Canal Holiday - Llangollen Canal
Sunday 1 June to Wednesday 4 June 2008 - Llangollen to Barbridge
As we prepare to leave the basin at Llangollen, the horse-drawn trip
boat heads back to the wharf
Heading towards Trevor along one of the narrow sections without room to
pass - these need a crew member to go on ahead as one end of the narrows
can't be seen from the other.
Returning over Pontcysyllte
We have passed the marina and are now on new territory: we pause briefly
to wait for a boat to emerge from the tunnel before we carry on south
towards the aqueduct
Our mooring spot for the night, just inside Wales, overlooking the Chirk
Aqueduct. The aqueduct is 70 feet high and 710 feet long, carrying the
canal above the Ceiriog Valley. It was designed by Thomas Telford and
completed in 1801. Like Pontcysyllte the water is contained within a
cast iron trough, but is something of an intermediary style in that the
trough is supported within the massive masonry walls.
Morning light on the aqueduct. The aqueduct consists of ten arches, each
with a span of 40 feet. The water level is 70 feet above the River
After a short early morning exploration of Chirk, we are underway again
Stopping for water just above New Marton locks, where there is a queue
(behind the photographer).
The lock cottage at New Marton top lock.
A diminutive bridge sits above the bywash, as Sheila watches Rosa
coming into the lock with Mary at the tiller.
Lucy, Sheila and Helen at New Marton bottom lock, waiting for it to fill
Lucy steers Rosa through the last bridge on what was the
Llangollen branch of the Ellesmere Canal, and thus is numbered 1.
Frankton Junction, where the mainline of the Ellesmere Canal headed
south, now considered to be the start of the Montgomery Canal
And through Bridge 69 as we continue along the canal towards Ellesmere
At Ellesmere there is a lot of construction underway around the basin at
the end of the Ellesmere Branch, amid rather sad surroundings. Hopefully
this iconic warehouse will be preserved and preferably renovated.
An attractive crane, surrounded by more modern machinery.
The Ellesmere Canal Company's headquarters, now a private residence,
sits opposite the end of the branch
Stephen and Helen as we wait for the others to return from the shopping
expedition in Ellesmere.
There are lots of meres in Shropshire, filling hollows left over from
the last Ice Age. Many have neither inflow nor outflow, and several can
be seen from the canal near Ellesmere, including this one, Blake Mere,
which has rhododendrons lining its banks.
A little further on is Colemere. This isn't really visible from the
canal, but there is a footpath right around it, which makes a grand walk
- and if the boat can be helpfully run aground, then the walker/runner
will have less distance to make up when he returns to the towpath!
The little church at Colemere
A man, presumably fishing, with a wooden pole
We made an exploration along the Prees Branch, but sadly Bridge 1, the
only one left on the canal to be operated by swinging on the chain, was
out of action.
Tuesday morning and as we descend the Grindley Brook locks, Merry, Helen
and Helen are hard at work.
Lucy gently lets the boat move to the side as she allows the boat coming
up space to get into the lock.
Merry crosses the gates to wind up a paddle
A fierce bywash - to give trouble on the way back up
A pleasant afternoon on the canal as we make our way towards Wrenbury.
We had allowed for delays at Grindley Brook, but there hadn't been any,
so we had plenty of time to spare today.
At Wrenbury there is a mechanised lift bridge: Mary crosses it on her
way to the control station.
She has set the lights going, closed the barrier and raised the bridge,
holding up the traffic...
Only one car today, but more when we come back!
Wednesday morning, and Alan and Jane are looking cheerful
Jane prepares a fresh posy of wild flowers for the dinner table, watched
Mary and Sheila wait to empty the lock
Alan looks on
Helen and Lucy looking intently at something!
Cows and a windmill
At Hurleston, the final four locks take the Llangollen Canal down onto
the the mainline of the Shropshire Union Canal. Stephen steers Rosa
round a boat coming up as we descend from the fourth to the third lock.
Six crew members wait for the lock to empty
Stephen steers Rosa round the junction, neatly picking up the
rest of the crew from the Shropshire Union Canal towpath. Off to lunch
at the Barbridge Inn, then it's back up the Hurleston locks.