Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Wheelock up to Marston.

On our trip to Crewe I bought some enormous free range pullets eggs. When I asked why they were so big the man told me that when they lay their first eggs they are either small, or very large containing double yolks. I thought this was a fascinating story and asked if I could return them if they were only single yoked! Anyway it turned out that he was right, they were all double yoked, amazing.

IMG_0001 WheelockWe filled with water before leaving Wheelock to cruise along to Crows Nest Bridge 161 where Alan and Kath pulled alongside us on nb Chalice for a chat. Nice to see you all enjoying your whistle stop holiday, we must stop meeting like this so we can have longer exchanges on our boating experiences.

IMG_0011 Alton

Fuel boat ‘Alton’ passed us by, but unfortunately we didn’t need any diesel , shame as it was very reasonably priced at 83p per litre.

IMG_0004 Middlewich Narrowboats    IMG_0007 White Bear renovation

We left this peaceful mooring and passed on along to moor just beyond Middlewich Narrowboats above the lock. We strolled into Middlewich passed the White Bear which was undergoing restoration and popped into Tesco. As there were so many hire boats hereabouts we left at 7am (early for us) the next day to beat the rush. It was amazing with the mist rising off the water as the sun began to warm everything up. We got through ‘Big Lock’ without to much trouble, then it was lovely lock free cruising along to Marston. We hooked up beside the old Lion Salt Works where the buildings are listed and being preserved. There are many ‘flashes’ (pond/lakes) all along the canal here created by salt mining and saline extraction. Much land and even some cottages have been swallowed up and disappeared underneath the water. We had  a nice Sunday roast lunch at the friendly Salt Barge just down the road.

IMG_0005 Salt Barge MarstonThey also stock a few essentials for boaters to buy which was very handy indeed.

IMG_0008 Lion Salt Works mooring

Here we are by the large iron saltpan of the works. While we were there we made friends with the permanently moored boater in front of us and his little rescue dog called Oih.

IMG_0001 a dog called Oih    IMG_0003 Penny Black was a PO b1914

Isn’t she a great little character? We asked how she got her name and he said she came to him when he said ‘Oih’ so he stuck with it.

From here we walked into Northwich and went into this splendid Wetherspoons called The Penny Black. It was the old Post Office built in 1914 and is the towns largest liftable building. This means in times of any subsidence there are automatic jacks under it to keep it level. It has a blue plaque outside saying it is a grade 2 listed building and also appears in Pevsner’s book Buildings of England.

IMG_0004 Library

This is the Library where we picked up a couple of leaflets on the locality. We had a walk down the main street where we saw several more interesting timber framed building. As we walked over the bridge spanning the River Weaver we could see that several narrow boats had come down in the Anderton Lift to visit. After calling into Sainsbury’s we made our way back through the well laid out wildlife park around the flashes. We arrived back at Oakfield gasping for a drink as it was a very hot day.

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