Wednesday 28 September 2016


Walking down the towpath this morning we encountered a boat that could have been named for us!

We'd left our overnight mooring and cruised into Wheelock, from whence it's a short bus-ride into Sandbach.

We've never visited this market town before. It's central square is very pleasing, with the war memorial at one end and some famous Saxon crosses at the other.

On one side is a café serving the best flat white that I've so far had in an independent.

The café apparently used to be a bakery, with the ovens resulting in the intriguing name for the road – Warm Walls. On the other side of the square is a path leading to the parish church.

We walked through, only to find the church itself, disappointingly, locked up. I feel an email to those in charge coming on. We walked back to the Town Hall, a building of a very different vintage.

Taking the lift up to the 1st floor, we rather surprised the operations manager who came down to find out who was invading his territory. In the event we stood with him on the landing and had a good natter about the history and present nature of the town. Interesting info, but not half as engaging as our conversation about urban and community renewal with a very committed official in Middlewich a couple of years ago.

Just down from the Town Hall were some chimneys in the style that had surprised me yesterday.

There was a certain amount of activity in and around the town centre, and evidence that the shops were doing reasonably well, for the most part. But we found most action going on in the town park.

I remember watching some crown green bowling on the TV years ago, but I had never seen it live until today. The green itself is slightly raised in the centre, forming the crown. And there's none of your straight up and down routine. You roll the jack wherever you want, even across the line of an "end" being played by another group. It was good fun to watch, and even more fun to play – less staid than typical bowls down south. Then we walked on to see other parts of the extensive and central park.

We enjoyed our visit to Sandbach, but there was something indefinable missing. It's market day tomorrow, and perhaps that will give it more feeling of the bustle that's normal for a market town.


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