Day : Monday
Date : 25 March 2019
Start : 1115
Finish : 1645 Dutton Breach T&M
It was 11-15 am when we set off today, Diana went for a walk to Walton Hall for a look round and I tried to book a passage through Hunts and Vale Royal locks for when we are down on the Weaver which I eventually achieved, but spoke to some very helpful people at CRT and even those who didn't know pointed me in the right direction.
I have often wondered what the large tower is at the Science Park and have come to the conclusion its nothing more than a water tower unless someone can tell me otherwise.At Waters Meeting, Preston Brook it was hard right for a run down to Runcorn, it was surprisingly cooler than on the main line for some reason. On our way to the terminus we passed this work platform, complete with outboard engine.
There is now a nice welcoming notice on the wall by the theatre encouraging boaters to stop and visit the town, we have never stop here but have stopped at the very end with no problem.
Now Runcorn has its new toll bridge spanning the Ship Canal and the Mersey, I don't think it was open last time we came down here.
There is great talk of reopening the locks from the end of the Runcorn Arm to the Ship Canal. Most of the chambers are still there and the line can be easily followed, but they were abandoned when the road was built to feed the Silver Jubilee Bridge as it crosses the top lock. It is hoped that with the new bridge this feeder will be redundant, but I cant see this happening soon as they are refurbishing the bridge at the moment.
I don't recall noticing this stone plaque on the face of Doctors Bridge when I have been down in the past depicting sailing ships in Runcorn.
Making our way back up the arm we again passed the work platform, but it had changed slightly and now has a tea room, changing room and toilet onboard, O and it wasnt tied up.
We made our way back to Waters Meeting and again turned right arrived at Preston Brook tunnel at 1525, just right for a passage on the half hour. There was already another boat waiting so it gave Diana a chance to pick a second hand book. I didn't tie up and the bows floated across the canal, boy is it shallow if you get off the line. We followed the Canaltime boat through the tunnel, about half way through I caught something on the rudder so couldn't steer, I chugged on slowly, do I struggle on or hit reverse, this may clear the rudder but it might end up in the prop. In the end I risked it and after a bit of clattering it was all free, probably a lump of sunken branch.
There was a boat waiting to enter the tunnel when we emerged and another waiting to come through Dutton lock, when we finally cleared the lock a third boat arrived heading for the tunnel just in time.
We decided to moor for the night at Dutton Breach, good job there are plenty of rings as there were 4 boats there already, but still room for one more.
Today's Journey 16½ Miles 1Lock in 5¼ hours