The Three P’s. 20th April

Pickering’s Bridge to Longacre Wood Trent and Mersey Canal

Another pretty frosty morning, no photo sorry as I actually wanted a bit more sleep before having to function properly.

Warm enough to knit outside today

A flat pootle today along the Bridgewater. We planned to stop at Thorn Marine to see if their chandlery might have a 200amp slowblow fuse for the bowthruster, we need to replace the spare that is no longer spare. I also wanted to stock up on Fertan and white spirit for when I start repainting the gunnels, grabrails, welldeck, locker lids, patches of rust. A boat was moored on their service mooring, but we found space under the bridge to tie on rings.

Red and fancy

As Mick went into the chandlery, I headed off with a shopping bag. Yesterday we’d forgotten to buy more potatoes, a roast chicken just isn’t right without roasties, especially when there is duck fat to use up! With a Sainsburys Local not far away I set off to walk into Stockton Heath.

Some wonderful terraced houses with ornate terracotta tiles and lots of red brick buildings that Manchester does so well. I also spotted an F type Jaguar, 2 Porche, a Lotus all within my short walk to Sainsburys. I think Stockton Heath may be for Footballers!

A wellie woofer

I was on the look out for the three Ps. Potatoes, a Saturday Paper and Porridge oats. Only standard white potatoes and expensive porridge available, I made note where newspapers were and went to see what Aldi round the corner had to offer. Somehow some pate managed to go into my basket along with other P’s, oh well!

I’d checked there were papers at Sainsburys, but not which flavours. I suspect our flavour had been where there was now a big empty space. I asked the assistant where there was a newsagents, ‘Morrisons across the bridge in the village’. That would be across the ship canal towards Warrington, not too much further to walk.

Not a good photo click it for details, there’s a train set in the attic.

Morrisons tend to have a good gluten free isle, so I picked up a few things there, some Pepper crackers, Pudding of the black variety, some sPread and a Paper. At least they all began with P, well sort of!

Back at Oleanna, Mick had disposed of the yellow water, not had any luck with a fuse, forgot what else he was meant to be buying other than a bag of coal. He had also found a recycling centre which had a skip for general rubbish. Bins are scarce on the Bridgewater so despite there being signs for no pedestrians, Mick made use of it.

The last cooling towers at Fidlers Ferry, soon to be blown up

Plenty of people were on their way to Walton House and Zoo. I’d not heard of it until recently, I think it was Are and Are who visited. The towpath was extreamly muddy not encouraging us to pull in. Families with pushchairs, children clinging onto Grandads hands tried their best to walk round the quogmire of mud. Another place to visit maybe later in the year. We paused for lunch then continued.

Click photo for details, right next door to the Post Office

Should we take a detour down the Runcorn Arm? We went there on NB Winding Down and headed off to the lauch of The John Godber Company in Wakefield years ago. It deserves another visit, even if it’s only just to show Oleanna and Tilly what they’ve been missing all these years. However it has been added to the next time list as we still don’t know if we need to put another day aside for Mick to return to Scarborough in the next couple of weeks.

Shhhhh!!!! Black milkshakes!

Shhhhh! Lots of building work around Daresbury. A new black stealth building has gone up, wonder what will go on in there? Shhhh! A touch further on there were lots of earthworks going on. It looks like there is going to be building work on both sides of the canal here, a huge housing development.

New housing estates

The time for Preston Brook Tunnel south bound passage is at half past the hour for ten minutes. Would we make it in time? A call in to Midland Chandlers would be handy, for those things Mick hadn’t managed to get at Thorn Marine, but would that mean we’d miss the next window of oportunity?

NB Spey

Too close to call, we pulled in. No fuse, expensive white spirit but Fertan on offer. We then had to stand and wait whilst the chaps had a little chat. Was there enough time? Outside NB Spey was moored up, Where there’s brass was an interesting read when Tom posted regularly. He’s now busy with a book and album.

A boat came towards us from the tunnel, we slowed down to pass. With a window of only ten minutes to enter the tunnel we still wondered if we’d make it. No need to worry, we entered the tunnel just as our clock said 15:30!

Preston Brook Tunnel

The tunnel was a little bit wetter than we remembered, with the tunnel light on and a torch poitning to the roof at the stern we could see the drips approaching. Someone seems to have ripped several of the arrow signs off the walls that inform you of which way out is nearest. I didn’t spot the halfway mark either. My job as navigator is to make sure we both know which way is out, so I felt a touch redundant.

Seventeen minutes later we popped out the other end, no waiting boats, just sunshine.

Lock 76 Trent and Mersey Canal

Dutton Stop Lock 76 was in our favour, up we rose the 2 inches, now properly onto the Trent and Mersey Canal. Where to moor for the night? Should we head to the rings at the breach site which are very popular moorings. But now the hedge has grown there is little view down across the valley which was the main attraction there. Or we stop where the wood was thick with trees and wild garlic. A length of armco showed itself, we pulled in, tied up and Tilly was given two hours. So NOT enough time! Just a tease amount of time!


Two ladies stopped for a chat, Tilly showed off her climbing prowess, then got spooked by bicycles and then ommited to see two woofers. There was however enough time to get on the roof and the chap was good at popping his dogs on leads. Then Tilly was off into the thick of the aroma. Mick picked some wild garlic, I made some garlic butter which went ontop of a lamb hotpot. The recipe I looked at which suggested this had a very misleading photo, the top of their hotpot had no way seen any wild garlic as it was golden brown and not green! It was a very tasty hotpot and there was some butter left over for our chicken tomorrow.

Lamb hotpot with wild garlic potatoes

1 lock, 9.4 miles, 1 tunnel with 3 mysterons, 2 chandlers, 3 P’s, 2 many posh cars, 20kg coal, 1litre fertan, 15grams wild garlic, 1 green hot pot, 1 astounded cat, 1 Mrs Tilly’s stamp of approval.

3 thoughts on “The Three P’s. 20th April

  1. Sandra Walsh

    You would indeed have read about Walton Hall and Gardens from our blog. We visited for the second time a couple of months ago. I hope you get there in the way back. The gardens are delightful, as is the hot house, the zoo and the cafe. πŸ˜‰

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