A stroll around Etruria, and a weekend trading at Westport Lake

Barry did a stalwart job of moving Areandare back up the 35 (or is it 36?) locks of Heartbreak Hill from Middlewich by Sunday, so he could meet me at the railway station at Kidsgrove on Monday. I had a fun-filled-fix of grandmotherly love last week.

I’m always in awe of his abilities to ‘lock-alone’ (apart from a couple that a very kind soul assisted with this time), though I’m aware many boaters manage it – and some of them are lone women! Maybe if I HAD to I’d be okay. Not sure I’d choose to though, but I’m full of admiration for them as well …

Since then we’ve moseyed on down to Etruria and spent the last night there, returning to Westport Lake this afternoon ready to do a spot of towpath trading over the weekend with a few other boats. It’s a stunning place to be moored up, right next to the visitor centre and lake. The walk around the water is tranquil, apart from the noise made by masses of ducks, geese, grebes and other wildlife. And there’s a large children’s playground. A popular local attraction, so we’re hoping for a fair amount of footfall …

Barry’s given me a few of his images to post – some are a bit random (but fabulous) to catch up, i.e. nothing to do with the post title.

Most though are from his walk around Etruria yesterday evening.


The Wardle Canal Lock, Middlewich – the shortest canal on the system at just 100 metres long


The Kings Lock pub Middlewich on the right where we danced to Seamus O’Blivion at last year’s FAB Festival


Barry got a bit of help from Andy, off NB Festine Lente – thank you! What a cheery smile 😉


We may only travel at speeds of up to 4 mph, but some days we go faster than cars, vans and lorries at a standstill on the motorway!


Some stunning spring sunsets at the moment


Images of Etruria …








In 2009 when we went up these locks, Barry had barrage of apples thrown at him by a few local children. Her shrugged it off and shouted ‘Is that the best you can do?’ as their aim wasn’t too good! Pretty harmless really, bored in the school holidays …











If you look closely you’ll see the bottles with turps and paintbrushes on the shelf in the catch – oh and the shiny new paintwork on the bow that Barry’s been slaving away doing for a while, bit-by-bit as it’s so weather dependant


One day we may even manage to be at the location when the Etruria Industrial Museum is open – a pretty rare occurrence. The next one’s 30th to 31st May – we missed the last by a few days.

The Etruria Canal Festival, that we traded at last year, is sadly not taking place this year. There’s still going to be a historic boat gathering though.

The sun’s promising to bless us with his presence tomorrow, so we’re looking forward to meeting more people and sharing  stories with them.

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