautiful village that it runs through. This is part 1....
Users of the Northern Shropshire Union Canal will already know all about Audlem, <Click> . It is the home of the notorious flight of 15 locks. We last negotiated these on our Summer cruise last year, and it is best to allow a whole day to complete it. The flight takes the canal up off The Cheshire Plain in the same way that the so called "Heartbreak Hill" does on the adjacent run North to South of The Trent and Mersey Canal. This flight, however, was designed and built after the Trent and Mersey ones after lessons had been learned. Working boaters often complained about the time it took to traverse the locks on the Trent and Mersey as there were often queues, even then, as the locks were spaced out so that each one had to be worked individually. The canal company took note of their concerns and duplicate locks were built at each lock site, so that capacity was doubled. Unfortunately, most of this second set of locks have been neglected, and only one is available for use at each site these days. However, when the Shroppie was built, the locks within the Audlem flight were built closer together. This allowed working boaters, with their butties in tow, to negotiate two locks of the flight simultaneously, with the butty steerer taking that through the next lock whilst still roped up to the main boat, on a long tow, as it went through its lock. Here are some photographs of the canal around Audlem....

 The Shroppie Fly, at the wharf at lock 13. A lock keeper's cottage is located just further on in the shot. Here you can purchase the replacement for that windlass you just dropped in the canal. The pub serves meals, with canalside tables, as does the Bridge Inn, just behind me in this shot. Services are also available here, on the right just past the pub.




Audlem Mill, next door to the Shroppie Fly is a gift / chandlers, with an art gallery upstairs. Also, upstairs, canal craft lessons are often held such as traditional painting techniques and sewing. Today, it was host to an exhibition of canal art, with paintings for sale. <Click>







Looking back down hill towards Overwater Marina, <Click>











The lock keeper's cottage is on the left.











Looking up towards lock 12, under the bridge.











The entrance to lock 12. The bye wash on the right, just under the bridge is fierce!










And there are points for any steerer who is able to negotiate this without putting the boat into the beam on the left, before bouncing into the lock!





















There are information signs throughout the area.











Looking up from lock 12, towards good 48 hour moorings. There are other mooring sites located between here and lock 13, and also below, past the lock keeper's cottage. This gives plenty of opportunity to moor overnight, so a meal can be taken in one of the pubs, and you can explore the village, which is what I will do in part 2 to follow....





PS....This is the finished cratch, glass in place, and beading on. I chose red to contrast. I used clear, glazing standard, silicone sealant to hold the glass.


Audlem Village next time.....

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