Antiqui Colant Antiquum Dierum

From Beeston Stone Lock No 33 to Cow Lane Bridge No 123E, a distance of 11 miles, 2¼ flg and 7 locks.

Beeston Iron lock was totally empty when we got to it the next morning, so we bounced the bottom gates to dislodge anything that might have been stuck between them, and then filled the lock and worked through with no real problems. The bottom gates have a rather large gap when closed and it looks like its been caused by boats clipping the edge of the gate as they go in and out of the lock as the biggest gap is right at the top rubbing strake level – hopefully BW will get it fixed soon as its not going to be long before someone leaving the top gate open will drain the pound.

Some people think linear moorings are “nice” and “interesting” to pass. I suggest they are made to travel the canal between Nixon’s Bridge No 114 and Faulkner’s Bridge No 116 , preferably several times and then say how wonderful it is.

The canal was pretty quiet all the way to Christleton Lock No 36 where we had to wait for a boat ahead of us to go down and a very slow boat to come up – the boat coming up came up on half a paddle.

The locks down into Chester aren’t the fastest and it was early afternoon by the time we had made it to Cow Lane Bridge No 123E , turned in the winding hole and taken up the last 52 foot of the rather short length of visit moorings.

After a quick freshen up we headed out into the City to do a bit of sightseeing. We started walking clockwise round the city walls, taking a slight detour to have a closer look at the amphitheatre and then a walk through the “Roman Garden”, and its collection of fragments of salvaged stone work, to the river. We got back onto the wall and walked round past Northgate Staircase Locks Nos 41 to 43 , over St Martin’s Way (A wonderful example of what Labour were capable of doing in the 1970s), and to Northgate where we came down off the walls and headed into town for a beer or two.

If you are in Chester, and you like your beer, then you must visit the “Old Boot Inn” in EastGate which is a Sam Smiths pub and serves Old Brewery Bitter for a staggering £1.34 a pint. When I bought the 3 drinks and it was £4.02 I thought the barman had made a mistake… but he hadn’t.

So we were forced, from a point of fairness, to do a whole cycle of rounds.

We then wandered off, completed our walk and went back to the boat.

We decided to try the Mill Hotel and Spa as its supposedly a great real ale pub but the whole of Chester seemed to be in there, so we wandered round town and found a Marstons pub to have a lightish evening meal in before heading to the “Bear & Billet” on Lower Bridge St. An Okells “Beers of the World” pub it had a good range of Okells ales, other hand pulled real ales and draught European beers .. How many places in the UK do you know that sell Dark Budweiser Budvar on draught?

We left just after 11 and headed back to the boat. Not sure why we bothered as the drunken sots of Chester stumbled noisily past the boat until the early hours of the morning.

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