Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Smooth Operation

moored in Salthouse Dock

Well, we are here!  We are in Salthouse Dock in the heart of Liverpoooool!!

As recommended by many boaters we had met we moored overnight at Bridge 10.  Two other boats were already there when we arrived and, during the rest of the afternoon and evening, five others joined us so we were one of nine boats going into Liverpool ohumans did this!n Wednesday morning.

As instructed, we were all ready and waiting at Bridge 9 near Aintree at 9am for our assisted passage.  It was a smooth operation – the chaps from C&RT did their job brilliantly.  When we set off we were 6th in the flotilla but, after being let through the next swing bridge, we found ourselves 2nd with Ken & Sandra leading the way.  As with most urban sections of canal, human habitation has its downside – there was a lot of rubbish.  Cans and bottles float – it doesn’t do too well to ponder on what doesn’t but we did end up with a lot of stuff around the prop!  If there was an old-fashioned returnable amount of money on plastic bottles the world would be a better place!  However, we have experienced much worse than this on the Coventry Arm, going through Leicester and on the section from Brentford to Paddington.

When we reached Eldonian Basin with the four Stanley Dock locks ahead of us, C&ART staff were there ready and waiting.

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It was so easy!  They did it all for us!!

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As we left the locks we entered Stanley Dock passing the enormous Tobacco Warehouse which is a landmark for miles around and is apparently going to be converted into apartments.  I think Ken said it contains something like 57 million bricks!!

We continued to follow the bollards – actually we didn’t – we followed Ken – and made our way through all the old docks.  The Link is just 1.4 miles long, includes a narrow section contentiously nicknamed ‘Sid’s Ditch’, two new locks and three short tunnels and cost over £20 million!!  It is becoming a more and more popular thing for boaters to do and there is now regular boat movement through and past Maghull which, in the past, had rightly or wrongly earned itself the reputation of being a ‘no-go’ area.  Surely this is what re-generation of an area is all about?

Emerging from St Nicholas (patron saint of sailors I believe) tunnel, The Three Graces were right there!  The Royal Liver Building, The Cunard Building and The Port of Liverpool Building – all fabulous!  The modern Museum of Liverpool building is also very impressive.

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We had to wait at Mann Island lock for the rest of the boats to catch us up and then C&ART let us all through to make our way to Salthouse Dock and our reserved berths.

To arrive at this famous location on our own boat has been an exciting adventure and, so far, one I would definitely recommend.  Now we have the city of Liverpool to explore.  Unfortunately, one thing that is not conveniently at hand is somewhere decent to walk a dog – they are not allowed anywhere in Albert Dock and the nearby Chavasse Park is very manicured and ornamental.  We will have to have regular bus rides to Sefton Park I think.  So, what with being surrounded by concrete and having to wear a silly jacket (albeit temporarily) Lola is not as impressed as we are!

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Monday, 24 June 2013

Health & Safety

Most of our mooring stops since we have been on The Leeds & Liverpool have required the use of stakes.  Now these can be hazardous to walkers, cyclists and boaters so …… responsible boaters demarcate their presence in some form or another.  Many boaters wrap plastic bags around them.  We tend to use yellow tennis balls.  HOWEVER, these are proving to be more and more popular with our canine friends out for ‘walkies’ and we keep having them nicked!  We are down to our last one until supplies can be replenished.

Now you see it ………………………….

now you see it

                                                                                Now you don’t!

                                                                                                                    now you don't!

What to do?

I had read that a very enterprising lady boater had crocheted cover-things out of carrier bags obtainable from a well known supermarket.  Needs must, I thought, so I had a go.  Not the classiest thing you’ll ever see but for now at least they will serve the purpose.  Kesandra and Ellen are abiding by the rules of Health & Safety!

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Some people are just so creative/inventive aren’t they?  And, out there somewhere are some very happy, well-foraged, opportunistic dogs!!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

A Trip to the Seaside

From Scarisbrick Bridge it’s only 4 miles to the seaside resort of Southport which boasts miles of sandy beach, the 2nd longest pier in England (where is the longest?) and Lord Street – a Victorian canopied boulevard!  We had a day out.  For those of you old enough to remember the song “The Day we went to Banger” – here follows my attempt at a loosely modelled alternative ……….

The Day we went to Southport

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Didn’t we have a luverley time the day we went to Southport?

A wet, windy day but we all made our way a-long the prom-en-ade, you know.

As we pressed on we stumbled upon equipment to make us all fitter

We all had a go to push and heave-ho

As the waves came in.
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Sandra and me – we strongly agree – that pier it is a long one!  
We walked the way down away from the town along the pe-des-trian path, you know.

We chose to ride back along the tram track, then Sandra went off to the rock shop,

We thought about lunch – oh, what shall we munch?

As the waves came in.

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The men will recall the thrill of it all when we found all the shops upon Lord Street.

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They tried hard to smile and waited a while but hun-ger pangs were strong, you know.

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 All seaside trips should include fish and chips so that’s where we all made our way to

We sat in the sun watching the fairground fun

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                         As the waves went out.

Having had a good day and the sky looking grey we said ‘goodbye’ to the seaside

We got on the bus and Ken said to us “I’m really impressed with Southport, you know.”

All of us know the REAL star of the show was Lola that canine explorer

We glowed with pride coz she took it all in her stride

As the waves went out.

Monday, 17 June 2013

More on The Bridgewater

Dunham Massey Hall near the village of Little Bollington is owned by The National Trust and, yes, of course there is an admission charge to go inside the C18th mansion, but the public are allowed to roam in it’s parkland along with the fallow deer ………….. for free!

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The village has a lovely pub with a less-than-ordinary name and there are several footpaths to enjoy in and around the Bollin valley.

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Ken & Sandra set off EARLY (5.50am early!) this morning to get to Bridgewater Marina where they had arranged for a new alternator to be fitted.  We followed ………………… later………………… quite a bit later!!  more on the bridgewater 030 (1024x768)

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We crossed over The Manchester Ship Canal on the Barton Swing Aqueduct.  Gates can apparently seal off the trough section which is then swung at right angles to enable big vessels requiring more headroom to pass along the Ship Canal.  I would love to see this in operation but I think it’s a rare occurrence these days as trade is much less than it used to be.



The Games Names People Boaters Play:-

Boaters can always be relied upon to exhibit a sense of humour in the names they choose for their boats.  We saw these today and they all made us laugh:-

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I also liked ‘Arm n’ a Leg’ but failed to get a picture.

We’ve had a welcome break from locks but some are looming up as are about 17 swing bridges where we will have to hold up road traffic!


Friday, 14 June 2013


Some canal-side towns and villages are more welcoming to boaters than others.  Alongside places like Audlem, Crick, Alrewas and Cropedy, Lymm is very welcoming and also full of charm.  It’s only small but has all the essentials – except we couldn’t find a pet shop.  There are LOTS of different eating places and LOTS of estate agents!  Due to it’s popularity mooring is restricted and monitored.

A few pictures as a ‘taster’:-

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Cottages of character.

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                    Main shopping area.                                              Just a  pretty shop!                                      C17th Cross          

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A Dog friendly pub.   Lola thought her new-found friends were exceptionally hospitable!!

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Lymm -a very desirable place to bring up a large family.

We all had a delicious fish and chip supper last night. Today we’ve had some torrential rain, re-lit the fire(!) and Ken & Sandra need to get something fixed on their boat but it’s all in hand.  Lola needs to stop falling in the canal OFF THE TOWPATH!  She’s now done it NINE times all of her own accord!! She smells very nice at the moment though after her bath complete with puppy shampoo!

So far, we really like The Bridgewater – it’s wide, seems fairly deep (we haven’t had any trouble getting into the bank to moor up), it’s tidy and there are lots of sections with wide open views.  Water taps and rubbish disposal points are far and few between, however.  It’s managed by The Manchester Ship Canal Company.  We are currently moored up opposite the grounds of the National Trust property of Dunham Massey Hall.  If only it would stop raining we would go for a long walk.  Perhaps tomorrow will be better?


Thursday, 13 June 2013

Walking in Fields of Gold

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Do you remember me when the west wind moves upon the fields of barley ………..?
Lesley Jean Shelton nee Allebone     21.09.1947 – 13.06.2004   xxoo
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Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Un-chartered Waters

Travelling North, and emerging from the Preston Brook Tunnel, found us on new territory – The Bridgewater Canal.  This canal was built by Francis Egerton, the third Duke of Bridgewater, to enable coal from his mines at Worsley to be transported to Manchester and sold cheaply.

First stop – Daresbury.

We stopped at Keckwick Bridge for lunch and walked up to the church in the village of Daresbury just 1/2 a mile up the road.  Lewis Carroll - real name Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (good quiz question!) was born here.  His father was curate and there are lovely stained glass windows in the church depicting the famous characters from his children's books.

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The church, which was bigger than I had anticipated, was beautifully kept throughout and ALL the many stained glass windows were quite stunning.  There was also a beautifully carved stone memorial to a young wife who, after only a year of marriage, died in childbirth.  Gulp!

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All well worth the stop so thank you, Sandra, for suggesting it.  xxoo

Next stop:- Moore

We moored at Moore!  Just past the little village shop.  We walked to one of the original swing bridges over The Manchester Ship Canal.  The MSC here is very different from where we have seen it before – at Ellesmere Port.  Here, it is just like a river.

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Just over the bridge is a local nature reserve.  There’s a large area where dogs are allowed to run freely off leads but you are allowed to take them everywhere else in the reserve on leads.  Fair enough!  So often we come across reserves where dogs are not allowed at all and, therefore, prevents us from going in.  Also, this reserve is open to anyone – you don’t have to be a member.  Well done, Moore!

We didn’t have time to explore the numerous hides but it will definitely be on the list for the return journey.


Today – onwards to Lymm.