Moorings at Queens Head are at a premium and it is not helped by there being 1 boat with a mooring permit, a working flat and a canoe permanently moored there, plus they are 14 day moorings. Consequently we had to moor just the other side of the A5 road bridge.
We ate in the Queens Head pub and the portion size is as generous as it was last time we visited almost 20 years ago.
This morning we set off shortly before 10 am to be at the junction by 12 to lock back onto the Llangollen Canal. Stretches of this canal are very straight just like this section between Keepers Bridge and Perry Aqueduct. The aqueduct has moorings each side in case you have to wait for a stream of traffic coming the other way.
We also passed Rednel Basin, this is now completely overgrown, the first time we visited we moored up and wandered round and even in 2008 there was a boat moored in there. Mind you CRT do a good job maintaining the sign telling you how to operate that very overgrown swig bridge.
For some reason BW put stop plank groves in the bridge holes, but they didn't cut groves, they cast concrete blocks with groves in them set into the canal. This has meant they have had to install loads of fendering which of course will require maintaining.
The last pound above Graham Palmer lock was hard work as it was down by quite a bit. You can see the pocket matting they used to line the canal, the idea being that the pockets held the soil, you can also see the canoe portage platform above the lock. when we did arrive at Franklin Locks there was a hire boat ahead of us. We were the only 2 going up today but several coming down. The plan was the hire boat would set off and we would turn the first lock behind them and follow, that way we would pass the first boat coming down in the first pound. It was a good job the hire boat was in front because I would never have got out of the lock with the level so low, it wasn't until the boat coming down dropped a lock full of water we could move. At the staircase I followed the hire boat straight up. The leak on the intermediate gate in the staircase looks impressive.
As we passed moored boats they started leaving, they had obviously stopped for lunch so when we reached New Martin bottom lock there were three we could see behind us. Next was New Martin top which should have been with us, but CRT were on hand trying to fill it for a boat coming down but it was leaking nearly as fast as they were filling it. It did seem to seal a bit better when we were going up.
We carried on to moor for the night at Chirk Bank, we were the first boat to moor up but it soon filled up, as we were mooring up a boat coming down didn't slow at all pulling the rear pin out and nearly taking the bow rope out of Diana's hand even though it was through a ring. Most of the hire boats have passed very slowly thank goodness.
An update to the blog.
After we had finished eating the main course of our diner we noted that the traffic had finally died away, some of the hire boats had been down to the pub for an early meal and were getting a few more miles under their belts. After a quick discussion we decided at twenty to eight to set off again and cross Chirk Aqueduct and do the tunnel while there was no movement, as we didn't see any boats on the move and we didn't want to moor in the cutting just through Chirk Tunnel we carried on and did Whitehouse tunnel as well. With these tunnels being narrow and the flow running down the canal we probably did a lot less that 1½ MPH. that's all we managed across aqueduct. So at 9pm we moored at the 48 hr moorings just to the north of Whitehouse tunnel.