Monthly Archive: August 2012

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The tale of a bear and a Bible

Biddulph Valley Aqueduct to the River Dane Aqueduct: 3.4 miles             Many times in recent years the Cleddau crew have crawled or whizzed past Congleton by car – but never have they visited the town itself. From the canal the few shops and a Post Office at Hightown are easily accessible, just up the steps by the railway station, across the bridge and there they are – just a minute away. But the town centre? Where is it – apart...

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A trip to Follywood

Ramsdell Hall Railings to Biddulph Valley Aqueduct: a 4 mile cruise, a 690 feet ascent, a 4 mile walk             The great Cheshire Plain, on the western side of Cheshire, is well-known. How different though is eastern Cheshire where a spine of hills runs down the county, butting onto high ground in Staffordshire and Derbyshire. A trip along the Macclesfield Canal passes close to three very distinctive high points: at Bollington White Nancy is a sort of white pepper pot...

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Over supply of rain…

Westport Lake (T&M) to Ramsdell Hall (Macc.): 6.3 miles, 1 lock Whether to stay, to go up – or to go down… such was the problem to be faced this morning, not early, because it was raining, not mid-morning because there was a blog to finish, not late morning because there was a last conversation to be had with Les and Jaq. The time came for departure. After rain, after showers, after a dry spell, but in a shower again...

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Slip, glaze and a game of cards

Milton (Caldon Canal) to Westport Lake (Trent & Mersey). 8.4 miles, 3 locks. Remember how last week Boatwif had been taken with the idea of an Emma Bridgewater factory tour, the Captain permitting? After four phone calls, an on-line booking and a distressingly early start on Tuesday morning  Boatwif was off-loaded at Bridge 8 with instructions to do the 10am tour. It was a glorious morning: sun sparkled on the water, boaters and dog-walkers smiled and waved. There was a...

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Water

(Regular readers – Sunday’s blog, Frog march from Froghall is available below this one) Monday 27th August: Cheddleton (Railway Station) to Milton: 6.5 miles, 11 locks Water: not enough of it three minutes into this morning’s cruise. Two hefty underwater obstructions brought Cleddau to an ignominious and unscheduled halt… Water: very slow to fill up the Cheddleton upper lock – the paddle culvert has a partial blockage, but the boater walking his dog nearby was a likeable chap, a one-time...

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Frog march from Froghall

(Dispatched Monday, from Endon, once back in signal range) Sunday: Cheddleton to Cheddleton: 3.6 miles, 4 locks; Cheddleton to Froghall by train: 5 miles; Froghall to Cheddleton by tow path walk: 5 miles Confused by the above…? It was down three locks this morning, to discover at the fourth that “the river is in the red”…  From Cheddleton the canal drops two locks, then weaves towards a third about half a mile further on. After an unpicturesque section where an...

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Trains and boats – and caravans!

Norton Green to Cheddleton, 5.4 miles, 8 locks             Saturday: a day Radio 4 listeners may feel deprived of an Archers fix, so a Brookfield picture (taken in Endon) for you!             This morning Boatwif set off along the tow path to wind up the lift bridge which was a few hundred yards ahead. Would-be Caldon boaters take note: the tow path all the way from Etruria to Stockton locks (about 6 miles) is tarmac paved so there are no...

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Dots before the eyes

Westport Lake to Norton Green, Caldon Canal: 8.6 miles, 4 locks             Where is Cleddau? And where is the Caldon Canal? The Caldon is 17.5 miles long and heads east and then south east from Etruria in Stoke-on-Trent to Froghall in rural Staffordshire. As Cleddau approached Milton (the last Stoke suburb) this afternoon a sizeable angler perched on a small canvas stool laconically lifted an eyebrow. “Yer know it’s a dead end, don’t yer?”  (Yes – it’s an out and...

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STOP / GO

Ramsdell Hall Railings to Westport Lake: 6 miles, 1 lock It was a STOP / GO sort of day: moored-start-stop-start-stop-start-stop-start-stop-start-stop … Overnight mooring to Heritage Boatyard (map book, diesel, water) Heritage Boatyard to the Rising Sun, Scholar Green (postbox) Scholar Green to Harecastle Tunnel (a wait of about an hour and a half before passage permitted) Harecastle Tunnel to Westport Lake for overnight mooring.             There was a tinge of regret on drawing away from the mooring at Ramsdell Hall...

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Ducks – and a moated house

Biddulph Valley Aqueduct to Ramsdell Hall moorings: 3.09 miles A sister has requested some photographs of ducks – something to do with a poster competition. Taking photographs of wriggling unpredictable toddlers is difficult: taking pictures of demented ducks is well nigh impossible! They have no sense of facing the front or staying still or that keeping their heads above water would be helpful. No, they just don’t cooperate, unless of course, they are bribed. Hence, efforts to oblige the sister...