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Dai Molly II

Trent and Mersey Mooring places, advise please

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Hi All, starting to plan a long trip to the Anderton Boat lift in the summer and looking for feedback on places to moor,  My route plan shows stops overnight at Stone Bridge no 96 or near the middle of Stone, what is it like there, any issues?  Likewise stopping at bridge 166 nearing the outskirts of Middlewich.

 

Is it safer to moor up short of each of these locations, the rest of the overnights are all good as far as I can see, some being known to me already.

 

Thanks for any input, cheers

Dai

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Anywhere in Stone is fine from a “safety” point of view. However it can get quite busy (ie no space) in the bit above and below Star lock. The next pound up is mostly private moorings and after that you’ll be on stakes for a while.

 

Middlewich is a funny place in that the T&M before Kings lock is a bit rough, busy noisy road right alongside etc. I think it is pretty shallow at the sides near 166 with no decent edge. After the junction it becomes fine. Best place to moor is probably a few 100 yds below the 3 locks where there is a small Park.

Edited by nicknorman

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24 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

Anywhere in Stone is fine from a “safety” point of view. However it can get quite busy (ie no space) in the bit above and below Star lock. The next pound up is mostly private moorings and after that you’ll be on stakes for a while.

 

Middlewich is a funny place in that the T&M before Kings lock is a bit rough, busy noisy road right alongside etc. I think it is pretty shallow at the sides near 166 with no decent edge. After the junction it becomes fine. Best place to moor is probably a few 100 yds below the 3 locks where there is a small Park.

Or if it fits your timing/plans better and assuming there's space, between King's lock and the 3 locks, just past where Middlewich Narrowboats used to be and a new venture is opening up shortly...

 

 

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If we decide on staying in a particular place then we find getting a mooring between 11 am and about 1 or 2pm is the best bet. Trying to find a specific spot whatever busy waterway you are on is often a problem if left later :cheers:

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Almost anywhere from lock 68 to Kings Lock 71 is noisy from the road. There might be a useful spot just below lock 67. Above lock 67 is pretty bleak most of the way back to Wheelock. You could lock down King's Lock, reverse up Wardle Lock (or reverse down the following morning) and then there are lots of quiet moorings (rings/Armco) from bridges 31 to 28 on the branch. Pub at King's Lock, chippy opposite.

 

If I was running late, I'd try for Wheelock and the pub or restaurant. If I was early I'd press on to above or below Big Lock 75 (also pub), or even try for Bramble Cuttings offside between bridges 176 and 177. There is a towpath side mooring a little before Bramble Cuttings if it's full. There is also another set of rings towpath side a little beyond, but CRT seem to have given up cutting the vegetation on that bit.

 

NB - if your definition of "summer" includes the weekend of 19th-21st June, or about a week either side, Middlewich will be heaving because of the Folk & Boat Festival.

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Stone is a lovely canal town and its easy to spend a couple of weeks there. Some good shops and great pubs, its a real proper canal town, and by the time you get there the new Joules canalside pub might be open.  Lots of moorings below Star lock but the closer you get the busier it gets. A few spaces above Star lock (on both sides) but they get full. Otherwise its up two more locks and stop as soon as you see a spot. Nice moorings opposite Roger Fullers yard but its almost a mile (pleasant) walk back into town.

 

If you go down Anderton then do the Weaver end to end, its lovely.

 

..............Dave

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If you've got crew, when you get to Stone grab the first place you can stop and get them to check for spaces nearer the town. It's usually full of overstayers and dumped boats and very crowded. If you're not bothered about the town, there's a good bit of piling just north of the previous bridge, on the outskirts of Stone, for an overnight stay, then take pot luck for a mooring and a walk round the town in the morning when one of the few moving boats has shoved off.

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13 minutes ago, Arthur Marshall said:

If you've got crew, when you get to Stone grab the first place you can stop and get them to check for spaces nearer the town. It's usually full of overstayers and dumped boats and very crowded. If you're not bothered about the town, there's a good bit of piling just north of the previous bridge, on the outskirts of Stone, for an overnight stay, then take pot luck for a mooring and a walk round the town in the morning when one of the few moving boats has shoved off.

Going through stone last year in the summer it was the quietest I’ve ever seen it. We did it twice and had our choice of mooring....very strange...I wondered if people knew something I didn’t! 
 

I do agree with your post tho normally. 

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I'm a bit befuddled by all these "where shall I moor" posts we get. I understand them where someone is looking for a particularly lovely spot, provisions,and such. Also where there's a long run through potential bandit country and in some of the less salubrious city areas, but Stone is hardly that. In fact, I'd say its a bit of a canal mecca really.

 

Is it because of pushing on for long days so not having the flexibility to keep going til you find somewhere nice (which I don't do, but can understand) or is it a creeping fear of places due to Facebook horror stories? I'm suspecting the latter more and more and I worry that we're in danger of creating our own no-go areas for all the wrong reasons.

  • Greenie 2

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3 minutes ago, Sea Dog said:

I'm a bit befuddled by all these "where shall I moor" posts we get. I understand them where someone is looking for a particularly lovely spot, provisions,and such. Also where there's a long run through potential bandit country and in some of the less salubrious city areas, but Stone is hardly that. In fact, I'd say its a bit of a canal mecca really.

 

Is it because of pushing on for long days so not having the flexibility to keep going til you find somewhere nice (which I don't do, but can understand) or is it a creeping fear of places due to Facebook horror stories? I'm suspecting the latter more and more and I worry that we're in danger of creating our own no-go areas for all the wrong reasons.

I don’t sense the OP in this case is worried, he just wants to plan ahead for what are likely to be longish days with limited flexibility.

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9 hours ago, dmr said:

Stone is a lovely canal town and its easy to spend a couple of weeks there. Some good shops and great pubs, its a real proper canal town, and by the time you get there the new Joules canalside pub might be open.  Lots of moorings below Star lock but the closer you get the busier it gets. A few spaces above Star lock (on both sides) but they get full. Otherwise its up two more locks and stop as soon as you see a spot. Nice moorings opposite Roger Fullers yard but its almost a mile (pleasant) walk back into town.

 

If you go down Anderton then do the Weaver end to end, its lovely.

 

..............Dave

It's actually half a mile from directly opposite Fullers to the middle of the high street.  Check google maps if you don't believe me.

 

My favourite Stone mooring is on the off side just after the second Meaford lock heading North.  A really lovely spot and still less than 15 minute walk to the town centre.

Edited by doratheexplorer

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5 minutes ago, doratheexplorer said:

It's actually half a mile from directly opposite Fullers to the middle of the high street.  Check google maps if you don't believe me.

 

I've just checked on Googlemaps, and it is actually only about 3".

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

I've just checked on Googlemaps, and it is actually only about 3".

 

 

zoom in

Edited by doratheexplorer

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Thanks all for great information especially the Folk and Boat dates as these are in the middle of my time away, but I should have passed out and back by the time people start to get there.  Stone wasn't a big concern, more how busy it gets.  Middlewitch with the close roads was more my concern, should have used another word other than "Safe", I suppose I was looking for the nice quiet mooring places (both in terms of boat numbers and noise) all of us enjoy.  I like to be out in the country, only staying in towns as a last resort or pausing to restock supplies as needed.

 

I definitely will be exploring the Weaver, so any recommendations on turning left or right and any good pubs etc.  Again thanks, the more we share information the better it is for all of us 🙂

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2 hours ago, doratheexplorer said:

It's actually half a mile from directly opposite Fullers to the middle of the high street.  Check google maps if you don't believe me.

 

My favourite Stone mooring is on the off side just after the second Meaford lock heading North.  A really lovely spot and still less than 15 minute walk to the town centre.

I believe its a mile, or even 1.1miles from Just above Roger Fullers to the Swan pub walking along the towpath.  Actually we were probably quite a few boats up from Fullers. 😀   but then once you get that far up then the Borehole is closer.

 

................Dave

Edited by dmr
post extended

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2 minutes ago, dmr said:

I believe its a mile, or even 1.1miles from Just above Roger Fullers to the Swan pub walking along the towpath.  Actually we were probably quite a few boats up from Fullers. 😀   but then once you get that far up then the Borehole is closer.

 

................Dave

Like I said, check Google maps if you don't believe me.

image.png.6c4f495233f8e01ee372a21cdf13ffab.png

 

0.7miles to the Swan which is the far end of the town.

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Thats interesting as we measured it with the iPhone as we walked it (several times). We were a little way up from Fullers but not probably not enough to explain 0.4 miles.

 

..............Dave

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Just now, dmr said:

Thats interesting as we measured it with the iPhone as we walked it (several times). We were a little way up from Fullers but not probably not enough to explain 0.4 miles.

 

..............Dave

smartphones don't track distance accurately.  If you use a running app and look back over the map of your run, you'll find the line often zig-zags when you're halfway between two masts.  It will keep darting between two spots about 10-20' apart therefore overestimating distance.  Any trees overhead or tall buildings will make this worse.  When I changed to a garmin running watch I discovered I wasn't nearly as good a runner as I thought I was.  I became aware of the issue when doing a 5k parkrun and always having my phone telling me I'd done 5k when I was only 4.5k around the course.

 

A dedicated running watch will only talk directly with satellites.  A phone will use a mixture of technologies including GPS, Cell ID etc. which can lead to some odd results. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_phone_tracking

I've found that canal towpaths can be particularly odd as the phone technology will tend to flip your location from one side of the canal to the other, presumably because it doesn't want to put you in the middle of the water.

48 minutes ago, dmr said:

Thats interesting as we measured it with the iPhone as we walked it (several times). We were a little way up from Fullers but not probably not enough to explain 0.4 miles.

 

..............Dave

You could always ask for a trip to town on their mini train?

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1 minute ago, doratheexplorer said:

smartphones don't track distance accurately.  If you use a running app and look back over the map of your run, you'll find the line often zig-zags when you're halfway between two masts.  It will keep darting between two spots about 10-20' apart therefore overestimating distance.  Any trees overhead or tall buildings will make this worse.  When I changed to a garmin running watch I discovered I wasn't nearly as good a runner as I thought I was.  I became aware of the issue when doing a 5k parkrun and always having my phone telling me I'd done 5k when I was only 4.5k around the course.

 

A dedicated running watch will only talk directly with satellites.  A phone will use a mixture of technologies including GPS, Cell ID etc. which can lead to some odd results. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_phone_tracking

I've found that canal towpaths can be particularly odd as the phone technology will tend to flip your location from one side of the canal to the other, presumably because it doesn't want to put you in the middle of the water.

Yes, this is all interesting stuff. We walk a lot, both towpath and hills, and my wife likes recording stuff on the iPhone. We get both the GPS track recording and a step count. The GPS track does sometimes have some big random jumps in it. The GPS and step count are usually pretty similar, within about 10%. I find this surprising as our stride must be quite different between easy towpath walking and difficult Yorkshire hill walking but they rarely differ by more than 10%.  Your figures above are only just over 10% different which fits in with our observations. If GPS was a bit better it would be great fun to stick a GPS on the dog, I suspect she goes at least twice as far as us on a good hill walk. Maybe a running watch for the dog? Are the random jumps due to the phone using Cell ID etc or is it just loss of satellite due to tree cover? Can your running watch record the route and does that look clean and sensible even with heavy tree cover?

 

I am surprised that something like the iPhone does not have clever software to tidy up the results, it should not be too difficult to spot and remove most random points? maybe there is an app to do this?

 

..................Dave

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6 minutes ago, dmr said:

Yes, this is all interesting stuff. We walk a lot, both towpath and hills, and my wife likes recording stuff on the iPhone. We get both the GPS track recording and a step count. The GPS track does sometimes have some big random jumps in it. The GPS and step count are usually pretty similar, within about 10%. I find this surprising as our stride must be quite different between easy towpath walking and difficult Yorkshire hill walking but they rarely differ by more than 10%.  Your figures above are only just over 10% different which fits in with our observations. If GPS was a bit better it would be great fun to stick a GPS on the dog, I suspect she goes at least twice as far as us on a good hill walk. Maybe a running watch for the dog? Are the random jumps due to the phone using Cell ID etc or is it just loss of satellite due to tree cover? Can your running watch record the route and does that look clean and sensible even with heavy tree cover?

 

I am surprised that something like the iPhone does not have clever software to tidy up the results, it should not be too difficult to spot and remove most random points? maybe there is an app to do this?

 

..................Dave

My runningwatch does link to a website where I can view a map but I don't bother though.  I know it's accurate because whenever I run an official race, 5k, 10k, half marathon, my watch is almost bang on what the course length is when I finish. Slight differenes can be down to taking corners slightly differently.

 

They probably do make running watches for dogs!

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1 hour ago, doratheexplorer said:

My runningwatch does link to a website where I can view a map but I don't bother though.  I know it's accurate because whenever I run an official race, 5k, 10k, half marathon, my watch is almost bang on what the course length is when I finish. Slight differenes can be down to taking corners slightly differently.

 

They probably do make running watches for dogs!

I do wonder if a running watch or cycle GPS can do some "route cleaning". They can both make some assumptions about typical speeds and even directions whilst a non dedicated GPS/phone has to cope with running walking cycling cars and trains etc.  They should know when they have lost some satellites so only need to employ clever guesswork  when required. A GPS optimised for boat speed measurements would be good. In the pre iPhone days we had various walking GPS's and I was surprised that although average speed and average moving speed were usually good, maximum speed was often a silly big number. 

 

...............Dave

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10 hours ago, nicknorman said:

I don’t sense the OP in this case is worried, he just wants to plan ahead for what are likely to be longish days with limited flexibility.

Yes, I think you're right and I understand that, although I don't really do it as I said, but its the seemingly increasing trend I was really referring to. It seems to me that more and more folk are shying away from places due to the increasing prevalence of horror stories, true or otherwise. Central Birmingham is one I've come across more in the last year than ever before, where most of us wouldn't think twice. Stone being questioned was a first though, and even more of a surprise to me.

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The T&M is one of the easiest canals for moorings in terms of suitable banks as it's an early Brindley canal with deeper edges than later saucer/V shaped canal profiles like the Shroppie and wasn't restored on a shoestring like the Huddersfield or K&A. And Stoke is the only 'bandit country' anywhere on the canal with bits you wouldn't want to stop...and even Stoke really isn't that bad as the canal is so well used. We found it easier to make a note of stretches where you can't moor unlike many other canals where there are miles and miles of shallow banks and pushing on when you are on a schedule isn't always wise...

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I take it this trip will unfortunately be postponed?

 

FWIW, the only place I wouldn't be happy mooring on the stretch you've mentioned is between Etruria top lock and Barlaston which is the stretch through Stoke.

 

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41 minutes ago, junior said:

I take it this trip will unfortunately be postponed?

 

FWIW, the only place I wouldn't be happy mooring on the stretch you've mentioned is between Etruria top lock and Barlaston which is the stretch through Stoke.

 

We have moored several times around sideways farm near the Amazon warehouse and football stadium, although this was a 4 or 5 years back when it was less built up and felt rural. But it felt completely safe.

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