Saturday 30 August 2014

Llangollen / Shropshire Union swop

An overcast, cool, breezy morning. We aim to be off the Llangollen today, not that we set ourselves targets in these more relaxed times. The Llangollen is much longer than we remembered, but non the worse for that. To us it still remains the jewel in the crown of the British canal system and is well maintained ( with the exception of the locks ), equally well used and, dare I say it, greatly undervalued and distinctly understated.
I would hate to see it turned into the Blackpool of the canals, but it could be far better marketed and presented at very little or no cost, using the assets it already has and better signage. This applies similarly to the village.
Lynne operated the electric lift bridge where I got abused with no obscene comments whilst letting three boats through. Moral of the story ; wear drag when operating lift bridges.
We cruised leisurely through  Baddily locks (3), descending nearly 20 ft, before tackling Swanley locks (2) and another 12 ft descent. So far so good. Then we hit Hurleston staircase locks !!! (4). Down a further 34 ft. Staircase locks have to be used in unison or not at all. When we were half way down someone managed to get his boat stuck in the bottom lock, thus fowling up the whole system. It took ages for him to be pulled out whilst being abused by his wife in front of loads of gongoozlers. Poor chap.
We passed the reservoir providing water to Crewe and fed by the Llangollen canal. Now on the Shropshire Union canal, we moored near Beeston Castle in heavy rain with no TV ,phone or Internet connections, thus this blog may reach you a day late. Sorry.

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