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Once More Unto the Breach

Wednesday 19th June, 2019
Thursday 20th June, 2019
Friday 21st June, 2019
Saturday 22nd June, 2019

Wednesday 19th June, 2019

Cheshire Cat Hotel photograph

The Cheshire Cat Hotel, Nantwich

Drop Cap e left the boat this morning at 0930, conveyed to Nantwich by taxi, organised by Rosie. The cabby took us on to our hotel, The Cheshire Cat, an incredibly old, black and white timbered inn with low rafters all embellished by little cat plaques saying "Meow your head" They allowed us to leave the bags here until we could check in at 1500.

Nantwich Towpath photograph

Nantwich Canal Towpath

Drop Cap o we went walking to find the Marina, which is in reasonable walking distance. We sniffed around the Marina, then went for a walk along the towpath for a couple of miles.

Towpath Sculpture photograph

Nantwich Towpath Sculpture

Drop Cap ots of boats in the basin and   moorings. They have made a sculpture trail around the canal area. We saw a dog, carved from wood and wearing a colourful woollen scarf and a wonderful tow horse made from old timbers.


Nantwich Towpath Sculpture photograph

Nantwich Towpath Sculpture

Drop Cap hen we returned and walked up the high street to the town centre. What a pleasant surprise! Nantwich is a lovely town with a pedestrianised historic centre.
I loved it!

Nantwich Town Square photograph

Nantwich Town Square


Nantwich Crown Inn photograph

The Crown Inn, Nantwich

Drop Cap here were so many old Black and white timber framed buildings, many dating from the late 1500s, including the Crown Inn, rebuilt in 1583 following the Great Fire of Nantwich.
I saw the sign which said "Rebuilt" and immediately thought "Reproduction!" but then we saw the date!

St Marys Nantwich photograph

St Marys Nantwich

Drop Cap e went into the lovely Church of St. Mary, hundreds of years old but with some more modern features, like a stained glass window which features Halley's Comet and some wonderful needlework by the ladies of the parish, both large embroidered panels and beautiful tapestry kneelers and pew cushions. The kneelers were of subjects both sacred and profane (more local interest, featuring the industries and businesses in the area). A volunteer steward named Jim showed us around and was very friendly.

Cat Carving photograph

Carving at the Cheshire Cat

Drop Cap e had lunch in a bookshop cum coffee lounge with wave-like dipping ceilings and got back to the Cheshire Cat at about 1500. We collected the bags and had a bit of an explore of the old bar section. They have a wonderful carved wooden panel at the reception area which shows the smuggest grinning Cheshire Cat you could imagine!

Our Room CC Nantwich photograph

Our Room Cheshire Cat Hotel (unfortunately blurry)

Drop Cap ur room, although in a modern annexe building, not the inn, is cute with wallpaper printed with hundreds of cats behind the bed.


Restaurant CC Nantwich photograph

Restaurant Cheshire Cat Hotel

Drop Cap e had a really good dinner in their dining room, all beams and creaky uneven floors which make you feel as though you had drunk more than you thought. I like this place and I have fallen in love with Nantwich . I think it is better than Stratford and only needs a famous local to be a tourist hotspot. Happily, there seemed to be more locals than visitors in the town. Tomorrow, back on the boats. I hope the CRT is busy, for Rosie and Brian's sakes.

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Thursday 20th June, 2019

Cheshire Cat Hotel photograph

Cheshire Cat Hotel, Nantwich

Drop Cap e mooched around Nantwich most of the day after getting the hotel to hold our bags for us until 1500. There was a small market in the church square which we explored, then spent some time in the Museum which was very good. Some of these provincial museums are extremely well done and Nantwich had a lot to be interested in. The Cheshire Cheese industry, the medieval salt industry and sundry others. There was a special exhibit which I am glad to have seen of fabric representations of aspects of the Canal. There were embroideries, other hangings and pictures made of pieces of fabric. Some of them were outstanding.

Black Lion Nantwich photograph

Black Lion Nantwich

Drop Cap e had lunch at Subway, then sat around the square waiting for 1500. We picked up the bags and walked to the marina, where we met some of our fellow guests and eventually Rosie and a couple of taxis.

Back on Board photograph

Back on Board

Drop Cap e are now eight. A couple from Canada and his sister from Nottingham (he is originally English) are in three singles, another couple, from Melbourne are in the double and a lone man who has been on the boats many times has the other single.


Drop Cap veryone has gone to bed except the lone man, Phil, who has walked off to Whitchurch to find a pub! The news of the breach is a bit more hopeful and we MAY get through on Monday. Here's hoping.

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Friday, 21st June, 2019

Back on Board photograph

Fine Weather at last


Canal Wildflowers photograph

Canal Wildflowers

Drop Cap oday was lovely, sunny mostly, and the canal looked its best for the new guests. It is so good to see the sun, and the wildflowers along the banks and the famous Whixall Moss were spectacular.

Whixall moss photograph

Whixall Moss Landscape


Phil Walks photograph

Phil Walks the Towpath

Drop Cap he new guests are a mixed bag: the couple from Canada and sister (Brian and Susan and Sandra) form a bit of a group, apparently they don't see each other all that often so this is a catchup trip, the other Aussie couple (Cliff and Lesley) are incredibly hearty and have walked most of the way today, as did Phil the lone Englishman, who brought a beer to the lunch table while the rest of us had water.


We Meet a Squirrel photograph

We Meet a Squirrel

Drop Cap e moored again at Blakemere which is lovely and a lot less muddy than it was last Sunday. We walked along the towpath beside the mere and met a grey squirrel flirting its tail among the trees along the track.

Ghost Tree photograph

Ghost Tree Across Blakemere


Drop Cap cross the mere we saw more rhododendrons surrounding a skeletal tree which was quite ghostly in the twilight. I have been reading a fascinating book on my Kindle called "The Ghost Tree" by Barbara Erskine, so could not resist renaming this one!

A lovely hot shower before dinner - I feel tired from at least a bit of walking. A good day, may the weather hold and the breach repair!

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Saturday 22nd June, 2019

Lift Bridge and Passengers photograph

Mac works the bridge, Cliff and Lesley watch

Drop Cap e started off from Whitchurch today in the pleasant weather. Mac helped as usual with the boat handling but only Phil was prepared to do any of it. The others, as is their absolute right, just enjoyed the trip, either sitting out the front or walking as Cliff and Lesley did.

En route to Ellesmere photograph

En route to Ellesmere

Drop Cap e only went as far as Ellesmere where we moored at the services place and filled with water and emptied toilets and rubbish bins.

163 Watering etc photograph

Filling Up at Ellesmere Services

Drop Cap here were many boats in the area, being a fine weekend (so far).Filling the water takes a fair while, what with eight guests and five crew using the water for showers and everything else, we need to refill quite often.

White Hart Inn Ellesmere photograph

White Hart Inn Ellesmere

Drop Cap e went for a walk before lunch around the town. It is quite picturesque with several old black and white inns and other buildings.

174 White Lion Ellesmere photograph

The White Lion Ellesmere

Drop Cap e found the library and caught up with Geoff and our emails and then we checked out the town's many charity shops. In one of them we found a one person teapot shaped like a duck as a gift for Polly, our duck whisperer. Two pounds.!

Ellesmere Towpath photograph

Ellesmere Towpath

Drop Cap t is a real summer's day today, the towpath mud has dried up and we had a pleasant walk after lunch, as far as Ellesmere Tunnel and back. Then a nap before afternoon tea.
It's a hard life but someone has to do it!
The towpath is in good nick and very picturesque. The town council or someone has planted decorative signs at intervals along it designating some local areas, they are quite interesting.

 Ellesmere Sign photograph

Ellesmere Towpath Sign


Drop Cap t is another frustrating cruise like in Portugal because it doesn't seem to go for long enough per day, simply because there is a limit how far we can go!

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