We sat and waited for a good while, and did a few jobs, whilst we waited for the initial rush for the locks to dissipate. We also filled up with water and got rid of the rubbish too.
I love this old lock keepers cottage just because it has a nice veranda around the front. I would like a stoop right round the house so you could sit out in any weather and stay dry. Mind you I understand that when it was lived in by the keepers it was very cold and drafty and hard to heat. It was sold off and is now a private house.
There werre a couple of boats threading their way through the staircase when we got to the top of them so still had a little bit of a wait. Helen was just watching to ensure that they were using proper, and safe techniques for working up a staircase system!
There were two voluntary lock keepers on duty keeping the boats flowing. The keepers are lucky having their own little 'den' to retreat into.
When we started down we were joined by a group who were hiring a boat a week later down on the Trent and Mersey and were just coming to see what to do at the locks. Helen was very patient with them and insisted that they should practice their windlass winding and beam pushing methodology so that she could watch and their technique and help them refine it for when they were on their own. They obligingly worked us down the a couple of locks. I hope they have a great holiday afloat.
By the time we got to the bottom we were on our own as we passed the old warehouse/bookshop. You can just see the tunnel in the shade. Actually it is just the bridge that carries the old Chester to Whitchurch railway.
Hinton Hall peeps out through the surrounding trees and could be easily missed from the canal. It was built in 1859 for Robert Peel Ethelston. It was built in the neo Jacobean style. During WWII it became a school for exiled Czech children and the nearby Hinton Manor was selected for the seat of government of the deposed Czech Goverment. The school became so overcrowded that another building was used not too far away in Wales. The buildings and contents were sold up in 2017 and it looks like it has been converted into apartments now.
As we approached Quoisley Lock the hire boat was moored up on the lock landing and declared they were just having lunch! It would have been much better to have moored on the last bollards as there would then be room to land a boat, but they made me feel a bit hungry as they were tucking into hot dogs and fried onions!
Before the football tonight we decided to take a walk up the cut to Wrenbury village. I don't suppose many folk get beyond the Dusty Miller or the Cotton Arms. The Dusty Miller was empty and the Cotton SArms rammed. Guess which one had a big screen? We found that St. Margret's Church was open so we went in for a look around.
In 1608 oak pews were added to the church. Up until then people would stand. The pews were tall to prevent drafts in the unheated church. In the Late 1600's new doors were added and most were painted with the arms of the families that owned them. This one is for the Starkey's of Wrenbury Hall.
In the early 1900's the doors were changed for lower ones and are the ones currently in place. They still have the coats of arms painted on them. This one is for the Kilmorey Family, whose faily name was Needham until 1625 when the 1st Viscount Kilmorey was created by Charles I for helping 'colonise' Ulster.
This is the Cotton family of Combermere Abbey. The Abbey came into the possession of the Cotton Family at the dissolution of the monasteries. Sir George Cotton was an Esquire of the Body to Henry VIII! A later Cotton became the First Baron and late Viscount Combermere after he excelled in battle, fighting in India with the Duke of Wellington, the Peninsula Wars .
This pew belonged to the Dysart Family. The family seem to have married into the Cotton Family but they seem to have originated in Scotland.
The church also has two hatchments. When the master of the big house there was a tradition that an armorial board was hung on the gates of the property for a year, and then placed in the local Church. There is one for the 1st and another for the 2nd Viscount of Combermere. This one is for the death of Stapleton Cotton, the 1st Viscount who died in 1865 aged 92. He must have had a charmed life as he was a soldier who fought in the Battle of Talavera and Salamanca where he became good friends with the Duke of Wellington. He was given the thanks of both Houses of Parliament for his efforts. He late became the Governor of Barbados and the CinC of the Leeward Islands and the West Indies before returning to fighting in India where he took the fort at Bhurtpore that was thought to be impregnable. He won a pension of over £2000 a year for this. The Combermere Obelisk that can be seen from the canal was also raised for him later.
It was not the day for the England team when we got back to the boat, but the 'lads have done well'.