We left the moorings at 7-20 and arrived at the tunnel 25 minutes later, there were already 2 boats waiting. We expected to be the second convoy as a Black Prince had turned up at the other end to late for a passage yesterday so they told him to be back by 8 and he would be first through, he has not been seen since. We went through at a reasonable rate but I couldn't see the boat in front only a stern light from the lead boat every now and then, so I dropped back a bit and was 300 mt behind when the second one exited. It was still under 40 minutes.
We filled with water at the CRT offices at Red Bull but I see the pumpout is still out of action. Just as we were about to leave after filling with water the boat ahead set off, but by the third lock we were well ahead and after that met boats at most locks.
I knew that the Lawton Locks were not on the original line but I didn't know what the two large stone gateposts were for by the top lock. I have now been told that this was the entrance to the Smithy and Joiners Workshop that were hear when the original line was in use and that the smaller two were the drive to a house by the old locks.
We stopped for lunch at Hassall Green, there is a lot of activity at the old Romping Donkey public house, this is a listed building that has been under threat for many years. I photograph it every time I pass.
We pushed on down towards our mooring for the night at Wheelock, just below Saw Pit lock there is a freshly painted bench with a brass plaque on it, should make an interesting seat by the lock moorings.
It was half three before we arrived at the Wheelock visitor moorings, I expected to find them full, but there is hardly anybody here.