Wren is a 50 foot Sagar narrow boat and to celebrate her 30th birthday she is taking Peter and Claire and friends on an extended trip, initially south to London then heading west to Bristol before returning home to Ellesmere. She left Blackwater Marina with Peter and Claire on Monday 23 May 2016 in bright spring sunshine and headed east along the Llangollen Canal. After steady progress the first overnight mooring was at Swanley where the crew hopped on their bikes back to The Cotton Arms at Wrenbury for much needed sustenance after all the lifting bridges and locks. In this very pleasant pub they met some other weary boaters including a couple who also own a Sagar boat called Cutty Wren.
On Tuesday morning the flight of locks at Hurleston was completed by 8.30am taking Wren onto the Shropshire Union Canal past Nantwich to Audlem. Before the long climb at Audlem Wren was allowed to have a day's rest so the crew moored up outside The Shroppie Fly until Thursday morning when they returned by tandem to complete the next stage of the trip to Market Drayton. Mooring near Talbot Wharf some essential maintenance was carried out by the crew ; filling the water, emptying the toilet and washing down the exterior so Wren could look her best for Crew number 2 who would be taking over on Saturday 28 May.
The said crew, Steve and Debbie, arrived on Thursday night to check that all was 'shipshape' on board Wren. A briefing was held in Wetherspoons (curry night) then Peter and Claire returned to Wren to rest their weary heads intending to hop on the trusty tandem on Friday morning to head back home. However, there was a little problem which needed fixing before they could leave - a leaking water filter! Luckily, the chandlery at Talbot Wharf, run by old friend Tim Machin, had a replacement so Peter got out his plumbing kit and fitted it. Despite the slight delay they then had a lovely ride back to Ellesmere in warm sunshine, pausing for refreshments at Dearnford Lake where their fellow cyclist, Alex, joined them.
Crew number 2, Steve, Debbie, Dougie, Jenny, Greg, Rachel and Noah were taking over on Saturday for a day trip to Gnosall then on Sunday, Steve Debbie, Dougie and Jenny would continue cruising down the Shroppie before turning northwards onto the Staffs and Worcester. Crew number 1 will then catch up with them to take over on Saturday 2 June somewhere south of Birmingham. After that who knows? The story continues....