Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
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1995 Bath to York - August

Cruising Log Index

Trent and Mersey Canal

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Tuesday 1th August 1995

From to Harding's Wood Junction arriving at 11:25 am. The time taken was 35 minutes. 1.87 miles and 0 locks, averaging 3.21 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 518 hours 12 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 809 locks, averaging 1.75 lock/miles per hour.

Moved down to the tunnel entrance abot a quarter to nine and had to wait until 10.25 before we could go in. The boat in the front of the queue started off very slowly but speeded up by the time we were half way through. Moored after the tunnel and went shopping at the Kidsgrove Co-op again, theen had lunch.

Trent and Mersey Canal to Macclesfield Canal

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From Harding's Wood Junction to Congleton Wharf arriving at 3:40 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 40 minutes. 11.37 miles and 1 locks, averaging 4.64 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 520 hours 52 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 810 locks, averaging 1.75 lock/miles per hour.

Made our way through icreasingly plesant countryside to Congleton Wharf where we moored opposite a ancient derelict whare house with a less picturesque modern extention in a haphazard mixture of brick and corrogated iron. Walked in to the town and looked round the shops, a good mixture including a Safeway Supermarket. It has been another hot sunny an humid day so on the way back to the bboat we called in at the Wharf Inn for a drink, while we were there the thunder and ain started.

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Wednesday 2th August 1995

From Congleton Wharf to Bosley Top Lock No 1 arriving at 1:30 pm. The time taken was 4 hours 0 minutes. 5.75 miles and 11 locks, averaging 4.19 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 524 hours 52 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 821 locks, averaging 1.75 lock/miles per hour.

The usual start atfer breakfast etc. Saw the "Angela" from Stone Cruising coming down the canal and "Dawn" and "Dusk", also "Shepherds Hey". Moored at the top lock for water and lunch.

From Bosley Top Lock No 1 to Buxton Road Bridge No 37 arriving at 5:00 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 25 minutes. 5.25 miles and 1 locks, averaging 2.59 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 527 hours 17 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 822 locks, averaging 1.75 lock/miles per hour.

Moored just before the bridge. Saw a dead sheep in the canal this afternoon. Scenery very good, plenty of hills, some wooded stretches. Another hot and sunny day but with a cooling breeze, quiet strong at times in exposed places.

Thursday 3th August 1995

From Buxton Road Bridge No 37 to Junction with High Lane Branch arriving at 5:30 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 50 minutes. 8.62 miles and 0 locks, averaging 2.25 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 531 hours 7 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 822 locks, averaging 1.74 lock/miles per hour.

Did shoppng in Tesco's then went onn a second trip for some food in M&S, a cookery book in W H Smith's, some glasses in the market and lunch in the Millstone, near the station, a nice pub. Moored near the North Cheshire Cruising Club, being made very welcome by one of its members as we came in to moor. A hot and sunny day with a cooling breeze.

Friday 4th August 1995

From Junction with High Lane Branch to Marple Junction arriving at 10:30 am. The time taken was 1 hour 10 minutes. 2.25 miles and 0 locks, averaging 1.93 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 532 hours 17 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 822 locks, averaging 1.73 lock/miles per hour.

Moored at he water point just before the junctin but another boat was using it and we had to wait until 11.00 before we could start filling and it was 11.45 before we had finished. In the meantime Beryl wwent down to the Post Office to collect our mail and returned with some welcome ice cream.

Macclesfield Canal to Peak Forest Canal

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From Marple Junction to Dryhurst Bridge No 26 arriving at 1:15 pm. The time taken was 1 hour 30 minutes. 2.87 miles and 0 locks, averaging 1.91 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 533 hours 47 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 822 locks, averaging 1.73 lock/miles per hour.

Stopped for lunch. this part of the Peak Forest is very shallow, as is the upper part of the Macclesfied, and moorings are few and far between.

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From Dryhurst Bridge No 26 to Furness Bridge No 31 arriving at 5:45 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 0 minutes. 2 miles and 0 locks, averaging 0.67 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 536 hours 47 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 822 locks, averaging 1.72 lock/miles per hour.

Went up to Whaley Bridge but no moorings available and "Conwy" and "Caernarvon" were moored in the winding hole. Tried to go up the Buxworth Arm but it soon got too shallow. A sunny day but not quite so hot as of late.

Saturday 5th August 1995

From Furness Bridge No 31 to Marple Top Lock No 16 arriving at 12:05 am. The time taken was 2 hours 30 minutes. 4.87 miles and 0 locks, averaging 1.95 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 539 hours 17 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 822 locks, averaging 1.71 lock/miles per hour.

Took a long time to moor as there is only one spot (just before the bridge at the junction) where the water is deep enough, and then we have to moor with the back out a couple of foot. Walked round the town, did some shopping and had lunch at the Navigation. Came bback to the boat for more drinks, etc. and stayed the day. A hot and sunny day.

Sunday 6th August 1995

From Marple Top Lock No 16 to Marple Aqueduct arriving at 12:00 am. The time taken was 3 hours 25 minutes. 1.25 miles and 16 locks, averaging 5.05 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 542 hours 42 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 838 locks, averaging 1.73 lock/miles per hour.

At 8am we moved round the corner from our moorings to fill up with water, it was a bit tight as there was a cruiser moored next to the water point. At 8.45 we backed out of the Macclesfield Canalinto the junction at the top of the locks. We were followed down the locks by a Black Prince hire boat from Stoke-on-Trent. Moored for lunch just past the aqueduct.Marple Aqueduct: Boat crossing aqueduct - 6th August 1995.
Marple Aqueduct: Boat crossing aqueduct - 6th August 1995.

Sunday 6th August 1995

From Marple Aqueduct to Dukinfield Bridge No 2 arriving at 4:00 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 40 minutes. 5.87 miles and 0 locks, averaging 2.2 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 545 hours 22 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 838 locks, averaging 1.72 lock/miles per hour.

Followed the Black Prince boat for most of our afternoon journey and moored in the park ust after the lift bridge, then we walked down to the junction and went in the Industrial Herigage Centre there. Quite a good museum and admission is free. A hot and sunny day again.

Peak Forest Canal to Bridgewater Canal

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Monday 7th August 1995

From Dukinfield Bridge No 2 to Dunham School Bridge No 28 arriving at 6:25 pm. The time taken was 10 hours 30 minutes. 17.87 miles and 27 locks, averaging 4.27 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 555 hours 52 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 865 locks, averaging 1.74 lock/miles per hour.

Set off from Dukinfield at 7.55 and stopped for water at Fairfield Junction and then went down the locks, accompanied for much of the way by one or two BW men. No trouble just a few boys swimming in the locks. At Ducie Street Junction we paid the 29 fee for the Rochdale Canal and set off down the nine heavy locks with their friction mechanisms to hold up the paddles, many of which don't work, dark locks under bridges, awkward gates to cross and flimsy handrails. After that the comparative ease of the Bridgewater. Went for a very nice dinner at the Axe and Cleaver. A cloudy day but quite warm.

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Tuesday 8th August 1995

From Dunham School Bridge No 28 to Lymm Bridge No 23 arriving at 10:30 am. The time taken was 1 hour 25 minutes. 4.25 miles and 0 locks, averaging 3 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 557 hours 17 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 865 locks, averaging 1.73 lock/miles per hour.

Lymm is a pleasant little town with some picturesque features, where we stopped for shopping at the Gateway.

From Lymm Bridge No 23 to M6 Motorway Bridge No 20 arriving at 12:05 am. The time taken was 45 minutes. 1.37 miles and 0 locks, averaging 1.83 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 558 hours 2 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 865 locks, averaging 1.73 lock/miles per hour.

Moved on to just out of sight of the M6 and moored on a shady bend for lunch.

From M6 Motorway Bridge No 20 to Preston Brook - Waters Meeting arriving at 4:25 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 40 minutes. 8.37 miles and 0 locks, averaging 3.14 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 560 hours 42 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 865 locks, averaging 1.72 lock/miles per hour.

Passed Goosander 4 and another Goosander. Moored just past the Junction by the marina. Having moored we discovered the water point, just within hose reach, hidden round the corner. A warm and sunny day.

Bridgewater Canal to Preston Brook Branch (Bridgewater Canal)

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Wednesday 9th August 1995

From Preston Brook - Waters Meeting to Preston Brook arriving at 1:00 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 35 minutes. 10.75 miles and 0 locks, averaging 3 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 564 hours 17 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 865 locks, averaging 1.71 lock/miles per hour.

Went down to the end of the canal at Runcorn then came back to the Claymore Navigation boat yard at the junction. Had a pumpout (10) just over 24 gallons of diesel at 92p per gallon (22.68) and a new gas canister (10.60), also got rid of the old engine oil. Stopped at the tunnel for lunch and to wait for half past the hour when it was time to go through but Champers disappeared so we had to wait an extra hour.

Preston Brook Branch (Bridgewater Canal) to Trent and Mersey Canal

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From Preston Brook to Acton Bridge No 209 arriving at 3:50 pm. The time taken was 1 hour 30 minutes. 3.25 miles and 1 locks, averaging 2.83 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 565 hours 47 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 866 locks, averaging 1.71 lock/miles per hour.

Passed "Crates Castle" at Dutton Stop Lock. Moored just past the bridge. A warm and sunny day.

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Thursday 10th August 1995

From Acton Bridge No 209 to Marston Bridge No 193 arriving at 12:35 am. The time taken was 3 hours 5 minutes. 5.62 miles and 0 locks, averaging 1.82 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 568 hours 52 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 866 locks, averaging 1.7 lock/miles per hour.

Stopped for water at Anderton. Went through the tunnels followed by "Beaver" and "Gadabout". Hit Barnton Tunnel again. Stopped for lunch just past bridge 191. "Water Troubador" passed us.

From Marston Bridge No 193 to Middlewich Bridge No 172 arriving at 4:25 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 35 minutes. 7.62 miles and 1 locks, averaging 3.34 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 571 hours 27 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 867 locks, averaging 1.69 lock/miles per hour.

Went through the Big Lock where "Water Troubador" was moored. The skipper came and spoke to me as we went through the lock. We moored just before the bridge and the man from "Garth" (of Preston Brook) came and chatted to me. Another hot and sunnny day.

Trent and Mersey Canal to Shropshire Union - Middlewich Branch

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Friday 11th August 1995

From Middlewich Bridge No 172 to Wimboldsley Bridge No 21 arriving at 4:00 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 15 minutes. 3.37 miles and 5 locks, averaging 2.58 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 574 hours 42 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 872 locks, averaging 1.69 lock/miles per hour.

Did some shopping in Somerfield's at Middlewich then had lunch on the boat. Filled up with water at the junction then had to wait for two other boats to go into Wardle lock before us. Stopped just before bridge 22. A hot and sunny day.

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Saturday 12th August 1995

From Wimboldsley Bridge No 21 to Brickyard Bridge No 6 arriving at 1:15 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 40 minutes. 4.12 miles and 1 locks, averaging 1.92 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 577 hours 22 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 873 locks, averaging 1.69 lock/miles per hour.

Moored for lunch amid the stinging nettles just after the bridge. Found that the shackle holding the middle rope had become un screwed and bent so it was of no use.Minshull Lock No 2: Boat leaving lock - 12th August 1995.
Minshull Lock No 2: Boat leaving lock - 12th August 1995.

Shropshire Union - Middlewich Branch to Shropshire Union Main Line

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Saturday 12th August 1995

From Minshull Lock No 2 to Barbridge Junction arriving at 4:45 pm. The time taken was 1 hour 45 minutes. 2.87 miles and 1 locks, averaging 2.21 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 579 hours 7 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 874 locks, averaging 1.68 lock/miles per hour.

Bought a new shackle for the middle rope at Venetian Marina whie we were waiting to go through Chomondeston Lock. Shortly after the lock we picked up a couple of hitch-hikers, an eldery mad and a younger one, who had stopped at the wrong place for their boat. We took them down to bridge 2 where the boat "Camberwell Beauty" was moored. The day started hot and sunny and clouded over just after lunch, by the time we stopped at the visitor moorings it was raining.

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Sunday 13th August 1995

From Barbridge Junction to Tilstone Lock No 32 arriving at 2:00 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 25 minutes. 3.5 miles and 3 locks, averaging 1.9 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 582 hours 32 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 877 locks, averaging 1.68 lock/miles per hour.

Saw "Woodbury",our 1986 hire boat now privately owned, at Bunbury locks and went through the locks with them. Stopped for water just after the locks. Stopped beforethe next lock for lunch. Rang Mum and Dad.

From Tilstone Lock No 32 to Wharton Lock No 35 arriving at 5:55 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 5 minutes. 1.87 miles and 3 locks, averaging 2.34 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 584 hours 37 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 880 locks, averaging 1.68 lock/miles per hour.

Shared locks with some Germans, living in Loughborough, on a Black Prince boat from Chirk. Moored just before the lock n the view of Beeston Castle, had dinner and walked up to the Shady Oak. A sunny day , not too hot, windy at times.

Monday 14th August 1995

From Wharton Lock No 35 to Christleton Lock No 36 arriving at 4:45 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 25 minutes. 7.87 miles and 1 locks, averaging 2.6 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 588 hours 2 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 881 locks, averaging 1.67 lock/miles per hour.

Visited Beeston Castle before lunch. Shared the lock with a local boat "Incognito". A lot of private moorings near Hargrave. Moored just before the lock. A cloudy dy with some sunny intervals.

Tuesday 15th August 1995

From Christleton Lock No 36 to Northgate Staircase Locks Nos 41 to 43 arriving at 12:00 am. The time taken was 2 hours 25 minutes. 2.37 miles and 7 locks, averaging 3.88 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 590 hours 27 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 888 locks, averaging 1.67 lock/miles per hour.

Set off through the locks, there was a lock keeper at the first lock to help save water but he let us through on our own. The next lock had bridge works and the towpath was closed. We filled with water (almost) at Hoole Lane Lock where the water point is in the lock. Had lunch at Yates Wine Lodge at Chester, picked up the post, looked round the cathedral and went shopping. There is a Tesco close to Cow Lane Bridge where we moored. A hot and sunny day. Saw "Malstrome" again and some people from Upwell.

Wednesday 16th August 1995

From Northgate Staircase Locks Nos 41 to 43 to Ellesmere Port Docks, Locks Nos 44 to 46 arriving at 1:55 pm. The time taken was 4 hours 10 minutes. 8.75 miles and 0 locks, averaging 2.1 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 594 hours 37 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 888 locks, averaging 1.66 lock/miles per hour.

A lock keeper worked the Northgate locks for us and we passed the Festival site on our way to Ellesmere Port, very shallow for much of the way. There was also a dead dog in the cut. We filled with water and had lunch then entered the top lock but were told that there were no moorng spaces down the locks because of the local rally so we turned and moored on the off side by the bridge. Went round the Boat Museum. A hot and sunny day.

Friday 18th August 1995

From Ellesmere Port Docks, Locks Nos 44 to 46 to River Dee Branch Junction arriving at 5:50 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 50 minutes. 8.5 miles and 3 locks, averaging 3 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 598 hours 27 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 891 locks, averaging 1.66 lock/miles per hour.

After two nights at Ellesmere Port including shopping at B&Q, Kwik Save and Asda, and two trips round the Boat Museum, we filled with water and set off back to Chester, there being no more available moorings at thatend of the canal due to the rally and shallow state of the canal. On the way back we stopped aat a small boatyard for diesel (9 gallons @ 75p, 6.75) and pump out (9). Passed "Straw Bear" on the way. Moored at Tower Wharf and walked round the town, having dinner in the very hot Pied Bull Hotel. A hot and sunny day.

Wednesday 23rd August 1995

From River Dee Branch Junction to Ellesmere Port Docks, Locks Nos 44 to 46 arriving at 6:55 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 10 minutes. 8.5 miles and 3 locks, averaging 3.63 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 601 hours 37 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 894 locks, averaging 1.65 lock/miles per hour.

After five days in Chester the water level came up and we left our raft of four boats breasted together and set off up to Ellesmere, mooring alongside "Elmwood". At Chester we moored beside Dennis's 45 foot boat "Absolute". Saw "Pinto" and "Pamandy" from Strawberry Island Boat Club. A cooler day though mainly sunny and warm.

Friday 25th August 1995

From Ellesmere Port Docks, Locks Nos 44 to 46 to Mollington Bridge No 130 arriving at 12:45 am. The time taken was 3 hours 10 minutes. 7 miles and 3 locks, averaging 3.16 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 604 hours 47 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 897 locks, averaging 1.65 lock/miles per hour.

Filled with water at the Boat Museum then had a pump out at Boat Building Services (9) again. Very windy passing some of the boats on their Festival moorings. A cloudy and windy morning with sunny periods in the afternoon.

Tuesday 29th August 1995

From Mollington Bridge No 130 to Ellesmere Port Docks, Locks Nos 44 to 46 arriving at 5:40 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 25 minutes. 7 miles and 3 locks, averaging 2.93 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 608 hours 12 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 900 locks, averaging 1.64 lock/miles per hour.

We were booked through the Locks at 1530 but the Haarbour Master, from "Twinkle" had already told us that BW would prefer it if we postponed our depature until tomorrow. We needed water so we set off for the water point at Tower Wharf, passing the long line of boats waiting for the locks, 4 hours behind schedule. It proved impossible t get onto the water point so we decided to turn and go back to Ellesmere Port, a man on "Dutch" fell in while crossing the dry dock gate to help us turn. A dull and rainy day.

Wednesday 30th August 1995

From Ellesmere Port Docks, Locks Nos 44 to 46 to Northgate Staircase Locks Nos 41 to 43 arriving at 6:00 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 35 minutes. 8.75 miles and 0 locks, averaging 2.44 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 611 hours 47 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 900 locks, averaging 1.63 lock/miles per hour.

Went in to Ellesmere Port for shopping and had a look round the Boat Museum with Angela. As we set off Denis arrived on "Absolute" having towed "Monkey Business" the last mile due to overheating. Also Nick Saunders with his Black Sea pair and the steam boat "Monarch" arrived. Saw "Zeguerner" at Tower Wharf, went through the staircase locks and moored in the rock cutting. A cloudy day with some sunshine.

Thursday 31st August 1995

From Northgate Staircase Locks Nos 41 to 43 to Bate's Mill Bridge No 109 arriving at 6:40 pm. The time taken was 4 hours 20 minutes. 9.87 miles and 8 locks, averaging 4.12 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 616 hours 7 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 908 locks, averaging 1.64 lock/miles per hour.

Shopping in the morning, lunch then went with Angela to the station to see her off. Went through the locks with "Madrigal" from Market Drayton. Saw a kingfisher. Had dinner at the Shady Oak. A plesantly sunny day.

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Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
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