Winsford is a strange town, several pubs and takeaways' near the canal but the shops are quite a walk away. The High Street has been cut off and replaced with a duel Carriageway running up through the town.
Like Northwich, Winsford has 2 bridges over the river and again like Northwich the are both one way road traffic and form a large roundabout. I think the builders forgot their spirit level when they built the first one as the stone courses drop a good foot to the north. From about 9 pm until 11 pm the local youths seemed to roar down on their motorbikes and sometimes mopeds, which is worse, round the roundabout and back up the duel carriageway into town. This seemed to go on continuously until it was their bed time.
This morning we woke to very little wind and bright sunshine, ideal for a trip into the Flashes, I had spoken to a few boaters as in the past I had heard tails of woe of boats being stuck for days and it is beyond CRTs jurisdiction.
Our first port of call was the new town moorings, these are just into the flash and round on the left hand side.
For the first half of the moorings the water is 3 ft. deep right against the side, it then tapers off towards the dead end of the moorings so most boats should be able to use them. They are fenced off from the park but there is a gate in the fencing. I think we will probably moor here when we come next time as its a bit away from the bridge and there are no trees for the pigeons to sit in and leave deposits on our boat. You can see me checking the depth with my pole.
After reversing back and turning round we continued into the flashes. There are several boats moored on the left so we kept quite well to that side, beyond this there were several fishermen which surprised me, as I would consider this to be part of the river and still under closed season.
We continued on until we came to a sunken tree, I decided to go between it and the bank and where just past it when Diana called back we only had 3 feet of water. She was on the bows taking soundings with the pole. We had several people watching us from the chalet park on the opposite bank, I suspect it may be shallower that side as there was no sign of any moorings over there. I felt it prudent to stop at this point and back up a bit, we then tried outside the tree but again 3 feet. As we were alone I felt it best to stop, reverse back a bit, turn round and retrace our steps back to CRT waters. Here is a map of the route we followed and how far we got before I chickened out. If you would like to see this in more detail then please follow this LINK
Cart have a nice sign on Winsford bridge telling you that you are back on their waters, you can see the Red Lion moorings on the right. It is a shame that there is not a notice about these good moorings on the other side of that bridge.
There is very little flow on the river as we made our way back down stream to Newbridge Swing Bridge, this is the low one.
and then back to Vale Royal lock where the keeper asked me to wait as he had a boat coming up, we waited so long that we had dinner, eventually a Narrowboat left the lock and we went in. It was the same team as yesterday. He apologised for the delay it seems the other boat took much longer than expected to get here. This lock has chains on the bottom gates as well as the quadrant to open them, but they only use the quadrants. You wouldn’t want to drop on top of those cast iron quadrants as the lock emptied, a bit like a cill at both ends. The keeper called the keeper at Hunts Lock and as we arrived the top gate was opening for us. He took a centre rope but it really wasn’t needed with very little draw as the lock emptied. Just below the lock are 48 hr moorings, these are actually the old lock moorings but with no large commercial traffic now they have been turned over to moorings. Here I set to and did an oil and filter change as well as topping up the batteries. we then walked to the Old Work House which is now The Weaver Museum with the history of the salt industry, the town, river and Work House its self.
Returning to the boat about 4 pm we decided to return to the town moorings for the night, but when we got there we found them all in the shade and we had just left warm sunshine and a grass bank. There was only one thing for it, turn round and head back to the lock for the night.