Wednesday, 16 September 2009

September Cruise - Day Six

Very chilly when we set off at 8.15, stopping very shortly afterwards for water at Park Lane Wharf. Very good water pressure, so we weren't stopped for long. We soon arrived at Hazelhurst Junction (where Waterway Routes was moored). It's a charming place, and the sun came out when we got there.

There was plenty of water going down the by-washes, and as I filled the middle lock, huge jets of water spurted up from the air vents. Below the locks there are lots of narrow sections and tricky turns. But at the river section, below Oakmeadow Ford Lock, the atmosphere changes completely. It's much wider, and the water is deeper. There's a lush green feel. Then another tight turn leads past the Black Lion at Consall Forge, and the railway station with the platform and waiting room sticking out over the canal.

After all that excitement, Froghall itself is a bit disappointing. There's a huge derelict factory, and not many moorings. We knew we wouldn't fit through the tunnel, so turned, moored up, and had lunch, before walking round to Froghall Basin and the old wharf. There are some impressive lime kilns there, and it's a pity so few boats can get through.

We decided to return to Consall Forge, and moored up for the night by the weir. We went to look at the railway station and went to the Black Lion for a drink. We returned there later in the evening for an excellent meal. The barman was full of tales of Northern Pride -- it seems Sandra and Barry made quite an impression!

10 miles, 9 locks. (71,50)

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