Thursday, 19 November 2015


We stayed for a couple of days at the bottom of Audlem locks then made our way into Nantwich, we had an appointment on 9th November for Cratch Covers and Canopies to measure us for a rear canopy, pram hood cover. We arrived a few days early and passed Mark and Corinne, Dee O Ghee going the other way. They were half way through their week out and returned to Nantwich a couple of days later and called in for coffee, the next morning we popped over the them and had a look around their lovely boat, which they have completely fitted out themselves, before they headed back to their marina. It was lovely to finally meet up with them after spending a couple of years following their blog.

Mark and Corinne
Whilst at Nantwich we heard the hum of lawn mowers and strimmers, luckily they weren't doing the edge by the boats but the huge slope of the embankment, I was amazed to see the machinery they were using all by remote control.

Well the the day arrived for our appointment with Cratch Covers and Canopies but unfortunately it was pouring with rain and a tad windy. What we didn't realise is they fix the framework and then make templates for the canvas so they needed it to be dry and ideally little or no wind. As the horrid weather was forecast for a bit and they wouldn't be able to do it we decided to make our way to Chester and hopefully on our return the weather would be better.

We left in the afternoon and stopped off at the Barbridge Inn just before the junction with the Middlewich Arm, then continued on the next day. As we were approaching the Bunbury staircase lock we past fuel boat Hallsall delivering to his customers, we got the lock set and waited for Martin to join us, he had help that day as he said the locks are a pain on his own as his boat is slightly over 70ft so it has to be in the middle of the lock to get the gates open and also Iron Lock doesn't have a ladder!

The canal is wide from Nantwich Basin up to Chester as this section of canal was originally known as the Chester Canal and terminated at Nantwich Basin, the huge embankment and aqueduct were built later to as part of the Birmingham and Liverpool Junction Canal.

We went down the next three locks with Martin and Halsall where we stopped with a lovely view of Beeston Castle. About an hour after stopping we had a call from Cratch Covers and Canopies to say Nantwich Marina had allowed them use of their covered dock on Saturday (it was Tuesday) if we could get back for then. 

Outside the Barbridge Inn

The old stables at Bunbury staircase locks

LJ and Halsall

Moored up at Beeston

And our view

LJ's right in the middle of this picture
So we stayed at Beeston until Thursday as the forecast was rain all day Friday, dropped down the lock winded and back up to Nantwich. So unfortunately we didn't get to Chester this time but hopefully next year as we're hoping to join a floating market there.

Saturday came and it was pouring - again, but we made our way down to the covered dock where Tim and Hazel got to work fitting the framework for the cover and making templates, it took them over three hours to do, and three or four days to get the canvas done.  Once done we made our way back to the main canal but were now facing the wrong way, so we took a trip to the huge winding hold at Henhull and returned to Nantwich. In fact the canal at Henhull is extremely wide, there must be some history to there that I'll have to try and find out. 

Huge winding hole

The canal at Henhull
We decided to stay in Nantwich whilst the canopy was being made as both James and I could get a few things delivered to Argos via Ebay whilst we were waiting. On Tuesday the winds were probably the worst we have experienced on the boat, we were in a very exposed spot on the high embankment but there were no trees around waiting to fall on us! On Wednesday there were reports of quite a few trees that have come down blocking various sections of the canal so CRT and their contractors are busy getting them cleared and the canals open again.

26 miles and 12 locks

TOTAL 679 miles ad 527 locks


  1. Hi James & Debbie, Thats a shame you didn't make it to Chester. Hope to catch up with you again soon.

    1. Hi Mark and Corinne - we were looking forward to visiting Chester again and we had held off food shopping as we were going to pop into the Aldi (or is it Lidl) right on the canal just as you get into Chester so by the time we got back to Nantwich I really was Old Mother Hubbard with my bare cupboards!! We're hoping to be back up Chester way for a floating market next year so hopefully catch up with you again then, if not before xx