Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Beautiful Easter Boating

We have had nine glorious days basking in spring sunshine with temperatures in the mid twenties. We really didn't expect this good fortune for our last trip into Chester. Family helped us down the five locks into Chester and the real Princess Lucy was with us for a sleep over and found it all very exciting. 

Neighbours joined us on Sunday night for dinner at Artichoke. In the morning we all enjoyed a remarkably easy passage down the staircase locks and into the basin for lunch aboard. The drop of the chambers is over 33 feet and the gates are imposing. It was reassuring to have the volunteer lockies managing the water flow. 

They told us we'd be swapping places in the locks with six boats coming up. These were old working boats coming back from the 'Easter Gathering' at Ellesmere Port. Two of these were fuel boats Halsall and Bargus, boats that are actually still working. 

The deep cutting and bridges which lead to the staircase are like something from The Corinthian Canal. 

We left Chester today and breasted up through the five locks with a lovely boat called Marcellus who moors at Alvecote and who knew Chertsey: Sarah and Jim's boat. It is a relatively small world in the cut and you can get a glimpse into what it must have been like for the working boatmen and women who must have greeted everyone by name.

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