I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Monday, 29 July 2013

Junction of Macclesfield & Peak Forest Canals – Saturday 27th July

A very hot and sultry day.  I had a lift bridge to operate as soon as started out but then it was 6.5 miles of lockless cruising so I took the opportunity to do some housework and other things that have been neglected while we have spent all our time working locks.  I have to admit that I didn’t see very much so can’t say anything about the scenery.

However Richard called me up on deck as we approached the Marple Aqueduct which carries the canal 100 feet above the River Goyt.  The aqueduct was started in May 1794 and filled with water in 1800.  The railway viaduct next the aqueduct is even higher and pretty spectacular.

Marple Viaduct
Marple Aqueduct
 Ha – the lockless canal didn’t last long as we had the 16 locks of the Marple Flight to tackle.  It was very hot and I wasn’t really looking forward to it.  We agreed to do 4 locks each then swop over.  I did the locks first but when I got to lock 3 a walker told me that the pound between locks 6 and 7 was very low.  I thanked him and walked up to have a look.  Well there are low pounds and low pounds but this one was practically empty!  Even a rowing boat would have had a problem getting through!  I phoned C&RT who told me that one of the emergency team would go out to let some water down.

This is what I call a low pound!
We were being followed up the locks by Mr. Busybody (well that’s what we called him) as he took control of proceedings and started to let water down through lock 7 to fill the pound.  Richard was concerned that the next pound would be empty so he walked up and opened a few more paddles.  I have to say that it didn’t take long before the pound was usable again and we set off.  Mr. Busybody had his wife and three teenagers on board and seemed to be up our backsides all the time.  The pound between locks 9 and 10 was also down so Richard walked up to see if the C&RT man was still at the top – he wasn’t so he opened the paddles to let some more water down.  Mr. B then decided that he would help us so that he could get up the flight quicker – the trouble was that he kept leaving paddles open!!  Twice Richard had to lower bottom paddles as the lock wouldn’t fill up.


The canal at Marple
Eventually we reached the top – I had only done four locks and Richard must have walked to the top and back three times!  Muffin gave up about lock 10 and came on the boat with me.

At the top we moored up and opened a bottle of chilled sauvigon blanc and relaxed!

Stanley Lift Bridge to Junction of Macclesfield & Peak Forest Canals
7.78 miles
16 locks
1 lift bridge

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