Thirteen Walkers met at the Salt Barge pub in Marston, where we gave in our meal orders. Although the rain persisted, it wasn’t cold and we made our way through the Lion Salt Works to the Trent and Mersey Canal. The recent heavy rain had made the towpath extremely muddy and slippery but we set off in good spirits. We soon reached Wincham Bend where a jet ski was moored outside a canal side house. Don’t know what the boaters and anglers would make of that speeding past! The canal then crossed Wincham Brook where we could see a pen full of peacocks in a brookside garden. Passing under the A559 Manchester Road, we saw a pub on the opposite bank making use of empty cable reels as outdoor tables and chairs. A large boat yard (giving the pub its name) had a selection of canal boats for sale – yours for anything between £40,000 and £140,000. The scenery now changed as the Tata Chemical Works loomed into view, spanning the canal. Some of the pipes carrying brine over the canal had murals depicting the work of the plant in attempt to mitigate the ugliness. The equation for the electrolysis of brine was shown (2NaCl + 2H20 = Cl2 + H2 + 2NaOH) which we all remember from our school Chemistry lessons! The skies brightened and the rain eased slightly as we left the sights and noise of Tata behind and left the canal to walk through Griffiths Park. We stopped here for a snack break and saw two sculptures – “Spider In Time” and “Gene Pod” (a dandelion clock?). Although on higher ground here, the park was still quite boggy. Leaving the park we made our way along Middlewich Road past Northwich Railway Station and the Clock Tower pub before turning off the main road along Old Warrington Road beside Wade Brook. As we reached a bicycle sculpture where Wade Brook emptied into Witton Brook, we left the road and went up a path towards Carey Park. A wider, more solid path took us on a meandering walk through the park alongside Witton Brook and across Carden’s Ferry Footbridge, where we met many dog walkers and a couple of horses and riders. The path then took us along the southern edge of Neumanns Flashes and back to Ollershaw Lane and the Salt Barge pub. Muddy boots and overtrousers were discarded and welcoming food and drinks consumed. Although we’d had some rain, it was quite mild for late November with no wind to chill us. Thanks to Shirley, Ann and Anne for organising. Happy Christmas to you all and see you in 2020!