Thursday, 9 July 2015


We were enjoying our spot below Grindley Brook locks, however this morning after breakfast, the water tank gauge indicated that soon we would have just air in the tank. All three water points were above the locks so off we went. Typically, for a staircase lock it was busy and we had to wait, but the weather was great. Grindley Brook locks consist of three separate locks close together, then a staircase of three. One of the single locks has hydraulic gear to raise and lower the paddles. The crew informed me, that it was much easier to turn the windlass, but it required many more rotations to fully operate.

                                                      Hydraulic gate paddle gear.

The staircase section was controlled by a lockeeper who managed the flow of boats. Three up, three down. As we moved into the centre lock of the staircase I could feel some resistance, and sure enough two thirds of the way in we came to a complete halt, grounded on the cill. The lockie let some more water down to resolve this and the rest of the flight was event free. 

                                                    Bottom of the staircase locks.

                            Looking back at the middle chamber where we briefly grounded.

We filled the water tank at the services and had lunch before continuing on to Whitchurch. We opted to moor on the visitor moorings just prior to the short canal arm that leads into the town. The arm is only a couple of hundred yards long, but there are plans to restore the remnants of the arm and the basin which can still be seen. This would get boats closer in to the town centre which is currently one and half miles away.


                                                       Our spot at Whitchurch.

The afternoon was spent in the sun watching the fun and games taking place before our eyes. The mooring is on a blind bend with a lift bridge in the foreground. You would therefore think, boats approaching would slow down. Well you would be wrong, and we have seen several boats, mainly hire boats it has to be said, playing boat skittles. It makes quite a noise when two 20 ton boats collide. Fortunately we have been missed so far, although the boat moored ahead of us has not been so lucky. We plan on staying here the full 48 hours allowed so will probably look to move off on Sunday heading for Ellesmere.

Totals 1 Mile 6 Locks

Running total 316 Miles 159 Locks 11 Tunnels


  1. Ellesmere arm is very busy but there is a Tescos at the end of it. Ellesmere town is worth a visit, we would recommend the Red Lion for food, it is far side of town, near the mere. Have fun over Chirk aqueduct and through the tunnel.

    1. Yes, especially this coming weekend as there is a floating market. We are still deciding whether to take the boat all the way to Llangollen as I have measured our draught and it is about 31 inches. How are your cruising plans going. Let us know when your going.