Living With Our Rapido 963f Le Randonneur Motor Home.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Wind, Rain......and Sunshine - it must be June!

At last! A day's cruise without getting blown around and soaked to the skin! We took the boat down to Kings Lock Chandlery in Middlewich during the day on Wednesday, for a pre-arranged appointment on Thursday, which meant we had to travel no matter what the weather was doing. That day was a six hour cruise endurance in wind and rain.
However, after the work was completed, and an overnight stay, the sun came out for the return trip, which showed us the very best that this beautiful rural section of The Shropshire Union Canal has to offer. We could also keep a much more leisurely pace.

Church Minshull Lock

Cholmondeston Lock looking back towards Venetian Marina.
We arrived at The Olde Barbridge Inn just in time for lunch, and the weather was just right to sit out in the gardens adjacent to the canal, with moorings available for several boats, and a handy run of 48 hour moorings directly opposite. The last time I stopped here by boat was in the 1970's, during a hire boat holiday from Bartington Wharf on the Trent and Mersey Canal to Stourport on Severn using a small narrowboat called 'Benjamin Disraeli', from Premier Narrowboat Hire.

NB Benjamin Disraeli circa 1973
Today, we moored in the same spot, so just had to have the same drink - a refreshing glass of cold Thatchers Gold draught cider, although in 1973 I had yet to meet Margaret!

Awaiting lunch
Step off the boat, and into the pub here.

Not far to stagger, should you make an overnight stay of it!
A simple, but delicious lunch, served al-fresco.
After the short break, it was time to be off again, making our way along the section of canal that was once named 'The Chester Canal' to its junction with the Llangollen Canal at Hurleston, where Margaret is to be found chatting to one of the two lock keepers on duty. The day was Friday, so later in the afternoon there would be many newly released hire boaters through here, and the locks are not the easiest to navigate, particularly for novices. The two keepers for today, were a part time, fully paid, Canal and River Trust seasonal employee, who was working the top section, and his companion, a volunteer for two days a week, who was working the lower section, which is the part that contains the bulging lock chamber, where fenders must not be used, and occasionally, boats get stuck.

The view down from the top of Hurleston Locks.
Now safely tied up alongside our home mooring after three days away, having experienced a mixture of our Summer weather - wind, rain and sunshine.


  1. Heading back to the mooring or going further up the canal?

    1. Hi Tom, unfortunately we are now back home, having headed back to our mooring and then stayed the weekend until yesterday. Someone who shall remain nameless still likes to be available to take work from the agency during weekdays, whereas I am more than happy to be regarded as too old for gainful employment. As long as it lasts I (we) shall enjoy spending the fruits of her labour! It would appear we are about to miss the rest of our Summer weather!


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