Friday, May 04, 2012

New Mills’ old mills and beware Wood End Lift Bridge

We moved on down to Marple today, but first I took Meg for another look down in Torr Gorge, on the way to the Co-op. Last time we visited we didn’t have a look along the Millennium Walkway so we put that right today.

On the Millennium WalkwayDSCF0614 Millennium Walkway
DSCF0617 Millennium Walkway
Supported on columns in the river bed, it swings around the wall of the gorge opposite Torr Vale Mill.

At the downstream end there’s a good view of the boiler house and chimney of the mill.

Torr Vale Engine HouseDSCF0622 Torr Vale Engine House
Before steam the mills in the gorge were powered by waterwheels, in fact that’s why they were built in this awkward situation in the first place!

Rock Mill, upstream of the Walkway took water from up near Schofields Mill, which discharged via the tailrace back into the river…..

Rock Mill tailrace, clogged with flood debris but still just visible.DSCF0626 Rock Mill Tailrace

Across the river Torr Vale Mill took the same water into it’s headrace to drive two waterwheels.

Torr Vale Mill HeadraceDSCF0627 Torr Vale Headrace

At Schofields Mill the River Sett flows in from the north, and has another of those pack horse bridges crossing just above the confluence.

Looking back towards Schofields Mill, the Sett coming in from the right.DSCF0631 R Sett in from Rt

There’s something for everyone down in the gorge….DSCF0611 Climber

After shopping we headed back to the canal along the river, following the Goyt Way.

Mares eat oats and does eat oats but little lambs eat….twigs?DSCF0632
At this age they have no fear of Meg on the other side of the fence. A curious glance then back to the feast.

We got away at around 11:00, seems to be our normal start time at the moment. There have been quite a few trees down along the canal, all cleared now.

Timber removedDSCF0635 Blow Downs

Any trees that are a bit insecure are vulnerable as the canal runs along the exposed flank of the Goyt Valley.

We had another three moveable bridges to do today. The first was a swing bridge, easy to operate. The other two were Llangollen-style lift bridges, with hydraulic gearing operated by a windlass. We went through the swing bridge at Higgin's Clough without incident, and Meg and I walked the ½ mile to Wood End Lift Bridge. As we got there a boat was ready to come through, the bridge up. I suggested that the crew got back on board as the boat came through; I’d cross over our deck to get to the operational side as Mags passed.

I was waiting to jump across as Mags entered the bridge gap when there was a bang and Seyella stopped dead. The front left corner of the cabin had struck the underside of the bridge. I hopped across but couldn’t see any damage on the bridge structure so Mags carried on through. Clearance was minimal as she passed under the raised deck.
She’s been through dozens of these bridges without problems. This is hydraulically raised and takes a lot of turns to lift. The only thing I can think of is that the hydraulics leak a little, allowing the deck to slowly lower. So if you’re second boat through, make sure it’s still fully up! It’ll save getting the touch-up paint and the sailmakers needle out!

Luckily not much damage. A couple of small tears in the cratch cover and some paint to repair. It could have been much worse.DSCF0638 Crunch

We tried to get in to moor at a couple of spots near Strines but couldn’t get in to the bank. Either we’ve put on weight since we went up or the water level is an inch or so down. So we carried on to Marple and finally, with a struggle, found a space where we could get in. Not sure what we’re doing over the weekend. Should we stay or should we go?

We’re heading back to Macclesfield before returning this way to head down to Manchester. Mag’s grand-daughter Melanie is having chemotherapy and is not so good so we’ll get a car from there to drive up and see her. And I had a bad news phone call from Argos the other day. My camera, that I took in for repair under warranty, is badly corroded inside and therefore is not covered. So I need to get another and it makes sense to get the same one again. It’s a good bit of kit, I’ll have a spare battery and cables (from the old one), the latest one has an extra 2 megapixies and it’s currently less than ½ price!

Oh, and HI to the lady on NB Willow that we passed today. It’s always gratifying to meet people who read this rubbish. Happy cruising!

Locks 0, miles 4½


Carol said...

Thoughts are with you both when you see Melanie. xx

Geoff and Mags said...

Thanks both.