Friday, 26 May 2017

Three Wiches

After topping up the water tank and emptying the toilet, we set off from Northwich to Nantwich via Middlewich. I have often been told that the suffix -wich - indicates the presence of salt mines but I believe it actually originates in the Roman term for a settlement outside the city walls.

Soon after setting off we passed through the former Brunner-Mond chemical plant ,which is now part of the Tata empire, where construction work is under way.

Not far from Orchard Marine, on the opposite side of the canal, there is a new marina also under construction -Park Farm.

Unusually, the only sunken boat we saw was not a plastic launch but a narrowboat. I think that boats seldom get scrapped: they are sold on and on at ever reducing prices, receiving inadequate maintenance, until they are of so little value they are just left to rot.

I was pleased to see Elizabeth on her mooring in Middlewich. Built in cast iron for Fellows, Morton & Clayton, she was a horse drawn coke boat until 1928 when she was sold for use in carrying gravel on the River Trent. In 1936 she was upgraded to sail and engine power  receiving a series of , mostly paraffin, engines  until 1988 when the current Gardner 2LN was installed. The mahogany and iroco cabin was also added in 1936 and she was named Elizabeth at this time. In 2002 she was given a double steel bottom.

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