Thursday, 9 January 2014

Note to Self - and the Saracen's Head

Starcross has been laying unattended at Uplands Basin since early December, being battered by the rain and wind, so I though it was about time I went to spend a day aboard and check-up on her. After all, what else would you spend your life savings on and then leave lying around in a waterlogged ditch sixty miles from home?

With really bad weather forecast at the time of my last visit I had rigged up a tarpaulin to cover the back cabin, where the cabin doors are not completely watertight, but such has been the strength of the recent gales that I half expected to find it floating in the marina - if at all.  In reality, although two of the strings tying it to the boat had snapped and at least one of the bits of wood supposedly acting as ballast had disappeared, it was still in place and had been doing its job. What it hadn't done was to stop the condensation on the  inside of the back cabin roof or the pool of water collecting under the cabin slide on the roof. (anyone thing of buying Starcross should ignore this bit!)

The day was only noteworthy for the journey - particularly the journey home. I "wasted" £11.15 on a rail ticket nobody looked at, let alone checked. At least it was a ticket to Manchester, which is a few pounds cheaper than a ticket to Warrington, which is where I was actually going.  Despite being in different directions from Lancaster tickets to each of these destinations are valid via the other and are valid for break of journey so passengers to Warrington can save money by buying a ticket to Manchester, somewhere they have no intention of going!

Coming home, there is a large gap in the bus service from Anderton to Warrington between 15.06 and 19.06, something which has annoyed me ever since moving to Uplands. Until my last visit I generally waited for the later bus and cursed the timetable planners. The alternative in late afternoon was to walk to Winnington Swing Bridge, get a bus to Northwich and then a number 45 to Warrington - a long way round. But when I did this last November I discovered to my suprise that the 45's in the afternoon follow a non-standard route that although it doesn't include Anderton does include Comberbach, which is no further to walk than Winnington. So I could leave Uplands at the same time and walk a similar distance but by going to Comberbach rather than Winnington could actually catch the previous bus and arrive  in Warrington 45 minutes earlier - or at least I would have done if I hadn't been tempted by the sight of the Saracen's Head in Stockton Heath and got off the bus! (Note to self from someone who once presumed to write a website to help other people catch buses: Read the bloody timetable properly!)
The Entrance Lobby
View of the bar from the side room
The Saracen's Head (and would we be allowed to call a new pub that nowadays?) lies just across the road from the site of the reviled Greenall Whitley brewery, once one of the largest in the north-west but one whose closure was greeted by celebration amongst beer drinkers, so poor was its reputation! The pub now sells Lees beer, a much better prospect!

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