Rocking on …

Routines during the past months have been largely repetitive (and we all know why), so when something new or different is seen curiosity is aroused.

It was while passing Kerridge on the Macclesfield Canal (13th August) that cranes and earthworks on the ridge line were sighted.     More quarrying? (Kerridge quarries have long been supplying stone).  But no. Apparently United Utilities is building another reservoir as a back-up facility for the existing service reservoir.

On the previous boat trip the repairs at Toddbrook Resevoir at Whaley Bridge had been inspected. Then, a day after spotting the Kerridge construction, a circular walk prompted by the need for a Macclesfield post box was devised. Climb high enough up Buxton Road and there is not one but two post boxes within sight of each other. A pleasant walk headed down towards the canal at Hurdsfield. At about 100 feet above the canal an area of water was spotted from the rural path. (Swan’s Pool?)  Are reservoirs developing into a theme this year…?

Later that day, while BBQ food cooked, conversation turned to Frodo’s sword, engraved in Elvish language…

After a second night moored in Macclesfield the boat was turned at Lyme Green to return to Higher Poynton. Views and sightings are different when heading in an opposite direction. Look, there are the flues from AstraZeneca’s manufacturing plant. If the Oxford /Covid-19 vaccine trials are successful will it be made here…?

A waterside plant in full purple bloom provided the next distraction.

Through Kerridge and into Bollington.

Adelphi Mill and Bollington Wharf face each across the canal. It can be crowded here, with visiting boats moored mill-side and working boats at the wharf. There seemed to be a boat jam ahead, two working boats abreast on the right at the wharf, two more working boats tied in front of the mill.

And another fat high hull straight ahead…

Was there space for Cleddau to weave through?

Someone was tramping over the boats on the right. “You’ll be OK,” a voice said. “Just setting up for a photo shoot. Not often the Fleet’s all together…”

So that was it. These were the trading boats worked by Four Counties Fuels .  The one ahead was Alton, delaying the photo shoot while it refuelled one of these boats…

An hour or so later a walk back to Adelphi Mill from Cleddau’s overnight mooring found the photography finished, the boats still at the wharf – and the crews perhaps at the pub…?

A stroll along a section of the nearby Middlewood Way (a disused railway line) brought sight of this:    Although that closure date was over 50 years ago this photographer knew exactly where she was and what she was doing on that exact day!


“Why, that’s exactly where we are right now!” Boatwif found herself exclaiming later that evening.

Moored up on Bollington Aqueduct joyful shouts had drifted up from the Recreation Ground throughout the afternoon. Ahead loomed the tall chimney from Clarence Mill. During a family video call Senior Sis brandished her current reading matter, a very recognizable image on the front cover!   So Bollington is “considered to be the best place to live in north-west England”…

Watery travel is increasingly popular it seems. Day hire boats from Bollington Wharf are turned round on their return late afternoon and readied for a couple of hours evening hire.  Some prefer paddle boards. Further north near High Lane a speed boat has silently taken to the grass. Will it be creating a wash…? (A week later, on Bedfordshire’s Stewartby Lake there was wash, noise – and water skiers).

With so few nights on board this year there have been few sightings of sunsets casting light over water. But moored back at Victoria Pit after the ‘To Macclesfield And Back’ trip there was a stunning sundown…

Back south to local walks – well, the winter wheat had been cut at Tithe Farm, two new gateways have replaced the wobbly stiles and a spanking new shiny gate has replaced the one from Tithe Road.

A greater thrill there was though at Wood End Farm – deer grazing in the far corner of the field, the barley cut, grain in the cowshed, the larger field section tilled     – and rocking horses in the old dairy…  Here a craftsman creates four rocking horses a time from tulip wood. In final form they’ll be dappled greys.  Here’s hoping they each find a good home and a caring owner!

Speaking of homes the Cleddau crew are planning to swap homes again and return to their floating one on the cut (hopefully avoiding any further A&E visits!)

This time last year Cleddau was being dressed overall at the bottom of Bosley Locks, ready for the Macc Canal Society weekend HALOUS event,   What a good time was had. It’s been cancelled this year but it’s a fine thing to look forward to in 2021…


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2 Responses

  1. Jaqueline Biggs says:

    Oh gosh, Happy Anniversary!! I’m afraid all my old calendar books with birthdays and anniversaries are still packed away. I must get a new one and update it ASAP. Many, Many more very happy returns to you both. Sending Biggs big hugs and lashes of love!
    Jaq xxx

  2. Sue says:

    Hi Jaq,
    Thanks for your comment. Do not beat yourself up about the anniversary – the point I was making (not very clearly, obviously) was that Bollington Railway Station had closed on 5th January, 1970 which by coincidence was our wedding day… ‘The Captain’ has now added underlining and an arrow to emphasise the significance of the date…
    We are currently back on the boat – look out for an email shortly about how 2 pieces of advice from you are currently very much appreciated.

    Sue /Boatwif

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