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Wednesday, 24 July 2013


We woke up to the sun shinning and as we weren't going very far we didn't set out till later. We soon past the Lion Salt Works that were the last place using evaporating brine pans to produce salt. They have received grants etc and there seems to be a lot of working going on at the moment. It will be very interesting when it finally opens again after closing in 1986.

Canal cottage at Wincham Bend with original light over the door.

We were soon in among the working salt and Chemicals works. Brunner Mond factory had an arm into the factory. The company is now owned by the Indian Conglomerate Tata and there main products here are soda ash, sodium bicarbonate and calcium chloride. These products are used in many products such as making glass, cleaning products, dying, paper production etc etc. The factory here was first opened in 1874.

The canal arm into the Brunner Mond Factory.

The canal passes almost through the factory with bridges across the cut and pipelines passing over too. There are hoppers and silos, with steam and throbbing pipework and engines.

Passing through the Brunner Mond Factory at Northwich.

Places with 'Wich' in their name indicate that they are salt producing locations since Roman times. In this are the land has suffered from the extraction of salt as areas in coal mining areas have also. Rather than the rounded original canal bridges of elsewhere here they are flat topped. This is to make it easier to raise them when the land subsides with the extraction.

Flat topped bridge No.183 near Northwich.

In many places in the area the land has subsided so much shallow lakes have been created. The canal goes through several of these and you have to be careful not to stray too far off the track as you could easily get stuck. In the past they were convenient places to sink unwanted boats and barges but now they have been salvaged to recreate 'new' vintage boats. They are havens for birds etc and make lovely overnight moorings.

A flash with a wreck and a passing narrow boat.

We continued on a little way and found a nice spot with a bit of a normal width canal alongside and a good view. Outside of the flashes much of the canal is narrowed by the build up of reeds and overhanging trees.

Our night's view.

After a little rest I felt the need to wash the side of the boat and do a couple of little jobs to pass the time.

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