Monday 12th to Monday 19th July 2010

Monday was cool and damp but it turned out to be a good cruising day with no one but us on the move. No locks to get excited about meant an easy ride down to our first stop at Leigh for a spot of cupboard filling.

The boat came to a stop at Astley Green in light rain, Monday afternoon.

I’m afraid I’m having a word crisis this week, nothing is falling into place in my head, so the remainder of this week’s blog is photos and titles. V’s editing will filter out major spelling and grammar blunders but you’ll have to fill in the story gaps as best you can. I’m putting it down to nasty chemicals in hayfever tablets, eye drops and nasal sprays.

Astley Green Colliery Museum.
Indoor and outdoor exhibits.
Met an ex-miner doing a tour of the pit head who commented on how badly the government treated the poor miners.
The museum is free of charge, well worth the visit.
colliery museum

The cleaners were in when we popped our heads round the engine house door.
engine house

Funny thing happened as we got back to the boat, nb.Belly Button came chugging along and then stopped dead in the water. Pulled him over to the bank while he kept trying to start the engine, puffs of smoke but no chug-chug.

Turns out it was a blocked diesel filter. A local boater going t’other way stopped to help and said he’d be back with something to put it right. Aren’t some boaters lovely.

Depart Astley Green, took on water at Worsley, spotted nb.LazyDays, following us out of Liverpool but how did they pass us?
Moored at Little Bollington, next to Dunham Park.
Checked out intended B&B for our visitors arriving early tomorrow morning.
Clouds looked good just before the deluge.
wet weather

It’s Ter and Claire on our doorstep at 7.30am. This means I’m in for a mail drop (more birthday pressies) and a cooked breakfast.

Checked T&C in at Ash Farm (AA 4 star) run by David and Janice Taylor (a famous name in snooker in 70s and 80s amongst other greats like Ray Reardon and Steve Davis).
David won the World and English Amateur championships when he was 25. Time has been kind to David, he’s older than me but looks ten years younger, but then most people do.
ash farm

Managed a short walk in the grounds of National Trust property Dunham Massey.
Deer all over the place, so tame.
oh dear

It’s Claire’s birthday. We joined C&T at Ash Farm for morning coffee and to watch the presents being opened.
Back to the boat for cake and meals.

Managed another walk in the park again, but cried off after 2 miles with tired legs.
The water mill operates on weekends, they tell me.

It’s bye-bye C&T and hello J&K and more birthday pressies, aren’t they lovely.
Claire and Ter are heading Leicester way as Kass ‘n Joe come up from Bury SE. Photos of wedding and honeymoon kept us busy much of the day.

K&J return to BurySE, life onboard returns to normal.

It’s our seventh day on the Bridgewater canal, our last ‘free’ day as a visitor from BW waters.
Cruising is slow, there are plenty of on-line moorings, narrow bits like Lymm and would you believe it a fishing match on a Monday.

Stopped for bunkers at Hesford Marine (72p/litre self declare) and looked at their shelves, some nice shiny brass things but resisted the urge to buy.

There must be a story behind the name Grappenhall but that will have to wait ‘til another day.
Anyway, we didn’t stop there, we stopped at Stockton Heath. While V did a run to the grocers I called in at Thorn Marine to look at the shelves. Didn’t buy anything, I just like looking.

Couldn’t pass Midland Chandlers at Preston Brook without a look-see and finally gave up fighting it and bought something.

Third in a line of seven boats, we pottered through Preston Brook tunnel and tied up t’other side before the heavens opened.

I shan’t hesitate to cruise the Bridgewater Canal again, it’s wide, deep, well trimmed and has plenty to interest the eye.

We leave it with many happy memories and dozens of bags of rubbish, disposal points are few and far between.