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Index

The 1995 Tour

Index

Manchester Ship Canal, River Weaver, Chesterfield Canal, Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation and Erewash Canal.

2- Birmingham to Acton Bridge, including Titford Canal. BCN, Shropshire Union Canal, Middlewich Branch, Trent and Mersey Canal.

Monday 10th July 1995

Yet another nice morning. Decided to try for the Titford Canal - if open, on the way out of Birmingham. Start 07.45. At Smethwick Junction (08.25) go up Smethwick Locks to BCN Old Main Line. At top at 08.50. Pass Spon Lane Junction (another branch back down to New Main Line) at 09.12. Arrive at Oldbury Bottom Lock at 09.25 and have quick cycle up the open flight. 
Reasonable amount of water (about 6 inches down), so decide to go for it. Come out of Oldbury Top at 10.15. Pass junction with the pools at 11.15 and assault the Causeway Branch. Willow tree blocks passage as it did last year, so attack it with hand saw. Just enough room to squeeze Beatty through and get to end at 11.00. (could not go across bottom pool as section drained due to M5 viaduct works.) Back at the pools junction at 11.15 and head for the M5 / Portway Branch. Even though we remove 4 Tesco trolleys we can not get through the narrows (11.30) under the M5 viaduct, so reverse out. 
While winding at pools junction the engine suddenly stalls. Close examination down weed hatch shows absence of weed, but half brick trapped between skeg and prop! This comes off with a bit of levering with small mooring pin. We get back to Oldbury Top Lock at 12.15 and have a quick rubbish disposal of tree remains, four Tesco trolleys and duck boards into the handy skip. All locks left full with gates open, so quick descent, arriving at bottom at 12.35. 
Decide to go into Black Country Museum, just for a drink at the preserved pub – Bottle and Glass (14.10 to 15.00). With renewed vigour we set off to escape the Black Country, that night. Pass Horseley Fields junction at 16.55 and arrive at Wolverhampton 21 Top Lock at 17.10. 
No one about, pounds all full, Fleming “Blues Brothers” present, mountain bike out…………..it could only be a record attempt!!! Colin went ahead on bike and set each lock, then went back to bottom to shut them all up. Every lock was full and open, waiting for Neil at the helm to fly into. Fortunately no one else appeared. Start at 17.12, arrive at bottom at 18.33. 1 hour, 21 minutes – our best time ever. 
Still carried on to get to a pub just before they stopped serving food. Held up at Autherley Junction (18.55 to 19.10) as clog of 3 boats. Colin, John and Paul all have well deserved showers, while Neil carries on, out running a rather large black storm cloud approaching us from Birmingham. After half an hour Neil was relieved, to get a shower. We managed to miss the thunder storm, only getting a very brief shower. Finally stopped at Brewood, above Bridge 14 at 20.45. After lightning speed moor up we quickly legged it up to the Bridge Inn and just got our meal orders in time.

Tuesday 11th July 1995

Shoved off from Brewood at 07.35. Wheaton Aston Lock at 08.30. Passed Gnosall (Bridge No 34) at 10.10 and Norbury Junction at 10.50. Tried to stop for lunch and a pint at the Wharf Inn at Shebdon Embankment, but shut! (12.05 to 12.15). So made do with the Wharf Tavern at Bridge 55 (13.30 to 14.30) – seem to remember that this venue was OK. 
Tyrley Flight took between 15.05 and 16.10. Stopped for the night at Market Drayton at 16.25, on the embankment, just before bridge 62. Tried to find “Freddies” a good Chinese restaurant we remembered from past years, but the old timbered building had been turned into something else. Speaking to the owner of the Indian we eventually found, he said that Freddies gave up after their kitchen burnt out.

Wednesday 12th July 1995

Left Market Drayton at 07.30. Adderley Flight from 08.35 to 09.15 and Audlem Flight from 09.35 to 12.20 (lots of traffic and got water) Stopped at the bottom and went back to Shroppie Fly pub until 13.40. Carried on again until 15.20, when we stopped on the embankment in Nantwich. In the evening we had a bit of a pub crawl.

Thursday 13th July 1995

Departed from Nantwich at 08.25.  Passed Hurleston Junction at 09.10 and at 09.30 (Barbridge Junction) headed up Middlewich Branch. At 13.25 turned left onto Trent and Mersey canal at Middlewich. The two Fleming’s left at Wardle Lock, leaving just Neil and Colin. This was in true non stopping, jumping off at a bridge hole style! 
Stopped at the Big Lock for water, a pint and a snack from 14.25 to 15.20. Another stop at Orchard Marina from 16.40 to 17.15 for a pump-out and diesel. Passed the moribund Anderton Lift at 18.35 and stopped for the night at Bridge 209 – Acton Bridge. Went to Horns pub for a meal and a drink.

 


The end of the Causeway Green Arm at Titford Pools. BCN.

Our arrival back at Oldbury Top Lock!!!! BCN.

Yet another shot of "the" telegraph pole bridge in Grub Street Cutting!  Shropshire Union Canal.

Audlem Flight. Shropshire Union Canal.

Audlem Flight. Shropshire Union Canal.

Audlem Flight. Shropshire Union Canal.

Audlem Flight. Shropshire Union Canal.

Audlem Flight. Shropshire Union Canal.

Audlem Flight. Shropshire Union Canal.

Audlem Flight. Shropshire Union Canal.

The Shroppie Fly pub at Audlem. Shropshire Union Canal.

Hack Green Locks. Shropshire Union Canal.

Barbridge Junction. About to turn left onto Middlewich Branch. Shropshire Union Canal.

Barbridge Junction. Shropshire Union Canal - Middlewich Branch.

Cholmondeston Lock. Venetian Marine below. Shropshire Union Canal - Middlewich Branch.

Minshull Lock. Shropshire Union Canal - Middlewich Branch.

The infant River Weaver, aqueduct just before Bridge No 10. Shropshire Union Canal - Middlewich Branch.

Church Minshull. Well worth a walk down to. Shropshire Union Canal - Middlewich Branch.

The Top Flash at Winsford, from Shropshire Union Canal - Middlewich Branch.

Wardle Lock. Shropshire Union Canal - Middlewich Branch.

Wardle Lock. Shropshire Union Canal - Middlewich Branch.

Middlewich Junction. Trent and Mersey Canal. Middlewich Branch is under the bridge to the right.

Wardle Canal - The countries shortest canal? - from the junction to Wardle Lock. Shropshire Union Canal - Middlewich Branch.

Middlewich Three Locks. Trent and Mersey Canal.

All hire boats out from Anderson Boats. Middlewich. Trent and Mersey Canal.

The Big Lock and pub of same name in Middlewich. Trent and Mersey Canal.

The Big Lock pub. Middlewich. Trent and Mersey Canal.

The Big Lock in Middlewich. Trent and Mersey Canal.

Croxton Aqueduct. Trent and Mersey Canal.

The big Flash, just above railway bridge No180. Trent and Mersey Canal.

The Old Broken Cross pub, at Broken Cross Bridge No 184. Trent and Mersey Canal.

The large ICI Works between Broken Cross and Wincham. Trent and Mersey Canal.

Wincham Wharf Canal Centre. Trent and Mersey Canal.

The Lion Salt Works at Bridge No 193, Marston. (not known if this is open at present). Trent and Mersey Canal.

Barnton Tunnel. Trent and Mersey Canal.

Inside Barnton Tunnel. Trent and Mersey Canal.

Acton Swing Bridge over the River Weaver Navigation.

The Horns pub at Acton Bridge.

The Tour Continues...


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