Sunday, 6 May 2012

From Wincham Wharf to Barbridge

A leisurely breakfast of cereal fruit and “toast”……. Or so we thought! After 20 minutes and only 3 pieces of bread toasted we gave up with the grill and had bread instead. The plan was to set off around 9.00am canal time so we started cruising around 9.30am. Just round the corner from our pleasant overnight stop was quite industrial with a large chemical works. We picked up two additional guests just before Middlewich - Martin and Sue had parked in the town and walked along the canal to join us. We passed through a couple of flashes where the canal expanded out into small “lake”. Martin and Sue provided two welcome extra pairs of hands for the first Big Lock. This could take two boats side by side. I am sure a more comprehensive account of the day’s trip will be found on Martin's Blog
here.
This was the first of 5 locks in Middlewich. We stopped for water and lunch in the centre. Hot bacon and avocado rolls with salad followed by our comprehensive selection of cake - Stuart’s repertoire has now expanded from millionaire’s shortbread to include and excellent Mars bar cake!

Shortly afterwards we turned off the Trent and Mersey Canal onto the Middlewich branch to Barbridge. This connects the Shropshire Union canal to the Trent and Mersey.

Martin and Sue left us at the first lock to get to their next “appointment”. It was good seeing them for a few hours. The section to Barbridge was very pretty. As we started along it I recognised the route from the cycle rides we had done from the Bears Paw back in March. The timing in the “J. M Pearsons and Sons Ltd” excellent Canal Companion looked generous but proved to be correct as we had a couple of locks to negotiate. We arrived at Barbridge around 7.45 pm. We had hoped to moor on the way in but it was all private mooring. We turned around at Barbridge and then spotted some 48 hour mooring 100 yards further down the canal on the left hand side. A good bit of reversing from Louise with the help of a couple of us pulling in the ropes and we were in position. “The Olde Bardridge Inn” was 500 yards down the canal and provided some excellent food with some good size portions if you picked the correct dish. The Steak and Ale pie was huge and has the “Fielding Seal of Approval”. The “ladies” would have liked some more vegetables with the Sea Bass (not green for L!). Gerry’s small portion of fish and chips had the advantage of making her feel good by ordering a small “good for you portion” which then arrived as a large piece of fish with lots of chips and peas.

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