Within and hour of leaving our overnight mooring we were at Dutton and the entrance to Preston Brook Tunnel, this is also timed, but as the tunnel is considerably longer than the previous ones, only ten minutes from the hour is allowed to enter. Fortunately we got through the shallow stop lock and joined the end of a convoy dead on the hour.
The slim ventilation shafts pierce the tunnel roof at all sorts of angles which is probably why the tunnel is so bendy. In the centre of the tunnel repairs using precast concrete section had been made and the light of my torch suddenly disappeared up into a shaft that was wider than the tunnel itself, presumably sunk when these recent repairs had been made.
The other side of the tunnel and we were on the wide Bridgewater Canal, owned and maintained by the Manchester Ship Canal Company. The Preston Brook junction leads either down the four and a half miles arm to Runcorn, or east, towards all stations north. We headed east destination the dreaded Rochdale Canal!!!
There are no locks on the Bridgwater and we soon arrived at the pretty town of Lymm, passing a rather bored looking football fan on the way. We were expecting it to be something like Nantwich and although obviously a wealthy place, it was much smaller, but provided a pleasant overnight mooring.