Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Saltisford Locks to Barbridge (updated)

Saturday 8th August 2009
Up early, and back at the Lift by 9:00 am. Once again we were taken straight into the caisson.

This time was just as interesting as last time, having seen it already we found we were concentrating more on the features of the lift than last time, and once again the operator was happy to talk about the lift.

We headed back towards Middlewich on the Trent and Mersey, following the boat Pavo for some of the journey.

Passing a 'flash' on the T & M - a sunken boat is a perch for ducks.

At Big Lock with Pavo - once the boat worked by Eily (Kit) Gayford, one of the trainers of the wartime 'idle women'.

In Middlewich I stopped for supplies while Alan refilled the water tank. What is it with Middlewich? Every second shop seems to be a hairdressers or 'spa' - are the people the most stylish and well turned out in the country?

We turned right onto the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal and I promptly broke the head off a brand new aluminium 'long throw' windlass. I went to help a woman who was having difficulty with some paddle gear, and nearly fell into the canal when the head came off my windlass.

It was a glorious, hot day, and the scenery was as stunning as the rest of the ring.

We got to Barbridge by evening, but found it difficult to moor, as there were many boats, and was a ledge along the edge of the moorings in some places. Once we'd found somewhere we went to the pub to eat. It was an extremely still and quiet evening, as this long exposure shot (64 seconds) taken by David shows.

Miles: 22.5 , Locks: 8
Total Miles: 226.3, Total Locks: 219

Approaching the Lift

The caisson gate descends behind Alan

Looking up at the other caisson, and the gears which still remain at the top, from when the Lift required the counterbalance weights.

Passing the other caisson

Almost at the top, the short stretch to the second guillotine gate ahead of us.

Leaving the caisson

View of the maze from the top.

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