Monday 5 June 2023

Let them eat cake

Bit of a grey morning but it wasn't cold.  You can see the locals on the bridge in shirtsleeves so that would mean David and I in jackets at least.
Very hardy up here.

We crept around the junction at snails pace as the bow thrusters aren't working at the moment, they stopped with a clang when we arrived at this exact spot.  There has been several consultations with our in-house engineer, that is to say David Lewis, ex-Boat Sharers and now fully live-aboarders, it's just that they are in France just now inconveniently although I requested an onsite visit.

This is the junction that WaL is creeping around at snails pace.

Now this house below, this house that I have long hankered after has in recent years been sold.  I wish I'd of known (But there is still that winter weather issue) so if you weren't aware Reader, this small marina at Marple that mostly houses smaller cruisers has been brought by the same owner as the newly refurbished and very smart Furness Vale marina that we had a pump out at yesterday.  The wonderful looking house has been developed into three dwellings now.  I would have loved it.

Now three dwellings

The entrance to the Marple Locks if you want to go to Manchester.  More simply I'd just go by train like we did for £5 each return.  These locks also restricted to three days a week.

Beautiful beyond words the famous Turnover Bridges of the Macclesfield Canal, but hard to photograph.

I finally get a close-up of one the milestones, on one side it gives the mileage to the end ie from junction to Hall Green which I think where the stop lock is, not the actual beginning of the Macclesfield, so from here it's 26 and 1/4 miles from Marple if you can't make it out.  Many of these I've seen are illegible now sadly

Ox-Eye Daisies, these grow well at home, David has grown masses to make a wild flower and dead wood store at home.  He's not terribly keen, thinks its a right mess.

Goyt Mill as we passed under it.

A bit of a bun fight next.  It began with a boat moored on a bend to the right as we were heading south.  In going around this bend we were completely unsighted as to oncoming traffic.  David was going slow of course and coming towards him were two full sized boats, one is the charity boat for the disabled fully loaded with guests on its way back to its home mooring at Marple Junction and the other was a vintage historic type boat with a vintage driver, so concentrate Reader, as we had been going slowly, the boat following us had got much closer, we told the charity boat there was one coming and he kindly stopped to allow him through, this was seen by the vintage driver as foolhardy and regrettable, he showed his feelings by shaking his fist, going red in the face and in no uncertain terms urging the charity boat onwards but not in those words.  The boat that had been following us reversed we think.  Lots of revving and white water.
I almost wished I could have watched longer, boating can be such fun but we by now were around another bend.

Vintage boat passenger hanging on, maybe for dear life.

There followed lots of revving and white water.

Well we had intended to moor in anyone of several places we had thought most attractive on our way up, but in turn each one was way too shallow.  I had to deploy the pole each time to get the front out which seemed to be magnetised to the edge, reversing usually would bring the front out but without the aid of the bow thrusters we couldn't get off with out me and the trusty pole.  Sorry to say no photos of this repeated activity.  It was humorous, David thought less so.

We kept going and by now were in Macclesfield itself, there was space on one of the three pontoons but we didn't want a town mooring so kept going, hopes pinned on Gurnett Aqueduct.  

Nope full up.

So in our guide book we had marked about a mile on from Gurnett Aqueduct moorings which we had marked about five years ago and neither of us could remotely remember.  With out much option we carried on.

So it's a long stretch of straight moorings, south-ish facing, opposite is  today a large building site, it had a digger on a tall mound, making noise,  but we took one space, then seeing it fringed onto a winding hole (Turny round place) we pulled WaL back away and closer to another boat, easily identifiable as a liveaboard boat.  Nothing wrong with that of course but prone to be owners of horrible sounding generators.  We moored up sat down with coffees and then directly the boat behind started up a generator.  
David's face was a picture.  Look says I, we can move, but I can live with that, he's got his washing line up so is probably is only doing a load of washing....

So we decided to stay put as it was now hot whereas it had only been warm, chairs outside were decided against as there was no shade and simply too hot.  

Then from behind the hedge came the sound of a strimmer, a hideously tinny high pitched whine of a strimmer.  David's face now was in his hands....
"Read your book" says I.

Well the digger left the job early as it was a Friday afternoon, the strimmer eventually cleared off, the boater finished his washing machine cycle and peace was restored.

We set off promptly the next morning to get to the flight well, well before the closing of the top lock at 1pm.  
Only a fool would arrive at 12:55 expecting to be allowed in.

We moved quietly so as not to annoy anyone and blow me down there are the three boats from Yorkshire (Suspected three single handers, see yesterdays post for details), the three men were out and about going to pull their pins

Two swing bridges to operate, one is a heavy locked type that you have to pull upwards on a large key shape to lift it out of the locked position then to push the bridge itself to open.   
The other an electric button to press.

Coming up I had trouble closing the lift up heavy one but today it went smoothly and clicked shut.  On we went to the electric lift up one on a busy-ish lane blocking the traffic.  Of course I waited for all the cars to clear and also waited for David to get pretty close to minimise the cars being inconvenienced, then pressed the button, down come the barriers.  I guess the whole thing takes about 8 to 10 minutes to fully complete.

This is of an identical bridge up on the Peak Forest, this is only across a farm lane hardly used.  The one here is on a busy lane.

I started to close the bridge, three cars one side facing me and one on the other plus a bunch of "Mamils", that is to say Middle Aged Men In Lycra all chomping at the bit.

A beep was heard, I was hurrying as fast as I could or as the control panel allowed, BEEP again, these cars are impatient.  

I kept my eyes down, all the barriers up, grabbed the key and fled back to David..... Then I saw who was beeping, it was the first of the Yorkshire boats all wanting to come through the bridge but were still a way off.  
I truly hadn't seen them but hand on heart Reader, I would have been severely loathed to have allowed three single handers to have passed us by to get in front of us at the flight.

Still a way to go, factor 50 sun cream applied, hat on, water bottle filled ready and snacks on deck.
Forget watering up at the top lock David.....

Out of sequence but here is David bring WaL through the electirc bridge.

WaL coming through the heavy lift lock and push swing bridge, the path is to a nature reserve, but it looks like the bridge is hardly used, many more people walking along the towpath side.

WaL appearing through the willows.

David says everywhere looks better when it's sunny and here is no exception.  It was absolutely gorgeous on the last stretch to the flight the photos tell their own story.

 One boat in front of us at the locks and down they went.  A young couple.  Then a boat came up with a couple from New Zealand.  In the short time we were together we swapped news on Wellington, the appalling weather the country has had since Christmas (When our beloveds arrived there to live), leaking walls on NZ houses, yes it's a thing, advice on taking the train to Manchester as they wanted to go to the Museums at Salford Quays and not take the boat and finally I took their rubbish for them.  NZ'ers are the loveliest people eh Marilyn?

There were only a few boats coming up today, far fewer than on previous days so said the lovely volunteers, so it would be more lock turning for us and a bit slower.
As we caught up with the young couple in front I said to her to hoot if a boat was coming up in front of her so I would leave the gates open for them, she said yes indeed she would but that her husband was in a bad mood and hardly speaking to her.  
With the benefit of my age and forty plus years of marriage I advised more cake to be administered.

This is about half way down and yes although it was boiling David still has his thick fleece on.

He's off the boat to shut the gate so doing a bit of physical work but yes winter fleece still on.  Reader it's almost as if he has lived in India for years and now back in England...

This lovely man is Francis.  We met him on the way up, a charming and engaging man who we met on the way up and again today.

The Cloud, it's been quarried in the past, we were told to provide the stone for the canal.

And todays Pretties...

During the flight, one of the Yorkshire men appeared behind me on a bike and insisted on closing gates for me so I could go ahead.  Charming man, as he was on a bike it became clear that his wife was helming.  So although in the several days we had come across and David talked to them on several occasions without sight or any mention of wives, there were three wives.
How wrong can you be?

We were lucky enough to moor up on the embankment immediately below the locks.  The views in all directions were stunning in the real sense of the over used word.

Supper was Quick Thai Curry. 


  1. Hmm, that 'vintage' boat looks like our friends on Muchgigglin (actually newer than our boat, although it does have an old engine)...

    1. Ah, we have passed Muchgigglin' before. I meant no insult Adam, it was a comical encounter with lots of exhausts and revving, just this time we weren't the cause of it.