Sunday, September 21, 2008

Canal Walk Chester

Today I went to Chester to have a look at the postcard fair with the hope of finding some showing the Leeds & Liverpool canal or any interesting scenes of Southport and Liverpool. At the moment we are having some overdue summer days. It was warm and sunny in Chester. I only managed to find one canal postcard at the fair. It shows one of the locks on the Rufford Branch. After the postcard fair I had a pastie by the River Dee then walk to the canal via the Roman Ampitheatre. Down in the cool cutting below the city walls is the old Chester Canal, now part of the Shropshire Union Canal. There are rope marks on the sandstone as the canal bends around following the walls above. The towpath is narrow in places and popular with cyclists. The cutting is also interesting for the geologists as well as canal enthusiasts. The red sandstone has clear bedding with some being folded. Ancient channels cut down into each other.

Northgate Staircase Locks drop the canal down underneath the railway. There are two chambers in the stair case.The lowest set of gates would win an award from the RHS, it is covered with plants. The canal turns right and passes the famous Telfords Warehouse. There is a branch of the canal which locks down to the River Dee. At the jucntion there is a repair dock and boatyard. Over the roving bridge is the north basin. From here the canal is the former Ellesmere Canal up to Ellesmere Port. I turned round here to walk back to the Chester Station along the canal. The canalside pub, the Frog, was packed with people enjoying the sunshine. A little further along I spotted former East End gangster "Mad" Frankie Fraser enjoying the canal. I hope to walk from Ellesmere Port to Chester sometime, its about 9 miles.

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