We will attempt to give you a precis of our trip thus far.
We left Stourport on 20th May headed for Liverpool. We chose Liverpool this year as a result of talking to fellow Beacon Boat owners at the Beacon Fest earlier this year especially John and Ali aboard Triskaideka.
We made our way up the Staffs & Worcs and onto the Shroppie past one of our favourite pubs The Anchor.
We had arranged to meet Mark and Verity and granddaughters Elsie and Eira in Ellesmere on the Llangollen canal. They moved from Bristol late last year and are putting down new roots there. We treated them all to a trip up the canal and then sat down for dinner aboard and then we all went hunting for "Mini Beasts" in the hedgerows.
Our next port of call was Chester where we spent a very noisy night moored above the staircase where there was a pop festival in full flow. We spotted Beacon's No8 Boat Merryweather moored in the basin but no sign of her new owners.
We then retraced our steps and Keith changed the oil and fuel filters at BeestonStone lock and then turned into the Middlewich branch of the Shropshire Union canal up to Kings Lock to visit the chandlery there as there was a slight leak on the fuel filter drain. All that was needed was a bit of heat to soften the copper washer to make it more compliant and we were on our way again.
At Preston Brook we were onto the Bridgewater canal where there has been an agreement that Canal and River Trust licence holders can travel on it for up to 7 days. We learnt on the Narrowboat World web site that this arrangement has been rescinded and if a boat is on the canal for more than 7 days, return is not permitted within 28 days or a £40 fee is required! As you can imagine this has called a whole load of unrest amongst boaters.
We stopped at the Swan with Two Nicks in order to meet Sarah and James and the other two grandchildren Joe and Martha. A customary visit to the boat was made before we all tucked into the Swan for a meal.
At Leigh Bridge 66 we were onto the Leeds and Liverpool canal.
We passed Wigan Pier but this is all that is left of it....
Here is the largest brick built building in Europe. It was a tobacco warehouse that is about to be turned into flats.
We passed through Sid's Ditch to emerge wonderfully into Liverpool's matrix of restored docks.
We then passed through a tunnel that runs underneath the Museum of Liverpool.
And so into Albert Dock
Our mooring in Salthouse Dock taken from the top of....
The Big Wheel
The Big Wheel
Next day we did the "Ferry Crossed The Mersey" bit and then Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral.
Inside the Museum of Liverpool
Being National Trust members we were able to visit the childhood homes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, a truly fascinating experience told by two excellent guides.
The house next door is up for £375,000!
Paul's house.......or is it mine???
We visited Speke Hall on the bus with a 15 minute walk from the bus stop. Great when going to the house but we got thoroughly soaked coming back when the heavens opened.
Thanks to our friend William, we visited St George's Hall that is multi faceted. It has a dance hall with a huge Willis organ, a venue for civil weddings and was originally the assize court room. Below are the cells used for prisoners while they waited for for their trial/verdict (transportation, execution or goal). It was mentioned that the brides that get married there "come in for sentencing"
Keith the JUDGE
Dianne the PRISONER
That evening we ate in the famous Philharmonic Dining Room pub with wonderful Edwardian paneling, fittings and furniture. As it was quiet the barmaid showed Dianne the Gents toilet that has been unaltered for over 100 years!
A visit would not be complete without seeing the Roman Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral.
As we were in that area we ventured down into the famous Cavern in Mathew Street.
We originally came for 3 nights but this period could in no way do Liverpool justice so we managed to wangle an extension to our stay to one week. The mooring facilities are brilliant with water and free electricity laid on.
We are now on our last night here and prepare to enjoy the last delights of this wonderful city!