To Preston Brook and Home (8-9 April)

On Wednesday morning we left Anderton and negotiated the tunnels and Barnton and Dutton to Preston Brook.

The two historic boats moored in front of us, who were making their way to Ellesmere Port for the Easter Boat Gathering, had breasted-up and gone down the lift.

Lacetera and Runcorn entering the Anderton Lift

In the end we became the middle boat of a convoy of three. This was handy when we negotiated the tunnels. All the tunnels on this section have good air draught. We didn't need to drop our exhaust or remove our chimneys. Barnton tunnel is however quite twisty. We reached the stop lock at the end of the Trent & Mersey Canal just, which is just short of Preston Brook Tunnel, shortly before twelve so we didn't have to wait long for the scheduled time for north going boats. Boats going north have to leave during the period on the hour to ten minutes past the hour.

Waiting to go north through Preston Brook Tunnel

As we left the tunnel we found some boats waiting to go south including Beatty, the historic boat belonging to the Grundy family. We last met Beatty at Brinklow, but before in 2003 we had moored up by her in Bath. On both occasions we had passed the time of day with Martin Grundy, who purchased the working boat Beatty in 1968. Martin, who was a Vice-President of the IWA sadly died a couple of years ago. It appears that Beatty is still with the family and has had her wooden cabin re-built in steel at Brinklow. This took about three years. She was also on her way to Ellesmere Port.

We moored up by the gauging house at Preston Brook and then visited the marina where will be keeping Albert for a few days over Easter while we return home to cut the grass and sort out a few household chores. We also visited Midland Chandlers so Steve could get the necessary materials to put a new cutter on our exhaust. The old cutter appears to have failed with fatigue. The new cutter is wider but made of a thinner gauge brass.

On Thursday we moved into Preston Brook Marina and met some very friendly people who helped us moor up and will be keeping a eye on Albert. The journey back home to Northants by train took less than two and a half hours!