Wednesday 3 April 2024

Cheddleton Flint Mill

We woke to rain but by the time we had finished breakfast it had cleared out and we set off at 10 in quite pleasant weather. Our plan was to spend the night in Froghall Basin on the Uttoxeter Canal, but that didn’t happen.
Before we set off the towpath vegetation management team cam past with strimmer, mower, blower and secateurs for trimming saplings back. The weather didn’t stay fine for long and I suspect these ramblers will have got wet.DSCF9148

We carried on to Cheddleton Flint Mill where Diana jumped ship to find the post box, I carried on through this rather interesting bridge. Please excuseDSCF9150the fallen in towpath edge, its quite common along here. Just beside Cheddleton Top Lock there is an old building called the Old Dock House, this was at one time the Methodist meeting house. The noticeDSCF9152 on the gable end says it was restored by BWB in 1985, I don’t know how well its been maintained since. Down at the other end of Cheddleton looking across the field is the  Churnet Valley Railway they still have plenty of rolling stock to restore so wont be running of of work any time soon.DSCF9153

We carried on under a very nice new lift bridge that gives access to a field on the towpath side, I wonder if it is ever used? I would imagine the weight limit would be a bit restrictive these days for farm equipment.DSCF9158

We pushed on to Oakmeadow Ford Lock where the canal meets the River Churnet, The indicator was a few inches into the green so safe to continue but IDSCF9156 would estimate the flow at about 1½ MPH at the top end, much slower further down where its much wider as we found out when we got down there. CRT had issued an alert about a mud bank, it didn’t sayimage you cant get through, also there was no work going on and the work boats were moored two abreast at the mouth of the bridge, O and it was chucking it down with rain by now. I now had a choice wind or reverse all the way back up the windy river against the flow to the lock. I didn’t fancy trying to wind in front of the weir so reversed back up the river to a point I judged it was wide enough to get round and with the use of the bow thruster pushing the bows against the flow until they were bedded into the mud we got the stern round with about 250mm. to spare. Going back upstream the engine was working much harder DSCF9157

Once clear of the river the rain kindly stopped and we chugged gently back to Cheddleton Mill for the night where we found the Withymoor Island team moored to visit the mill so I was able to update them on the river condition.


Today’s Journey image


8 lock (4 twice) 7¾miles in 4¾ hours

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