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Saturday, 25 May 2013

Up To Froghall.

We had a visit to the Holly Bush pub last night but were still up and at them as the sun was shining. You could be on a different continent with the difference in the weather from yesterday to today. The canal goes through some lovely scenery and it is made even better with the sun shining.

Our boat by the Holy Bush Pub near Denford.

Cheddleton Flint Mill. I wasvery surprised that on Bank Holiday weekend it wasn't open. We have had a look round it before, and it wasn't open then either.

This is the start of the river section of the canal.  After Oakmeadow Ford Lock the canal drops down into the River Churnet and it feels like you are actually in the wrong place it is so rural and quiet.

Helen enjoying the sun and scenery.

Lime kilns at Consall Forge.

We stopped at the end of the river section for water and had our lunch. These kilns must have made use of the limestone that was the main product on the canal brought down from the terminus. Just ahead of us is the weit where the river continues but the canal sheers off and passes the Black Lion pub that can not be reached by road. The Churnet Valley Railway closely follows the canal and we had been expecting steam trains to be passing all day. Again I was surprised that nothing was running on a Bank Holiday Saturday. A little further and the canal passes the Consall Forge Station and the canal narrows right down.

Consall Forge Station platform and waiting room. It is a good job the waiting room loo is not a 'long drop'!

The last lock on the canal (or first) and it shows the steep sided wooded valley that we are travelling through.

At the foot of Flint Mill Lock is a guage to see whether you will fit through the final Froghall Tunnel, and we don't seem to fit. We went to near the tunnel and winded (as in breezy wind) which means turn round and then moored up. We walked to the end of the canal and had a look in the visitor centre. We bought an ice cream and decided to do a walk. It took us up one of the many inclined planes that were set up to bring the coal, iron ore and mainly limestone down to the basin. The canal was completed in 1777 mainly to provide water to the Trent and Mersey Canal, but that Company's directors bought up the shares in a big limestone quarry nearby to bring the limestone down. Many lime kilns were set up and raw products were also sent onwards to. The railway came and also carried products away. It all stopped in 1920 but as they need the canal to provide water it did not become too derelict. It opened for cruising in 1974. There was a canal built from Froghall to Uttoxetter. This was quickly closed but the first lock has been restored and turned into a mooring basin, if you can get through the tunnel that is.

Part of the route of the Froghall Inclined Plane that was built in 1849 and went 4 miles to Caldon Low Limestone Quarry.

The Froghall Terminal Wharf building where we bought an ice cream from a nice old lady who lives there to fortify us for our lovely three mile walk up the incline and onto the tops of the valley and round again. It was a great day.

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