Blink and you’ll miss it, The Wardle canal is shortest canal on the system. In the time it took for me to walk the whole length of this canal, Eric exited Kings Lock on the Trent and Mersey, waited for the oncoming boat to emerge from under bridge 168 at Middlewich junction, before arriving in Wardle lock, ready for me to lock up. And that was it. All 154 feet /47m of it.
Wardle canal was built in 1829 by the Trent and Mersey Canal authority in order to exercise that authority over the middlewich branch, and Shropshire union. Wardle lock is affectionately know as Maureen’s lock because a boatwoman called Maureen lived in the lock keepers cottage and took great pleasure in helping boats up and down. But we had no time to dwardle through Wardle, we were travelling at the height of holiday hire season, there were so many boats about I forgot to take a snap of her commemorative plaque.
Next stop the middlewich branch.