Many times I have cruised the Shropshire Union and it is once again my chosen route, much to Jaq`s delight, to the Llangollen into north Wales.The high embankments and deep cuttings(right) are plentiful along it`s very straight sections and make you wonder how many more locks would have been needed had these not been the engineers choice. An alternative choice following land contours would have eliminated some of the cuttings/embankments but the boldness of the many, many straight sections would have been lost and those high bridges across the cuttings.
The pictures are of Woodseaves cutting, which is 70` deep in places, just south of Tyrley locks.Cruising through these cuttings, and for sure don`t moor up for lunch, you have to be aware the steep slopes each side are not the most stable. Back in January 2011 a bad rockfall closed the canal and by the pictures I took a rockfall, albeit small, had recently occurred.
In a past life when I worked my curiosity for knowing where a road led gained me a huge memory bank of the area I earned a living. This curiosity still stands and the many times I`ve cruised the Shroppie canal and passed below the bridges my feet tingle wanting to investigate. Cowley double road bridge(31) and Double culvert bridge(40) are two that seemed to be calling. What could be the meaning of `double road` is it a dual carriageway (U.S. freeway)?, surely not over a narrow canal bridge. Bridge 40 according to the map book carries a stream and a footpath. So Jaq stood guard holding the centre line(mooring rope) while quickly went up onto each bridge to satisfy the tingle in my toes.
Yes indeed above bridge a footpath and a dried out stream bed. also up here is part of Loynton Moss although better access can be had from bridge 39.
I feel better now although for sure there will be other bridges and hills to climb pathways to walk just to satisfy my curiosity.