Heartbreak Hill and The Pussy Puissance

The Trent & Mersey climbs relentlessly from Middlewich to Kidsgrove and Harecastle Tunnel, via 26 deep locks known to the old boatmen as the Cheshire Locks, but more commonly known these days as Heartbreak Hill. They’re not all in one flight so that you can get into a rhythm, but come in several different flights with different distances between. They are also – in many cases – doubled up to enable more traffic up and down.

Leaving the delights of the  British Salt works on Saturday morning, we – or rather Biggles – decided that lunch was in order at Wheelock, just below the first lock. All of us soon found that there was little to keep us there (apart from the pub) so we girded our loins and made a start. The picture is of the two locks at the start of the climb.

Heartbreak Hill

Somewhere along the line, we spotted this canal-side cottage with an interesting arrangement for their master or mistress to get in or out. We came to the conclusion that it was a training course for the Pussy Puissance: there was no room on the window sill for a pussy to perch! Sir declined to have a go.

Puddy Puissance

After 13 of these locks we’d had enough, and moored up by Lock 57: we’d discovered a very nice bistro/cafe/post office there once on a trip north, when we’d had to abandon the M6 due to a major jam round Sandbach and go off piste. Sad to say it was no more, and the cottage was up for sale. We did get a nice sunset, though,

Lock 57 SunsetLock 57 Sunset

Sunday morning, and we did another 10 of the deep locks, before deciding to enjoy the sunshine and have a lazy afternoon at some pleasant moorings near Church Lawton, rather than press on to the “delights” of Kidsgrove.

A Froggie Would a'Wooing Go

The Chief Gardener was very taken by a little friend she found on the tow path.

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