Canal Boat Magazine- Oct 2011


James Alston



We will all remember the last week of September 2011 for the heatwave that hit southern Britain.  I will remember it for winning the Canal Boat competition in the June 2011 issue and enjoying the prize of a week's holiday on the Llangollen Canal.

On Friday, 30th September, we were met at our 62-ft nb Saffron by Tony of Anglo Welsh Waterways and given a very comprehensive instruction regarding the vessel and the local waterways.  I asked as to the location of Pontcysyllte Viaduct to be informed, by Tony, that it was only 200 yards beyond the boatyard.

We had intended only a leisurely cruise as far as Whitchurch and back and for the first four days, in the heatwave, this went according to plan.  On leaving the boatyard the first encounter is Pontcysyllte Viaduct, a truly magnificent structure, followed by a line of moored craft - a feature which we do not encounter on Scottish canals.  It is not uncommon  to cruise all day on the Scottish Lowland Canals without meeting any other vessel.  Next feature of note is Chirk tunnel, followed by the aquaduct and it's adjacent high railway viaduct. 

The weather broke down on the Wednesday afternoon and very heavy rain and high winds were the order of the next twenty-four hours.  On the Thursday we were returning to our Trevor base, via Chirk tunnel and both aquaducts, in winds which were gusting in excess of 50 mph.  This made for an interesting journey to say the least.  We arrived back at the boatyard safe and sound and reminisced of our holiday while viewing the photographs.