Saturday, 7 June 2014

Saturday, Rain Stops Play - Sunday, Business as Usual

Saturdays weather, as we knew it would be, was shyte.  The thunder was so loud it woke me up!!  I wondered what the hell was going on??   
8.50am and I was already bloody up! Sitting in the boat whilst a very aggressive storm hammered the boat outside.  It was pouring with rain,  thunder and lightning flash banging every few minutes and it was like that all day. The air was grey and Judge was not a happy puppy :0(. Needless to say, not much was achieved. 
It didn't let up either till late in the evening. I lost most of the day as I went back to bed for a couple of hours with a headache.  I think the atmospherics were messing with my head. Saturday DELETED


But today normal service is resumed.........it's lovely :0). We started early and was already in Middlewich by 11am.
 Early start on a lovely bright morning :0)

At one of the locks the traffic on the road next to the canal was behaving very oddly. Once the cars had cleared, the reason became apparent!!

 'Im sure they said left at the top of the road!'

We also passed this huge factory, with piles of white stuff inside, as well as outside. We were confused until I saw a lorry that had British Salt sign written on it. I thought it had to be salt and the lorry confirmed it for me. 

Piles of the purest 'white'

Well, upon further investigation it would appear salt has been central to this areas industry for over 2000 years!!  Following the Roman invasion, Middlewich was named Salinae on account of the salt deposits around it, it lies on the site of a prehistoric brine spring.
Salt manufacture is mentioned in the Domesday book, and by the 13th century there were approximately 100 "wich houses" packed around the town's two brine pits. 


By 1908 there were nine industrial scale salt manufacturers in the town, with a number of open pan salt works close to the canal, however salt manufacture in Middlewich is now concentrated in one manufacturer, British Salt. The salt is sold as the Saxa brand by RHM, and by others e.g. supermarket own brands. Salt produced by British Salt in Middlewich has 57% of the UK market for salt used in cooking.  Well, I never knew that!!!

More information on the subject is available here:
http://www.middlewich-heritage.org.uk/mnu-introduction-canals.html

We had a short stop at Kings Lock 71 just South of Middlewich, to grab some supplies and a couple of hours trading before heading down the last 4 locks to the centre of town. Altogether we travelled 4 miles and done 8 locks today :0)
Stopped for supplies  at Kings Lock 71

  Couple of hours trading :0)

 Feeding the swans :0)

So now we are all tucked up and cosy in Middlewich. I had a quick stroll along the high street and found 3 charity shops and a vaping shop. They will be investigated most thoroughly tomorrow :0). With a bit if luck my post will have arrived in Kidsgrove because we are getting a bit far away now, over an hour by public transport!!
The High Street, closed on Sundays :0(