From our mooring near the Marple bottom lock it was only 6 miles to Dukinfield Junction. Geoff had warned us about the low bridges so we put down our Bimini.
The majority of the Lower Peak Forest canal is tree lined and pleasant in the sunshine. After the Marple locks it was good to travel the long pound.
We squeezed under the low bridges and pushed through the dark tunnels.
Just one bridge to lift before our mooring for the night.
At Dukinfield Junction the Huddersfield narrow canal heads east while the Ashton canal heads west. Both canals were abandoned and left to rot when commercial traffic failed. The Ashton was reopened in 1974 and the Huddersfield in 2001. Both canals have proved to be a struggle to navigate ever since.
Now we face up to the trip down to Manchester and an early start on the Ashton canal with its eighteen locks.
The first two miles are tree lined and flat to the top lock where we topped up our water tank.
Geoff and Margaret in Seyella led the way down setting locks for us to follow. All the lock gear are vandal proof locked so they take longer to operate.
Because the canal had been abandoned many new road and rail bridges were built lower than the original canal bridges. It is a wonder that boats were able to navigate when it was reopened.
It had been a cold windy day that made the seven hour trip almost too hard to complete.
The last bridge on the Ashton canal.
We finally arrived at the bottom and joined Seyela on the Rochdale canal at Picadilly above lock 84.
Ann went up to lock 83 to find the pound above it dry!
Next day when it stopped raining we moved down the Rochdale nine locks. Locks 84 to 92 pass through the city centre and we see many buildings covering and enclosing the canal.
The canal age was built of stone while the Victorians used red brick. Now we use metal, glass and concrete. The contrast could not be greater and they do not mix well in this city.
Lock 92, the bottom of the Rochdale 9.
We came down together in those wide locks and found a mooring in Castle Quay on the Bridgewater canal.
We have got back to Marple and turned on the Peak Forest canal. Found some deep moorings on a bend for the long weekend. The diesel boat Alton came by and filled our diesel tank again. Having got rid of our unwanted and filled the water tank at the junction we were all set for our decent of the Marple locks.
We went first followed by Seyella. It was a lovely sunny day as we went down 214 feet in a mile through 16 locks.
We were lucky to have several volunteers helping our two boats down with several coming up as well.
Seyella arriving at the bottom.
At the bottom we found a quiet spot opposite a field of sheep n lambs just past the aqueduct.
We are just enjoying not doing much but reading, listening to music and not moving very far. We go for occasional walks and shopping. Geoff had hired a car and kindly offered to take us to Tesco in Macclesfield.
I am still trying to finish editing our book while discovering and converting home movies, sorting pictures and watching TV.
The news has just got so booring. There must be something else to report other than the activities of naughty old men. We seem to pay too much attention to what celebrities get up to.
The world of finance is more interesting. (If only we could get more Interest!). Money is just a concept and goes round and round. But if we do not trust it, the concept will fail. I thought that the welfare state and taxation was supposed to level off the highs and lows.
We seem to value housing too highly then cannot pay for it. Is that where the money has gone? How much does housing actually cost to build? We live on a boat and value it highly but we only paid for its cost.
A friend of ours is selling his narrow boat. £55,000 ONO
57ft Gorton Semitrad Narrowboat
With fixed double plus dinette converts into double.bed.
Kitchen with washing machine, four burner hob oven and grill.
Fridge and seperate freezer.
Bathroom with pump out toilet, wash hand basin and shower.
Lounge has solid fuel stove with back boiler, book shelves and tv cabinet.
3.5 kw genset inverter/ charger, hydraulic bow thrusters,
Beta 1903 engine with a prm 160 gearbox,
Mikuni diesel heating
Spray foam insulation
Taxed until Feb 2014
Please contact John at Market Drayton, Tel: 01630 656 556
We have moved away from Whaley Bridge on the Upper Peak Forest canal and turned off on to the Macclesfield. We had stopped near New Mills for the view before leaving.
Passing other boats seem to encourage the bottom of the boat and canal to meet each other!
It has been slow going with several bridges to lift and swing on the way. Some difficulty stopping to get off to operate the bridges with the shallow edges. The mud seems to suck the boat back to the side what ever you do with the prop and rudder! A shallow mooring near Hawk Green
Perhaps we should encourage C&RT to do a lot more dredging and repair of both sides of the canal system. It has been five years since we have been up on the Macclesfield and Peak Forest and have noticed much deterioation.
Oh that canal Basin is so attractive we just had to get there one more time. So quiet now, but back in the 1900s it was very industrious and noisy. Gritstone and Limestone quarries were up in the hills and being transported in wagons down a tramway to be processed. Coal was bought in and the products taken away by narrowboat on the Peak Forest Canal.
We found Rock n Roll round the back near the lime kilns so turned round and moored nearby. Then we went for a walk round to find Seyella had arrived for another weekend.
Later that evening Alton arrived and filled all our diesel tanks.
Geoff had placed an order with Tesco and when it arrived we moved alongside to pass the goodies through our side hatches.