To Church Lawton (April 27)

We left our moorings at Bramble Cuttings, just south of Middlewich, at 8:45 in the rain. We had waited for the heavy showers to pass but it continued to rain on us until well into the afternoon.

Pigeons nesting under bridge Middlewich

When we got to Middlewich Big Lock, it was already occupied by an Alverchurch hire boat going in our direction so we were able to go through the lock together. This was the first time for long time that we had shared a lock; probably not since Braunston. We took on water at Middlewich and let the hire boat get ahead but we soon caught up with them and continued to follow up the many locks on “Heartbreak Hill”. Luckily there were enough boats going down the flight that not many of the locks were set against us.

Masons marks on lock side, Trent and Mersey Canal

We met Liz Bryant at Wheelock. She was coming down the flight in her boat and had stopped to pick up water. Liz made all the Roses pattern lace on Albert. It was good to meet someone we had only dealt with on the internet.

Spurred on by the improving weather we continued going up the locks until we moored up just below the church at Church Lawton at around 7:00. In all we did 29 locks today! Now the weather has deteriorated we lit the fire today for the first time since we left Preston Brook.

Working and disused duplicate locks near Wheelock

Since many of Steve’s ancestors originated from here, we intend to explore the area tomorrow. One of Steve’s grandmothers was born in Hall Green. Her branch of his family belonged to the Primitive Methodists so tomorrow we intend to travel to Hall Green on the Macclesfield Canal and visit Mow Cop and the Primitive Methodist Chapel.

We still cannot get better than low-level GPRS reception on O2 internet so we will have to upload our images later. I think reception was better around Stoke so maybe we will have better luck on Thursday.

Images added later