On Friday we moved the short distance from Congleton embankment, around the corner and moored up just past Buglawton, picking up water at the tap next to Bridge 68. But before we left, Martin on NB Halsall appeared around the corner, so we filled up with fuel and loaded four bags of solid fuel aboard as well.
Yours truly mooring up at Buglawton.
A couple of trips to the local mini-supermarket saw the cupboards topped up to last for a few days, then we were on our way again on Saturday morning, an hour to cruise to the bottom of Bosley Locks.
It was very misty first thing, but as soon as the sun broke through it was warm, a good day for a run up the locks.
The River Dane passes under the canal below the locks, on it’s way to join the Weaver at Northwich. Someone’s been busy with a paintbrush, makinh the railings look smart.
Approaching Bosley Bottom Lock.
We pulled in for a brew before starting up, hoping that boats would start heading down from the top to make our lives that bit easier. But it was not to be, in fact we finished up following another boat up, and they were slower than us…
Out of the bottom lock, only another 11 to go…
About half-way up, and The Cloud dominates the skyline.
At 1100 feet above sea level The Cloud is a substantial lump on the Cheshire plain, but the highest point is Shining Tor, on the Derbyshire border, rising to 1800 feet and 8½ miles to the north-east.
There’s a lot of walking around for the windlass-wielder on this flight. Most narrow locks have mitred gates at the bottom, and a single “clapper” gate at the top, making them easy to work from the towpath side. But these have mitres at both ends, and to make matters worse there are no footboards on the top gates. So you either have to walk around the lock to close the offside gate, or teeter your way over the balance beams.
Side ponds were installed alongside the lock chambers to reduce water consumption, but they are no longer in use.
An explanation of how they worked is here, but you’ll need to click on the picture to enlarge it.
We started to meet boats on the way down after the half-way point, so, though not speeding things up any, at least we could leave top gates open.
The flight had taken us nearly 3 hours to ascend by the time we got to the top lock, not exactly a record. Mags got chatting to a couple out for a walk, while I disposed of the rubbish.
It turned out that Jimmy and Jen used to work on cruise liners, but now live in Macclesfield. Jimmy comes from Atlanta, but prefers it over here now.
After a half-hour chatting we pushed on, taking advantage of the fine weather, and moored just short of the Royal Oak Swing Bridge at Oakgrove.
Another short day today took us to the long length of piling next to the Lyme Green Business Park, just south of Macclesfield. We set of at 10, expecting to get through the bridge while traffic was light, but reckoned without the MG Owners Club annual charity rally.
They kept coming…
One driver told me that there were 100 vehicles involved!
What didn’t help was the queueing to get across the main road, waiting on the bridge deck. I could have just pressed the button and stopped the flow, but I’d had an altercation with a driver here before, who thought he could cross over against the flashing lights before the barriers came down. He did, just…
There appeared a gap, so I quickly pressed the button and Mags came through as soon as there was clearance.
We didn’t hold many up.
Most of the MGs were Bs or Midgets, but as we pulled away I spotted a TA (maybe?) crossing behind us.
Most of the pre-war roadsters look similar, especially at this distance.
Broadhurst Swing Bridge was fixed in the open position, so that saved a job, and we were tied up soon after, just as the first drops of wind-driven rain fell.
Outside the business park.
Just the other side of the hedge on the left is Homebase, where I’ll get some wood to remake the narrow top box that’s coming to grief.
We were greeted by another boater’s dog, I thought he’d come to meet Meg…
…but he just wanted a stick thrower! He got his wish.
After yesterday’s fine sunny weather we’ve reverted to autumn, it’s been raining since we stopped.
Locks 12, miles 8 (three days)