Narrowboat Tacet

Silent Movement - Our gap year travelling the inland waterways



Saturday, 29 September 2012

Pontycysyllte Appreciation

Yesterday evening we made the return journey over the mighty aqueduct. Mooring at the visitor moorings on the Frontcysyllte side.

In the sunshine this morning we went on a walk to explore Thomas Telford's amazing aqueduct again. 











Another of the transport red plaques.
looking up












                                                             and up....

















its feet firmly planted in the river bed,

across to the other side; 
                                                                                                                  1,0007ft on 19 pillars

126 feet high   

                                                                   20 arches; 53ft wide
cast iron trough sitting on top.

And finally, from the top of Frontcysyllte village, looking across the valley to Trevor, linked by this wonderfully audacious aqueduct.

Friday, Llangollen - Frontycysyllte
5 miles, 1 aqueduct
Saturday, Frontycysyllte - Ellesmere
13 miles, 2 locks, 2 tunnels, 1 aqueduct


Friday, 28 September 2012

More from Llangollen

Just a few more pictures of the town today, before we head back along the canal to wherever we choose to stop next.
Llangollen station beside the river Dee
'I'm looking at you.'
The lovely barn owl was in the shop window next to this studio, along with a wide selection of other creatures. I can only remember ever seeing one of these establishments before, and I think it was in Norwich. 
This handsome fellow, though standing still was very much alive.  He was pulling the horse boat, taking visitors along towards Horseshoe Falls.
On our way out of Llangollen; we have had a lovely time here in this popular touristy town.


Hedgerows looking autumnal


 And finally the sound of the powerful river Dee, which we have been listening to for the last few days.
video


Thursday, 27 September 2012

Llangollen - Steaming along

Just a few showers today, and we have seen the sun, hooray! So we have been on a train ride through the lovely Dee valley from Llangollen to Carrog.
Last year I think the trains running were not hauled by steam, or running only at weekends, that would explain why we didn't have a ride. Being just a month earlier this year, steam engines are running all week long. 
The Great Western Railway Locomotive no. 7822 Foxcote Manor is a 4-6-0-Manor Class built in 1950 at the Swindon Works.



The railway follows the river Dee for 7.5 miles through the hills up to Carrog. 
The style of the train, stations and guard's uniform is 1950's, but not sure about the orange jacket!
One of the stations along the way is Glyndyfrdwy, only in Wales could you have such a name with no vowels. Apparently it is pronounced glyn-dove-dwee, easy really!
Guard just checking no-one is leaning out of the window, oh dear think I was spotted!
Time for a sandwich before changing ends. 
Looking over the road bridge at Carrog as the loco reverses up to make the return journey.
Great Western Railway benches at Llangollen station.

We have also walked along the far end of the canal from the basin terminus up to Horseshoe Falls, where the river Dee feeds into the canal.
This photo was taken today
compared to October last year
With all the rain we have had in the last few days let alone all summer, the levels are higher and more obviously in the photos, much more turbulent.  It is very dramatic and lovely to see, when safely on the bank.
A lot of debris has got caught up on the way over Telfords horseshoe shaped weir. Most of the water is sent on down the river, but 12 million gallons a day is fed into the canal and travels the length of the Llangollen to the reservoir at Hurleston at the junction with the Shropshire Union.
river Dee through Llangollen
the calm and tranquility of Llangollen canal in comparison.

So this has been our Llangollen home, a lovely mooring in the basin, with plenty of grass, shrubs and trees around, rabbits playing just outside our windows, and hills in the distance all around us. What a grand place to be.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Wet Welsh Wales

I don't seem to have been taking so many photos recently. Could be something to do with the dreary, rainy weather! Got some today though, hope you enjoy these.
Yesterday we moved from Rainy England into Wet Wales.
This journey is made over the Chirk Aqueduct, beside the railway viaduct crossing the river Ceriog valley.  It is quite an impressive journey, 70 feet above the river, straight and narrow, only room for one way traffic.
The views through the railway arches are wonderful,
the green fields glistening with the rain.
I'm sure someone has tried!
Ian leading the way across, with two others following. This has been the busiest stretch of waterway we have come across in 18 months.  So many boats travelling in both directions, mostly hirers from 4 or 5 different bases.  When we came this way last year it was October, and much quieter.

Once you're over the aqueduct, it's straight into the Chirk tunnel, as long as no-one else is in there.  We had to wait for just one boat to come through. Although narrow, one boat wide, there is a towpath running through.
Just above the tunnel is the railway station, and the main village centre is about 5 minutes walk away. A useful little village with a bakers, butchers, greengrocers, hardware shop,a Spar. The village church is open with a display of its history around the pews.  There is also a Kraft food factory here who are now the owners of Cadbury and a delicious chocolatey smell encompasses the area. Here the cocoa beans are processed before being sent to the factory at Bournville.  Drinking chocolate and cocoa powder is also made here.

So today with the forecast being better, though still wet, we had the even more impressive Pontsycyllte aqueduct ahead of us.  Despite the rain, you can just make out the famous arches in the centre of the picture.


This triumph of engineering by canal engineer Thomas Telford is now a World Heritage Site and rightly so.  It is an iron trough set on high stone pillars 126 feet above the River Dee. In its original condition, with renewals only having been made to the towpath and balustrading.

After waiting for about 8 boats to come across, it was our turn.
Tacet leading the way again, with 3 boats following.
Is that rain coming our way? I think perhaps it is.
Another viaduct crossing the valley taking the train through Newbridge I think from the map.
The river Dee rushing along below us.  The recent heavy rains making it a fearsome force today.

And so we made our way along the narrow stretch from Trevor to Llangollen amongst the hills, the clouds, the sheep, the rain.

This time we have moored in the basin, paying for the privilege, (Ian will get over it soon), but we do get electricity here. 
More from around Llangollen tomorrow.

Tuesday
6 miles, 2 tunnels, 2 aqueducts
Wednesday
5 miles, 1 bridge, 1 aqueduct