Liverpool is an out and back destination. Down into Liverpool Cleddau had gone on 16th May.
Six days later, early on a Sunday morning, the boat was reversed off her Salthouse Dock mooring, ready to cross Albert Dock, to wait for the half tide barrier to be lowered by the C&RT staff and then to access the first lock.
Within six hours Cleddau was moored back at Melling, from where on Monday (23rd) there was a three hour cruise, memorable for the six swing bridges, a towpath walking gang and glorious colour. Then, with Cleddau tucked up in Scarisbrick Marina (4 miles from Southport), the crew reverted to road transport.
Well, just because…
Two years ago Techno Son-in-Law had devised a fortieth birthday bash. Months and months ago the same Techno Son-in-Law made it known that there was to be a similar event, Just Because… The occasion was nothing whatsoever to do with Cheshire Mum’s early May fortieth birthday, instead it was “just because…” !
High above Macclesfield (Cheshire) on Saturday there was a 9am breakfast roll call at the tea room at Tegg’s Nose Country Park before events started. Gathered together were Reading University Graftonites (and various offspring), local friends, grandparents, a sister and a pair of cousins plus five instructors from Moorland Adventure .
while during a bush craft session persistence helps when creating a spark for a fire, using foraged twigs and leaves as kindling.
After a fun-packed morning there was an adjournment for lunch to Rudyard Lake (in north Staffordshire) and an afternoon of water-based activities. Near the sailing club a recently installed wood carving is a reminder of Rudyard Lake’s history as a place for outdoor pleasure and spectacle.
Just one month ago Chris Bull had re-enacted a stunt performed in Victorian times, a tightrope walk across the lake.
Advisory words after lunch prepared the Just Because delegates for the afternoon’s activities. For those determined to keep dry it was best to just stick with the orienteering. Those not minding being a little bit damp could venture aboard the Canadian canoes. Kayaking inevitably attracts drips and splashes, while after a 30 minute team raft building effort it was the raft crews who got the wettest!
Dried out by Sunday ‘Just Because…’ relocated to Windgather Rocks on the Cheshire /Derbyshire border. Here novice and experienced climbers and abseilers tested their nerve and their skills.
At a long afternoon BBQ (on a warm sunny day, in Macclesfield!) more guests, both human and invertebrate (a maybug or cockchafer*), put in appearances. It was a fine and fun-filled weekend, enjoyed by all – even though the happy campers were visited by ghostly midnight horses…
Just because they had wheeled transport the Cleddau crew on Bank Holiday Monday checked out a new (to them) castle, Bolsover – before inspecting the current C&RT headache, the canal leak at Bollington on the Macclesfield Canal.
A bridge of hard core upon the canal bed for heavy machinery makes boat traffic past Clarence Mill seem unlikely for a while.The question now for the Cleddau crew is, will the repair work be finished by mid-June (which will allow a south to north transit back to home moorings) or will the only home route be via Manchester, the Rochdale Nine, the Ashton Eighteen and the Marple Sixteen..?
Next time, refloating a boat and eastbound to Wigan.
*Info from Techno Son-in-Law: In terms of animal group it is Arthropod in the Insecta Class, order Coleoptera (beetles), family Scarabaeidae. It’s proper scientific name is Melolontha melolontha