Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Warmer as we move to Bollington

Yesterday was pretty grim, weather-wise. A cold blustery wind bringing across showers of rain and hail decided for us to stay put.
Today was a huge contrast, bright sunshine after a chilly night, and NO WIND!

We were on the move at around 10:30, heading down the Macclesfield Canal towards Bollington. I’d taken Meg out for a walk earlier in shorts, but bottled it when the sun went in and cruised in trousers. Back in shorts when we stopped, though.

Leaving the deer park moorings
SAM_5234 Deer Park Moorings

Leaving the village of High Lane, the short High Lane Arm disappears under a towpath bridge on the right.

High Lane Arm under the bridgeSAM_5235 High Lane Arm
The arm was built as a coal loading wharf in 1830, servicing Middlewood and Norbury pits. It was “adopted” by local pleasure boaters when the pits closed, and has been home to the North Cheshire Cruising Club since it’s formation in 1943. The NCCC is the oldest cruising club on the narrow canals.

The influence of local coal-mining is apparent at Poynton, where a shallow flash, caused by subsidence, has been filled by canal water.

Subsidence at Poynton.SAM_5236 Poynton
On the towpath side are popular moorings overlooking the playing fields. These are about 15 feet below the level of the canal; rumour has it that when the canal was built the adjacent land was at the same height!

Typical Macclesfield Canal cruising, tree fringed channel and stone-arched bridge.SAM_5242 Typical Macc

Hag(g) Footbridge bears a remarkable resemblance to those found crossing the lines at railway stations. This is no coincidence; it was constructed during the canal’s period of ownership by LNER.SAM_5240 Hag Bridge
The swivel bridge (you can see the swivel support on the right bank) carried, I think, a tramway from a quarry or pit on the east side of the canal.

More evidence of the area’s mining past can be found in the name of the hostelry near Bridge 18. It’s called The Miner’s Arms.

We toddled on to Whitely Green, where M2L and us managed to grab the last two mooring slots between bridges 24 and 25. I’m hiring a car for the day tomorrow, to nip up to Yorkshire for some bits and pieces, and the mail. So we’ll stay here for a couple of days before returning to Marple, this time to drop down the locks on the way to Manchester.

Our friends, Malcolm and Barbara on NB Pilgrim, who set off for a trip over the Huddersfield Narrow and from there up onto the Leeds and Liverpool, are having to return the way they went. When they arrived at Shepley Bridge Lock on the Calder and Hebble they saw that the heel post on one of the top gates had split, making the lock inoperative. Calling out C&RT caused much shaking of heads and sucking of teeth, resulting in this stoppage notice…

Shepley Bridge Lock
Monday 29 April 2013 until further notice
UPDATE (30 April 2013): Following our assesment of the lock gates, unfortunatley, a temporary repair is not possible.
We are carrying out an emergency lock gate stoppage to replace both head gates.
This work will involve craning both the gates out of the lock and taking them to our workshop at Stanley Ferry where replica's will be made. Once complete they will be transported back to Shepley Bridge and crained back into the water and adjusted to fit.
Passage will not be possible through the lock at any time until the work has been completed
We anticpate the works will take in excess of 3 weeks. We will issue regular progress updates. The first one will be on the 3rd of May.
Stoppage history:
The heel post has snapped on the upstream gate, on the towpath side. Our Engineer will be on site this afternoon to assess the situation. Passage is not possible through the lock at this time. We will issue an update tomorrow morning
Enquiries: 0303 0404040

I really do think that whoever writes these should use a decent spellchecker

Shepley Bridge Marina, with the lock on the right, taken last October SAM_3763 Shepley Br Marina

This stoppage won’t affect George and Carol on NB Rock’n’Roll. They’re going “over the top” to Huddersfield as well, but have to turn around and come back as the boat is too long to pass through the 57 foot Huddersfield Broad Canal locks.

Locks 0, miles 6

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