We set off at 9-35 this morning in not bad weather, A boat had just gone by but the hotel boat Takara who we moored in front of last night was still there and set off just behind us. A couple of their guests had walked to the first lock before their boat had set off and talking to an American lady it was her 6th trip on the UK canals and she once did 3 in one year.
We passed the old Cheddleton flint mill on our left, I am not sure how often it is open now, I suspect they struggle to get Volunteers to open on a regular basis. We carried on down the canal, back setting for Takara as we went. Just beside lock 13 on the offside is this old building. It is thought to be the first Methodist place of worship in Cheddleton back in the 1790s. We soon left the canal and joined the river which had very little flow on. Here we passed a couple of old Lime Kilns which were numerous in the area. The area around here has a lot of wildlife conservation work carried out and I think this is one of the many Bug Hotels in the area.
Beside Consall Forge Lock an old structure has been partly uncovered, as you can see it is constructed of large stones like a lock but it looks too narrow to be a lock and I can’t see where the gates would have hung.
Soon we were at the tunnel, We have been through before but have always managed to leave a little red paint from the left hand handrail just as I entered the tunnel as I find it very difficult to see just as the bows enters the tunnel and I am still outside in bright sunshine. Today was different, we went through clean as a whistle, I just wish someone had gone first and cleared the cobwebs. Once clear of the tunnel we dropped down the first lock on the Uttoxeter Canal into Uttoxeter basin where we stopped for lunch. Diana walked down from the lock to the moorings and was waiting for me. While we were there I checked the weed hatch, not much on the prop but the hatch cover was in need of a new gasket so I made one and fitted it, now not a drop of water comes in. I don’t use tape around the edge like most people but a sheet of close cell foam on the underside of the lid.
After lunch it was back up Lock 1 on the Uttoxeter Canal, maybe one day we will be able to get to Uttoxeter. To our surprise there was a boat just above the lock as very few modern boats can get through the tunnel.
Going this way its much easier to get a line on the tunnel and slide straight through. CRT have erected a new sign just by the mouth of the tunnel giving the maximum dimensions of a boat able to pass through the tunnel, but I wonder how many boaters know the exact profile dimensions of their boat?
On our way back I spotted one of the new modern mile posts adjacent to the original stone one. We stopped very briefly at The Black Lion to see what they were doing in the way of food and after reading the menu decided to carry on to Cheddleton and we are now moored two locks below where we were last night.