Tuesday 2 September

A sorry sight had greeted us yesterday and despite attempts to rescue the boat it still remains submerged today.

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It appears to be sitting on the bottom of the canal and despite an increase in the number of pumps on the side trying to pump it out, the water level remains the same and we suspect the pumps are merely pumping the canal through the boat. 

This afternoon we joined two Australians and an American on the Tuesday Secret Explore of Chester.   John, our guide, showed us remains of the old roman sandstone city wall which has been largely replaced over the years due to the softness of the stone and much of the wall is medieval as the line of the wall has also changed over the years.

We passed by Sedan House; a house with a projecting porch with external doors to both east and west through which the sedan bearers would carry the chair, depositing the lady of the house inside between the two doors where she could alight without getting her feet wet.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedan_House,_Chester

Our guide explained that the course of the River Dee has also shifted as at one time it passed on the Chester town side of the racecourse, rather than behind it as it does now, and where the wall now crosses Watersgate was once where the port of Chester and indeed the harbour wall probably existed.     Chester Racecourse is apparently the oldest horseracing course, introduced by Henry VIII.   Legend has it that he considered horse racing a more civilised sport as previously the locals had been playing football on the course and had caused riots.  

Opposite the racecourse there is a house once lived in by Thomas Harrison, which is now a bar called “The Architect”. The story goes that the Georgian Architect, Thomas Harrison, was given this house by the people of Chester as a thank you for redesigning the Chester Castle site.   Erm – I wonder if Storm has missed a trick with some of his commissions?

We then visited what is left of Chester Castle from Norman times (this was the secret bit as we needed keys to gain access to the site). Our walk then took us through “The Rows”, Chester’s unique two storey shopping area, and John explained how these buildings had evolved since the 13th century.

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