Northwich to Middlewich

Northwich to Anderton, River Weaver – 2 miles, 0 locks
Anderton to Middlewich, Trent and Mersey Canal – 10 miles, 0 locks

Phoenix 58 waits to go up Anderton Lift
Phoenix 58 waits to go up Anderton Lift

What a gorgeous day this has been. Took the dog for an early morning walk up the river to Hunts lock which is a very pleasant area.  To reach it we cut through quite a smart new residential area which marks the site of Yarwoods boatyard, commemorated by a couple of information boards and includes, appropriately, Yarwood Close… handy for the satnav.

Back in town we waited in glorious sunshine for friends David and Christine to turn up for a promised ride back to Middlewich including the all important trip back up the Anderton Lift.

We travelled up in stylish company in the form of Phoenix 58, one of the most unusual narrowboats on the canals being built in the style of a luxury yacht rather than bitumened steel hull and wooden interior.  It was also one of the most expensive narrowboats on the canals when first offered for sale, and now has home moorings near Hunts Lock.

Being a bank holiday we were certainly in more than a few pictures today and there were also more than a few other boats out today including almost every boat from the Bridgewater canal who seem to travel in numbers – a dozen or so last night in Northwich and a couple of dozen gathered here in Middlewich tonight too.

My visitors enjoyed the trip up the lift – very smooth indeed today, as opposed to the jerky motion you can experience especially when going down.  The BW guys on duty were very helpful and informative, as always, and this all adds to making a trip on the lift into a memorable experience.  Today we learnt that the original lift was open topped and operated with a small steam engine with the majority of the power being provided by gravity.   “I sometimes tell people it used to have a thatched roof,” said the guy at the top with a glint in his eye.

The rest of the trip back to Middlewich was really beautiful with our first ducklings (12+) of the year (at Rudheath) loads of blosson, bluebells and spring flowers and very spectacularly, a massive bird of prey at Marston.  I know Christine got a picture of it so will post it here when I get  a copy.

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