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Monday, 22 July 2013

Return Ticket, but slowly.

After seeing our guests off last night I noticed several cherry trees by the tow path. I went back after eating and managed to pick 6.5 lbs. They were big trees and I could only reach the base of them. If I had had my boat hook with me I could have picked loads more, but not sure what to do with them. They were very sweet and tasty and there were black and red grapes. I have bought a bottle of brandy and I am going to have a go with the cherry brandy and make some jam or something.

We moored outside the Brindley Art Centre that has a theatre and small gallery along with a terrace cafe. There was no bother over night and in fact just there was not very much traffic on the tow path just there. I would recommend it as a good mooring from our experience. The Arts Centre was built on the site of the Hazlehurst Soap and Eau de Cologne factory and on the other side of the canal was the Johnson Bros. Soap works also.

Probably the Lights at the front of the Hazlehurst Soap Factory, still there but now fronts a health Centre.

We went off into the centre of Old Runcorn for supplies. It looks like the life of the town has moved out to the east since the town was designated as a New Town and the housing was added to that part of the town. Runcorn is in the Borough of Halton which is a little confusing. The main industries were tanning and soda/chemical works. The rail bridge was completed in 1868 and the Mnachester Ship Canal in 1894. Some docks were opened at Runcorn so ship building and port industries grew there. In 1905 a road link was made between both banks of the Mersey with the first transporter bridge in Britain and it was the longest in the world. It was designed to carry four two horse farm carts and 300 passengers! It can be easily seen that this didn't meet the needs of the modern vehicle ownership. It was finally replace by the current road bridge in 1961.

The Silver Jubilee Bridge from the Runcorn Promenade with the Manchester Ship Canal in the foreground.

The under side of the Road Bridge.

A photography showing the Rail Bridge that is turreted as the site of the original castle on the Runcorn side forms part of the route. In the foreground is the Manchester Ship Canal and the Silver Jubilee road bridge and in the background the River Mersey and St Mary's church on the Widnes side.

A Hanging Mural showing the history and showing the heroes and history of Runcorn. The men at bottom left are Sir Hall Caine who was a very popular and best selling author who wrote the first million selling book in the UK, Professor J.R. Holt who was an experimental Physicist who worked on the discovery of the neutron and took part in the Manhattan Project to develop the first atom bomb during WWII, and Thomas Alfred Jones who won the Victoria Cross in the First World War.


  1. Hi Helen and Tony

    Back from our holidays and managed to read some of your blog on Sunday and have just finished the rest today. Sounds like you're still having lots of fun. We had a huge frog on our path on Sunday evening, could it be to do with the weather?! I love cherries and you certainly have picked quite a few and bagged a bargain. I paid £3.99 for a large punnet (about 350g) in marks although worth every penny. How about making some cherry scones, a pie with a syrup sauce or like a bakewell tart but with a bit of jam on the pastry base followed by stoned cherries then top with a frangipane sponge mix which is just marg, sugar, eggs and ground almonds instead of flour finished with some cherries prodded in the top. Just a few ideas....enjoy.


  2. Hi Heather, I hope you had a really good holiday. It is good to see that the weather is back to normal, but still nice and warm. I have used some to make a bottle of Cherry Brandy and we Helen has also made some apple and cherry jam. We will use it in the 'Bakewell' with Frangipani topping as it sounds lovely. We enjoyed the crumble cake made with raspberries.