At Nantwich, where we arrived yesterday, we are at the northern end of what used to be called the Birmingham and Liverpool Junction Canal. At Hurleston Junction two miles beyond it joins the Chester Canal as was and the Llangollen Canal, which are now all called the Shropshire Union Canal. This waterway has carried us majestically for forty miles from Autherley Junction, through one small tunnel and only twenty nine locks.
Tudor and Georgian Nantwich
The shopping area at Nantwich
It was the last of the man made locks to be dug before the growing influence of the railways became to strong to make them economical any more and it was certainly the last canal built by Thomas Telford, who died before it was completed in 1835. However in an endeavour to make it competitive it was built as straight as possible over high steep embankments and through deep sharp cuttings unlike the previous canal procedure of following the contours of the land. This from the boaters point of view has changed what could have been a boring unchanging journey in a straight line into a never ending change of rural features, which have been both impressive as well as beautiful.
Breasted up in Nantwich
However the canal has been busy all the way up and on our arrival at Nantwich we could only find one berth available to fit a fifty seven footer so we needed to breast up together to make the most of the one spot.
By midday we were tied up and later after a friend of Janis’ had arrived to stay aboard for the weekend, we spent the rest of the afternoon chatting to Nigel and drinking tea before Janis provided a wholesome Spaghetti Bolognaise. Afterwards we all went ashore for a couple of pints to ‘The Oddfellows’ pub to watch the England v Sweden match. Not being a normal football spectator or even a follower of the game, I found it nonetheless quite exciting and it was a pleasant change to see England actually win a match.
This morning Janis has taken ‘Roots and Wings’ with Nigel aboard for a short trip further north to return here tomorrow morning, when her friend has to return to civilization.