Lift, No Lift


From Dutton Stop Lock No 76 to Middlewich Visitor Moorings (Middlewich Branch), a distance of 16 miles, 4¼ flg and 5 locks.

We had a couple of alternative plans – we could do a bit of time on The Weaver, or we could leave that and do it next year and detour up to Wrenbury and walk over to the Bhurtpore at Aston. We’d heard that there had been a few problems with the lift so we decided not to do the river this time.

It was another cool morning with a little bit of mist, Nick had started steering but he really dislikes Barnton and Saltersford tunnels so Colin took over. We had to wait at Saltersford Tunnel (West end) as we got there just before the time slot again – there was a boat in front of us and so we gave them a couple of minutes to get ahead of us before going into the tunnel. The reason Nick doesn’t like the tunnels too much is that the approach to both of them going south is pretty bad with bends in the canal right before them which means its very easy to make a mess of entering the tunnel – something that happens a lot if you look at the state of the stonework.

Saltersford Tunnel western portal

Saltersford Tunnel western portal

Inside the Tunnel

Inside the Tunnel

Exiting the tunnel

Exiting the tunnel

The Winding Hole between Barnton and Saltersford Tunnels had quite a few boats moored in it – and it looks like quite a good mooring. We followed the boat round the corner to Barnton Tunnel (West end) and as we entered the tunnel we snagged the radio aerial… luckily it just folded down rather than breaking off.

The tunnel portal hiding behind a bush - notice the damage where boats have miss judged the entry

The tunnel portal hiding behind a bush – notice the damage where boats have miss judged the entry

Leaving Barnton Tunnel

Leaving Barnton Tunnel

You’d hope that the stupid approaches on bends would be over but no… The canal makes a S bend on leaving the tunnel and leaves you approaching Barnton Road Bridge on a 90 degree blind bend.

Who ever thought this was a sensible approach to a bridge

Who ever thought this was a sensible approach to a bridge

Luckily no-one was coming the other way and we made our way towards Anderton. As we approached Anderton Marina a boat came out of the marina and went across into Uplands Marina – the entrance to which is quite hidden so you get the appearance of a boat vanishing into the bank

Its not a magic trick

It’s not a magic trick

Today was another crew change day – we were dropping back down to three of us for the rest of the trip so we started planning where to do it. On the way out we’d dropped crew at Old Broken Cross and they’d walked to the station so we did some time table checking and worked out we could be there for lunch.

As we came through ICI Works Bridge No 186 the ponds on the other side of the main road were steaming so for once the warning notices on the road were appropriate.

We moored up outside the pub by Broken Cross Bridge No 184 – I’m not sure when the pub grew the “Old” moniker and had lunch.

The old tramway at Bramble Cuttings

The old tramway at Bramble Cuttings

We moored up quite early and walked into town – we found a large Tesco which we didn’t know about and The Alhambra which obviously used to be a cinema but is now a restaurant

The Alhambra

The Alhambra

We also found The White Bear where we had a couple of pints whilst planning the rest of the day. We went back to the boat via the Tesco and cooked supper before heading over to The Kings Lock which was extremely good. It had a range of interesting “Green Hopped” beers, i.e. ones made using fresh green hops rather than dried ones. After that we walked down to The Narrow Boat before ending up at The White Bear again.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *