I have always loved writing, and now that I am retired I thought I would be able to find time to write, but it seems that I still manage to fill my days with activities. I have however found that while I travel, I enjoy writing about some of the interesting things we do. I hope you enjoy reading of our adventures as much as I like writing about them.
Friday, September 11, 2015
Filling The Day
We had almost two full days in Anderton
before we pick up the boat and begin our actual boat trip, This gives us time
to find everything and get supplies for on the boat as well as giving us some
room incase of delays etc. As a result, we had a day here with nothing planned
The day began with an “English Breakfast”,
and anyone familiar with these knows that it is an overwhelming meal which
results in having no room for food all day. It did however give us time to plan
how to fill and unplanned day. Fortunately, the cheerful waitress at the B
& B had a couple of useful suggestions, including a castle, and Regis
simply cannot pass up a castle visit.
Our day started with a visit to the
Anderton Boat Lift. This is what happens when you challenge Industrial
Revolution engineers with a problem. The Canal which was used to transport
pottery and goods around the Midlands, was 50 feet above the River Weaver which
connected to the ocean. Both were busy transportation routes, but goods
transferring between the two had to be unloaded, carted up the hill and
reloaded (And vice-versa of course). The solution to this problem was to build
a “lift” to take the boats from the one to the other. Simplifying it a bit, the
boats are floated into a tub of water, which is then lifted or lowered by
hydraulics to the other level. Two of these tubs operate side-by-side, thus
creating a balance and actually used very little energy. Originally operated by
water hydraulics, this proved to be very corrosive due to the salt and chemicals
in the water due to industry in the area. The system was converted to
counter-balanced weights powered by electric motors, but this finally jammed
and shut the lift down. It sat rusting for years, but has recently been
restored and is now operated by oil hydraulics. We watched a couple of boats
being moved up and down, and it is a fascinating process which we hope to fit
into our schedule at the end of the trip.
What a View
Next we took Regis out to her castle. This
was an amazing visit. The Beeston Castle sits on a beautiful 40 acre hill with
a view over 60 miles of English countryside. You can imagine how this 4000 year
old castle could control the entire area. Unfortunately it was not invincible,
and lost to a siege and was mostly demolished, so is mostly a ruin now.
Pretty well exhausted from a day with
nothing to do, we required a visit to a nice English pub for a good beer and
some pub food to recover from the day.