Sunday, April 28, 2013

Never mind the view, feel the depth

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.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Back to Bugsworth

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.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Hanging around

We moved out of Bugsworth Basin and stopped just past Carr swing bridge. The mooring was a bit shallow and the boat often leaned over on the mud when a boat passed.
It is worth staying a while to admire the view among the hills of the Peak Forest.

The occupants of Seyella, Rock n Roll and Moore 2 Life spent time together climbing up hills and down in the Goyt valley. Perhaps needless to say I did not manage the hills! Roads cross the River Goyt on huge stone viaducts.
The river flows over its rocky bed and a number of dams create waterfalls where the old mills extracted the power.
The mills have gone now and the power is used to generates electricity. An Archimedes Screw is mounted in a trough with water flowing down, turning the screw slowly. There is plenty of water flowing over the dam but no power was being generated when we saw it.
Marple Locks

Our friends moved back to Whaley Bridge while we set off for Marple. Ann to collect train tickets and me to get medication. While there we had fish n chips sitting outside the shop in sunshine. We returned to the moorings just before Carr swing bridge. We arrived at about five o'clock having travelled for nearly six hours that day.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Rings, rocks and moorings

Many moorings on the Macclesfield canal looked inviting but there was usually too much mud preventing the rear end from getting near the bank. There were a few spaces at the visitor moorings in Marple for Rock n Roll and M 2 L. For once the boats were in deeper water and tied to rings.

We found some good shops down the hill at Marple. Having done the shopping we all enjoyed refreshments from Greggs the baker while sitting on a street seat and watching the traffic!

Back at the boats we set off to turn right at the junction of the Peak Forest canal.

It is many years since we were here and it is sad to see the visitor moorings in such a state with those rocks in the water.

It is only 6 miles to Whaley Bridge but there are a few bridges to swing or lift on the way.

George did Higgs.

And Ann did Wood End while Rocker and Lifer cruised past.

Although it was a bit misty we could see across the Goyt Valley.

Baz and Al were on their way out on Micky Jay and Al was kind enough to open this bridge for us.

We went on to Whaley Bridge for water, facilities and post while Rock n Roll went into Bugsworth Basin.

When we arrived at the basin we did a tour by boat before backing up to join the others.

Seyella and Pilgrim were also there and Malcolm and Barbara invited us all on board for tea, cake and a chat.

We intend to stay a while so felt obliged to volunteer a donation to the Inland Waterways Protection Society which maintain the moorings. This is better than getting a fine from C&RT for staying too long at these lovely moorings.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Locks n mills

All twelve locks at Bosley were climbed up in a morning. We left after breakfast with Geoff setting the locks for us. The wind made it tricky when leaving the lock because the boat was blown into the shallows. It was then difficult to get off the mud.

Half way up we were meeting boats coming down as expected. The top lock is 518 feet above sea level. While there we topped ip with water and lost the unwanted at the facilities.

Next day we continued our journey north round the hills passing several swing bridges that Geoff had opened.  

The canal is noticeably shallow at the edges and in the bridge holes. With the problems at the locks as well, the prop picked up some rubbish. The boat slowed to a crawl and reversing the prop did not help.  Having got past a swing bridge we stopped. 

The weed hatch is under the back deck and difficult to get to so it is always a trial of determination. The water was so cold that my arm almost went numb. Geoff offered to help and managed to remove the old rope and weed. 

A convoy of three boats went through while the traffic waited for us.

The Hovis mill in Macclesfield. That town was well known for producing silk.
There are a few old cotton mill buildings to pass.  This one is Clarence Mill.

An ancestor on my mothers side was Henry Platt who was a blacksmith in Uppermill by the Huddersfield narrow canal. He invented many textile spinning and carpet weaving machines in Oldham.

We set off heading for a mooring at Bollington but found the popular spot full of boats. Several aborted attempts were made due to the shallow edges before finally stopping at Whitley Green.

George and Carol had hired a car and offered to take us shopping in town. A chance to get away from the boat and travel at speed on four wheels. Thank you both for the trip.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013


All canals have their own character and the Macclesfield is no exception. This one cuts through the hills and fills the valleys with embankments or aqueducts.
This bridge is a 'cross over', 'turn over' or 'snake' bridge. When the towpath changes sides to avoid falling down the hill a horse can go through and over without unhitching the tow rope.
This is what I wrote back in 2002 when passing Congleton- 
Canal, rail and road cross each other here. The old stone canal bridge is almost lost under the iron railway bridge and the high concrete road bridge dwarfs both. They show some lack of respect for each other.

The bridges have their own style, Geoff calls them 'Hobbit Holes' because of their shape.
Even the milestones are unique. They were all buried during the war and have been restored to their upright positions.
We were getting low on diesel so were pleased to see Brian and Ann on Alton.
Geoff got some coal.

Despite approaching the High Peaks the canal manages to stay level for most of its 25 odd miles. Only at Bosley does it climb 118 feet through 12 locks in a mile.