Just up from where we’d moored for Wednesday night was where the dredgers were dumping the spoil from their activities.
The nutrient-rich silt is unloaded from the barges transferred to a tipper truck then moved out onto the adjacent field to be spread by bulldozer. Not all spoil can be disposed of in this way, some sections of canal bed have been polluted by industrial processes, thankfully now illegal.
We had a couple of showers as we headed north, but nothing of any great consequence.
Passing Lyme View Marina.
The Braidbar boats were out in force at Poynton, ready for the open weekend. Sheila off Sanity Again gave us a wave, but we were unable to stop, even for water as planned.
Bruce and Sheila’s 2nd Braidbar, Sanity Again.
It’s pleasantly wooded in sections along here, but the gloomy weather didn’t do it justice.
High Lane is a handy spot for shopping, with moorings either side of the main road bridge, Bridge 11.
The North Cheshire Cruising Club maintains private moorings on the dog-legged High Lane Arm, just to the south of the village.
The Arm was built at the same time as the canal as a wharf for transhipping goods and coal. Although now it’s a dogleg to the north after the entrance channel, it used to form a T, with the south branch linking up to tramways bringing coal from Middlewood and Norbury pits. This section was filled in around 1914. The remainder was taken over by the club in 1943.
Buxton Road, carried over the canal in the centre of the village by Bridge 11, must already have been a broad road when the canal was built. The bridge is wide, almost forming a short tunnel, and there’s no sign of it being extended so I guess it was originally built this way.
We pulled in not much further on, opposite what used to a deer park, the fields now occupied by cattle and horses.
Rain in the afternoon and overnight finally eased by about half-nine this morning, so we got ready to move off. Having failed to get water at Macclesfield (dredgers) and Poynton (queues) our first priority was to fill the tank at Marple.
The day started bright, but we had some showers blowing in on the breeze.
Coming into Marple the massive Goyt Mill stands alongside the canal.
Built in 1905 for cotton production, the machinery was driven by steam engine, fired by coal from local collieries. The building is now occupied by several businesses…
…and the roof makes a handy location for the mobile phone company masts.
There was a boat on the water point when we arrived, so we pulled up alongside the community boat on the wharf to wait. Ten minutes later we were filling ourselves.
We didn’t get totally full, another boat arrived for water and mooring opportunities are limited, with a dredger on one side and the charity boat on the other.
The Macclesfield Canal ends in a narrow section that used to be a stop lock, then joins the Peak Forest Canal just above the 16 Marple Locks.
The top of Marple Locks.
We turned right, away from the locks, and tried to moor on the right side just around the corner. I should have known better, we’ve tried to moor here before and failed because of the condition of the bank. We finally finished up about a half-mile from the junction, on a section of piling with just enough water to float us.
Now, while cruising along the Macc, I’ve been pondering the design of the bridges, and have decided that it’s not purely aesthetic.
One of the big problems on canals with conventionally arched bridges is damage from boat collisions, typically under the arch on the opposite side to the towpath. However, with this design, the arch bulges away from the navigation at the point where the cabin top would strike. Although they’ve been up for nearly 190 years, I don’t think I’ve seen any that have needed repairing. Another bonus is that on the towpath side the path is widest where the towing horse would have been widest!
Thomas Telford was the surveyor and supervising engineer for the canal construction, but the Resident Engineer was the respected and experienced William Crossley. I wonder if they were to his design?
Heading towards Bugsworth tomorrow, but we may stop at New Mills. It depends on the weather.
Locks 0, miles 8