Wednesday, May 08, 2013

To Dukinfield

We had a steady cruise down the Lower Peak Forest today, leaving our mooring below Marple Locks around half-past eleven, mooring up just short of Dukinfield Junction about half-two. You can’t rush this canal, if you try it’s hard work, and the shallow sides draw the boat into the bank.
Anyway, for the first 5 miles or so it’s a very pleasant cruise, then it starts to approach the urban fringe of the Manchester conurbation.

Leaving our mooring, quiet but for the bleating of the lambs.SAM_5312
Wherever did Thomas Harris get the idea from that they are silent?

There were two short tunnels to get through, Hyde Bank just around the corner in a leafy cutting.

Hyde Bank Tunnel

Contractors have been busy all along this stretch from Romiley to Hyde cutting back overhanging trees. There are enough logs along here to keep a boat stove going all winter! It’s a pity it’s Spring and not Autumn…

The canal follows the Goyt Valley westwards from Marple to the village of Bredbury Green, then it makes a sharp right turn and follows the Tame Valley up to Ashton.

Hang a right at Bredbury Green

The tree-fellers didn’t get this far, the inside of the bend could do with their attention.

Woodley Tunnel is narrow with a towpath running through, and chimney scrapingly low on the offside.

Woodley TunnelSAM_5322

For some reason the towpath had to swap sides for ¾ of a mile at Hyde, carried over those superb snake bridges common to the Macclesfield Canal.

Captain Clarke’s BridgeSAM_5331
I wonder who Captain Clarke was?

Just south of the motorway bridge carrying the Manchester orbital the towpath returns to the left over a modified bridge.

Bridge 6, now with a cast iron span.

It’s actually been much modified, three stages of widening are evident from the stone and brickwork underneath.SAM_5337

Moore2Life disappears under the motorway bridgeSAM_5341

Joseph Adamson started his boilermaking business in 1874, alongside the canal at Hyde. By the early 20thC they had expanded in crane manufacture, and, although the founder died in 1930, his name lives on in the name of the industrial estate on the original site, and even in a business, though now specialising in transport and warehousing. He’d be pleased that his confidence in the future wasn’t misplaced…SAM_5335

We’d been warned about shallow water in the available gap under the railway bridge, 1a. Chas nearly got stuck; I learned by his experience and shaved the scaffolding on the left and passed without problems.

Railway Bridge 1a under repair

We pulled in just past the lift bridge, Bridge 1.

Ann on bridge duty again.
It wasn’t so bad; the boat ahead had left it up for us so she only had to wind it back down.

Moored just half a mile from Ashton Under Lyne.SAM_5344
You wouldn’t believe it, would you.

Although it had forecasted rain for today, we only had a few drops first thing, and again this evening. I hope the wet forecast for tomorrow is equally exaggerated, 18 locks down to central Manchester in the rain will be less than fun.

I spoke to George and Carol on Rock’n’Roll today. They went through Standedge Tunnel, and it’s turned out to be the easiest day they’ve had since joining the Huddersfield Narrow just up from where we’re currently moored. Shortage of water has given them quite a few problems on the way up to the summit. I’m glad we came over last back end after a wet summer!

There are two possible roots to the name Dukinfield. One points to the Old English name for raven, Doken, the second, once again Old English, Duce for duck, Feld for open space. I prefer the duck in a field, myself, but they seem to have been replaced by Canada geese now!

Locks 0, miles 6½

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