Tag Archives: Montgomery

Day 94 – A New Tiller Girl

We woke to blue skies and warm air, so it wasn’t too much effort (even for Toby) to get up and cast off.  Mum and Toby opened the gates and paddles, and I steered us in to the locks – I was happy to as 1) nobody was around and 2) it gets Toby off my case for a few days.

With the canal to ourselves, and a nice long straight stretch, it was the perfect opportunity for mum to practice her helming skills, with expert tuition provided by Toby.

We saw a metal detector in action, sadly we weren’t around long enough to spot any finds, maybe there’s the odd windlass or two buried in the field!

We had a time slot of 12-2pm for the Frankton Lock flight, we were boat number four in the queue of six boats. We made good timing with three lock keepers, paying our dues with brownies which were much appreciated, so much so, we got four stars on the board!

Lunch on board, we enjoyed some fresh bread, cheese and pate.  We then had to get used to the all the boats on the move again, it was so peaceful on The Montgomery canal, and our own private waterway.  Next stop was The Ellesmere Arm, and a visit to the local Tesco, we made us of the extra pair of hands with mum being with us and stocked up on supplies.

We carried on to Blake Mere and moored up, what a cracking view out of the side hatch. 

Day 93 – Sleepy Montgomery

Another morning with sunshine and blue skies, though a little cooler today than it has been. The sky looked lovely reflected in the water at the Chirk aqueduct.

Sarah was on the helm for the locks this morning, and a cracking job of it she did too. They were Rosemary’s first locks of the trip, but after a few reminders I think she’s nearly got the hang of it.

We turned right at Frankton to turn onto the Montgomery Canal. This is new territory for us. We’d booked passage for the Frankton locks online yesterday, and the lock keepers are there from 12pm-2pm. If you’re name is not on the list, you’re not coming in.

We gave the lockies some brownies to keep then going, and then said farewell to them (until tomorrow anyway).

We stopped for lunch just after the locks, on the Weston branch. At the bottom of the building at the end, there’s a lovely little herb flowerbed. I picked some sage to go with our pork and apple for dinner tonight – perfect timing for it!

Sarah continued helming through the locks at Aston, giving me a rare chance to do some more locks.

At the end of the restored and navigable section we had to go under a lift bridge, turn left for a couple of hundred metres, wind the boat in the winding hole and then back under the bridge. Sarah bravely went ahead alone on Oliver to turn around, whilst Rosemary and I waited at the bridge. Typically a car turned up so we had to drop it back down, and then wind it up again for Sarah to come back through a few minutes later.

We moored soon after, and then explored the canal on foot up to the current navigable end. The work they are doing to restore the next section is really impressive to see, and interesting to see how it’s all constructed and put together.

The Himalayan Balsam is very pretty in bloom, and rapidly taking over some sections as it is so invasive.

Tomorrow we get to do it all again in the opposite direction.