Monday, April 23, 2012

Ducks, Mills and Higher Poynton

On Saturday morning we moved on a little, just a mile or so to between bridges 25 and 24. The towpath is a little quieter here, less muddy and wider. I wanted to get the wood that we’d acquired near Oakgrove cut up, and you can’t do that if there’re folk trailing back and forth all day.

Clarence Mill sits on the right hand bank of the canal, just beyond the aqueduct.

Clarence MillDSCF0391

You can only see one half in the picture above…
DSCF0413 Clarence Mill stretches the same distance again the other side of the stair tower. I wonder who cleans the windows.

It was built in 1877, replacing an earlier (1831) building on the same site. At the time of the first structure there were 16 other mills along the river and tributaries, using water power to drive the machinery. Clarence Mill, built to take advantage of canal transport for raw materials and coal, used steam power, hence the tall chimney.
It was a cotton mill with weaving sheds, built by the Swindells family, who also built Adelphi Mill on the other side of Bollington. Both now house residential  and small business units.

Before we left today Meg and I took a short walk along Middlewood Way, once the track of the Macclesfield, Bollington and Marple Railway, now a walking/riding/cycle way running the 10 miles from Macclesfield to Marple.

Middlewood WayDSCF0398 Middlewood Way
At Bollington the railway crossed the River Dean and Wellington Road on an impressive viaduct of 23 arches. When the line closed in 1970 a local campaign prevented demolition of the viaduct. From here to Macclesfield the Way is tarmac, making an excellent ( if a little hilly where the original rail route has been lost) running track. North of Bollington it’s just gravel and mud, OK in dry weather but a bit gooey in the current conditions. Above is a good bit!

Bollington ViaductDSCF0401 Middlewood Way, Bollington Viaduct
And from belowpano

Walking back across the recreation ground, you come to the canal aqueduct, with Palmerston Street  and the river cutting through it.

Bollington AqueductDSCF0410 Bollington Aqueduct
Back along the towpath there’s a couple of geese who are quite combative…DSCF0416 Geese

Here’s why…DSCF0418 Goose eggs
Hmmm, gonna need a bigger eggcup…

Mum and Dad will be lucky if they get them to hatch without having a nervous breakdown each. They have to warn off every walker, jogger and dog coming along.

We had a passing shower, then decided to head off a bit further north.

We passed a pair of mandarins in company with mallards….DSCF0419 Mandarins
…..a couple of muskovys (or hybrids)….DSCF0423 Muskovys
…..some Jacobs lambs….DSCF0432 Jacob's Lambs
…. and proud parents with their brood.DSCF0429 Family

Also a heron who couldn’t make his mind up.

Just ignore it, it might go awayDSCF0436
No, gotta look…DSCF0437
That’s it, I’m off!DSCF0438

We pulled in at the wide bit at Higher Poynton.

Higher Poynton moorings.DSCF0439 Higher Poynton

It’s pretty busy here, only a couple of spaces left after we arrived and they’ve been filled now. We’re only stopping here tonight. We need to pick up a gas bottle from The Trading Post (typically we ran a bottle out just after we’d filled with diesel from NB Alton), and then up to Marple for the services.

Locks 0, miles 3¼


Sue / Boatwif said...

Hi Geoff, Re. Window cleaning at Clarence Mill: can’t tell you who does it but we do know how! See the cherry picker photo taken on a Sunday morning when we were passing in Cleddau. The cleaners were working vertically down the windows before the truck was inched on to the next vertical row. By the way, we really loved our trip to the Weaver and are determined to do it again!

Geoff and Mags said...

Thanks Sue
I bet that operation doesn't come cheap!
Glad you enjoyed the Weaver, we do every time.
Cheers, Geoff