Monthly Archive: October 2011

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Home moorings

Bollington to Victoria Pit Moorings, Higher Poynton, 4 miles, 0 locks             The final stretch of the Macclesfield Canal is now familiar. In good weather the hillsides of Lyme Park are green, tempting the walker to stride uphill and breathe the air in deeply. Today, however, it was as if the rise in land height was not there at all, instead it was deeply shrouded in drizzle and low cloud. Cleddau crew members were themselves shrouded in waterproofs and peaked...

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The 518ft contour* (and a spot of fishing)

This dispatch refers to Friday 7th October Bosley to Bollington, 10 miles, 12 locks, 2 swing bridges Rain, hail, thunder and winds punctuated the tranquillity of last evening’s mooring.  A check this morning on the weather forecasts for Congleton and for Macclesfield revealed two quite different outcomes: sunny intervals for Macclesfield, heavy showers for Congleton. In the event it seemed at 7am that we were firmly in the heavy showers zone. When after nine the rain began to ease preparations...

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Alternative solutions

Red Bull Aqueduct to River Dane Aqueduct (bottom of Bosley Locks), 9 miles, 1 lock, 1 breakdown             Weather forecasters were insistent that gales would prevail by late afternoon. Hence the plan to do the relatively short hop along the lower contour of the Macclesfield today, leaving the flight of twelve until tomorrow. The one lock of the day, about half a mile on from the overnight mooring, is barely a lock, just a 12 inch change in water depth...

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‘Your local canal is an outdoor gym’

Lock 57, Hassall Green (T&M) to Kidsgrove (Macclesfield Canal), 6 miles and 16 locks             The motto in the title was spotted a couple of days ago, probably on the side of a British Waterways van. (Sorry, no photographic proof).  What an appropriate summary for today’s exertions! Yes, own goal, our own choice to go down 17 locks from the Stoke summit level to turn round and come back up… but the views of fields and cows was wonderful yesterday...

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Black and white

Church Lawton to Hassall Green, 3.63 miles and 12 locks             First lock of the day, about 400 yards from the overnight mooring, was lock 47. There never was going to be a great distance travelled today since at Hassall Green, at lock 57, is Lock 57, a favourite brasserie (eatery) and destination for the Captain’s belated birthday celebration.             Down Cleddau came, dropping down towards the Cheshire Plain. There was a brief retail pause at Rode Heath, the boat...

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Red and orange

Barlaston to Church Lawton, 12 miles and 12 locks (including the Harecastle Tunnel) Red and yellow and pink and green Purple and orange and blue… So go the opening lines of I Can Sing A Rainbow. The tune of it began to bounce in the brain this afternoon after contemplating the colour contrasts of the day.               An early (0800) start had been called for. The engine had roared into life before breakfast cereals had emerged from the cupboard....

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Comms

Stone to Barlaston, 4 miles and 8 locks              It was a quiet climb out of Stone this morning, first through the lock by the Star pub, the bells from St Michael and St Wulfad’s Church drifting across the town from about 10 o’clock. The locks in Stone are fairly close together, the towpath well-used by cyclists, runners and dog-walkers.  In several places the view of a boat waiting below a lock is totally obscured by a bridge, in one...

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Bells, beers and breads at Stone

Little Stoke to Stone, 1.35 miles, 0 locks             So much for plans! A hot air balloon (coincidence?), a peal of bells and huge marquees in the park alongside the towpath alerted the Cleddau crew to Something Going On. Dispatched by the Captain into town (Stone) to pick up a paper and find a post box Boatwif found herself trapped in the very slow-moving crowds on the High Street. An enormous Farmers’ Market was stretched from the top end of...

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