#37 Macclesfield Canal – South. August 2016


Thursday 4th August 2016      nb:Black Bart, old prop & (unnamed) friends + the crew of three have all been listening to Lister’s pleasant warmly chug-chug as we slips North through the Peak Forest waters for the last time. Just for a while, of course. We will definitely be back one day. Days is the true likely-hood. Within aboat half an ‘er old prop & rud are helping Lister swish Bart from the Peak’s into the Macclesfield Canal via Marple Junction. We, the ‘team’ are now heading South again, through the narrows immediately after the junction bridge. A starboard heading to moor-el-aqua. Replete, Bart swishes to Port to moor-el-berth-le-visitor. We have arrivee’ Marple-de-town. Chappies are working along them grass ‘verges’ with their petrol strimmers. We thinks Bart might well aboat to be ‘grass-ed’. Oh Well !!  We’s off to town. Can’t worry aboat that. Marple is a marvellous place to visit. a small selection of shops. good variety. Not many of the big high street names. Skippet manages to get a slot in ‘Shampers’. Skip walks off on one’s own. Not always advisable. Not sooo bad this time !!  Our crew member finds Hollins of Marple. Turns out to be one of the Most Fantastic (Proper) Hardware Shops one could stumble across (into). Sum fine brass hooks (you pick how many you want from the tittle ‘bins’) Fab !  & sum Fine rust busting magic gloop. Bart’s rusty coal chute needs a tittle tlc. A job for sum-tym soon. Then, interesting objects are spied. Very Interesting. Skip goes off to find Skippet again. Ah, there she is. That mop is looking Lovely again. Skip has summit to show our udder senior crew member. Pneumatic tyred wheels. What ??  You might ask. You may even request….  Well (Deep hole with water in, if you is lucky) such tings could be Extremely handy additions to Bart’s equipment list. Crew are back to Hollins to add moor acquisitions for Bart. Petite paint brushes, satin antique pine stain for side hatches inner wood & galley surfaces and those pneumatic wheels. Decision being made – for two large ones. Cheers to the Hollins crew. Thankyou Very Much. Fine Establishment. A MUST if Ever you are. You know the ‘drill’. Back to Bart we go. Ah ! Yes !! The green green grass of strimmers all over Bart’s cabin, towpath side. Stern line slackened, Bart pushed away from side, out comes the big brush & gushings of canal water is sloshed. That Long cabin side is eventually de-grassed. Lister has woken up & we is off swimming down the Macclesfield.


Love these ‘snake’ bridges. Very curvy wurvy.

P1150428We meet a fine fella. Hasn’t caught much yet.


Love your hat mate. Soo Pristine !!!

Bart & friends enjoy relaxed passage in a curvaceous round-aboat way

leaving Marvellous Marple behind. The imposing Goyt Mill is looking a smidge sad while the tractors are mint. & the countryside just keeps on giving.


nb:Bartholomew Roberts (as is better known) (but only by a few) has chosen an exemplary berth in the delightful surroundings of Higher Poynton.

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Skip is now

showing of to

Cap’n Black Bart.

Winter wood collection

is slowing evolving

Bart is a stern fella though

& Demands ‘Stocks need to be bolstered’   ‘We’re in for a Cold one mateys’

‘Can already feel a chillin in the breeze’      ‘Aaaarrrggh !!!!!’

Friday 5th August      Old prop works well with rud as Bart negotiates the hazards of the Maccs shallows. Not to be approached at speed. A relative ting, mind.


Verdant hills. Curvaceous undulations. Green trees. Guiding us through our watery track. This Very Pleasant land is an absolute delight to gently & sedately chug on by.


But the natives are just a tittle strange in these ‘ere parts.


As we approach Bollington, we is soonest cruising upon the Magnificent cotton spinning Clarence Mill. Dating back to 1834, just three years following opening of the canal this ‘istorical gem was fortunately saved a few years gone, for us all to now enjoy. In later years, before Cheshire’s textile industry was sadly lost, the mill diversified into spinning silk. Silk also being spun at the canal side Adelphi Mill located towards the southern end of  town.


Our Welsh Pirate (yes you is reading write here) (strange, but true) re-berths, in the shadow of Clarence’s tittle chimney. Skippet is off to West Bollington to collect a special delivery at the post office. While the remaining crew of only two is chillin’


a familiar craft is spotted from the crows nest. Th’owd slowly comes into view & as she be a fine Fettler, Bart is welcoming to old friends. Not foes these sailors be. Skippet returns write on cue & frivolities commence.

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Then we crews of three & two (that makes five, fyi) are off to investigate the treasures of Bollington, as all ‘Good’ Pirates should always do. Where ever they may lay their pirate hat.

P1150514    P1150524

We have another volunteer for the crew.

Bruno is a fine looking chap. Strong too.

Turns out he’s pretty darned Good with his hands (paws) too. Not in the way you think either. Has his own machine ya-no. Complete with full array of needles too. We find a recommended Public House the Vale Inn. Indeed, a Fine establishment if ever there were. Great position overlooking Bollington recreational facilities. Unfortunately there be no cricket today. Not sure it would have managed the heights of the fun filled, tense match at Edgbaston anyway. Local Ales are Most Tastily Delish.Menu looks good. Table booked for tonight.


Back on Bart & the conservatory is erected. Perfect (upright backs) seating for four. Moor if required. Has been done. In fact we shall call this the Summer Room. Just like we had at Wondrous Woodfell. Back to the Vale Inn

Saturday 6th August      A Fine day is ‘promised’. Sum-wot cloudy to start. Fingers crossed it be improving. Eggs, Bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms & many udder delights on the breakfast plates of four pirates this morn. Bart is not joining inn. The sun is taking control of the day & warmth is growing in the air all aroand us.


Skippet spies fuel boat ‘Alton’

cruising towards our berth,

heading North towards Marple.

Alton glides in, rafting up to Bart.

Diesel tank is duly refilled

after diesel bug buster gloop

has been dolloped in first.

Alton is the lead boat of the

Renaissance Canal Carrying Company.

Make use of them if you can. Please support

your local canal carriers whenever you can.

Craft safe & secure we five is off walking these wondrous hills in search of a most magical treasure of these parts….. White Gold. Of Nancy. A Folly of Waterloo she may be.


We crews of three & two make our way South & steadily upwards,


from our moorings near Clarence Mill, which looks splendid from up here too.

The Northern Powerhouse of Manchester peaks back at us from far far away.


We is approaching halfway up Kerridge Hill, which offers a fine view over Bollington


& the surrounding countryside. Wonderful !!!


Nearly there. Few moor deep breaths…..   The Saddle of Kerridge & there ‘she’ is. Roxy’s there too. Beaten us all up there. Pesky tittle poochy.

White Nancy was built as a summer house by the Gaskell family, who lived below the hill at Ingersley Hall, in aboat 1815.


Lovely Cows


Luscious green everywhere


Stunning view




There be farming in them there slopes


Grand sights way up here


Just getting better & Better !  !!  !!!


The Peak Forest Canal & Now the Macclesfield Canal are allowing Bart & Crew (& Kiwi Friends, of course) to enjoy Most Marvellous Hills & Valleys.


Clarence Mill still there. Can’t quite see Bart or Fettler, but we know they be there.

P1150552  whitenancycol-1.jpg

White Nancy’s door & ‘windows’ blocked up & all painted white for aboat 100 years. Interesting designs have adorned this folly for special occasions like the 2012 Olympics, the Queen’s Jubilee, Battle of Waterloo, many others & even a Christmas Pudding.

We leave our high vantage to descend back to low ground, walking a different route ‘home’. The Bulls Head appears roand a corner. Perfeck timing. Refreshments all roand for our crews. Muchly needed. Local Stockport brewed ales go down a treat. We pull ourselves away, eventually & back to our charges. Bart & Fettler be waiting patiently for our return. Pappas the local Fish & Chip  shop serve delicious chips & the best piece of cod. Gorgeous !!

Sunday 7th August      Well, what will today bring….. A Smidge of Sadness as

P1150619  P1150621

Cap’ns Fettler are slipping their lines & cruising away North from where Bart hath came. Bit of olde English’ there for you.


Bart’s new crew member

is finally nearing the end

of four months of basic training.

The intensive months five & six

will prove make or break time……..

Great to watch a Heron dive in the water & catch his/her supper. Don’t know how the fish compares with Pappas. Probably won’t dive in oneself to try & find out. Any volunteers ??

Monday 8th August      Today we is leaving the Blooming Marvellous Bollington for southern (almost) waters. Bart tracks through Bollington, casting a shadow as we glide along high aqueducts above roads & river soon passing the Fine Adelphi Mill which were constructed in 1856 by Martin Swindells, a local cotton spinner, who also owned Clarence Mill. The Adelphi Mill was built for Swindells’ two sons – hence the name ‘Adelphi’, which is the Greek word for brothers. Within only a short few years the Adelphi was converted to the production of fine silk. The mill is now used for offices.

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Craft & crew make proficient progress cruising the Wonderfully delightfully scenic waterway that be the Magnificent Macclesfield Canal.



Simply Glorious…….

This water be identified as 2’9″ deep. nb:Black Bart has a 3″ cruising draft (draught). Aboat 3″ less when static. The water certainly be shallow through the narrows under the old stone/brick bridges. Old prop is certainly picking up debris & silt from the canal’s bed down there. Not always a pleasant sound or feeling for Cap’n Bart or his crew. Bart is practising differing techniques passing through these squeezy spots. One being ‘lining-her-up’ entering the narrowing at a good pace & short of halfway through taking her out of gear & ‘freewheeling’ through. Dropping the revs to tick-over (only a few hundred rpm for Lister) allows brief ‘flicks’ of forward gear for any required directional tweaks &/or an extra tittle push forward. T’uther method is to just creep through on tick-over. Bart be ‘appy practising this method moor.

Macclesfield Town creeps slowly towards us as we continue on a 180° (approximately) course setting. As we pirates Aaaarrrggh !!!   The former Hovis Mill sitting on the banks of the Macclesfield Canal (now apartments) makes an imposing site for canal travellers as they wave hello (or goodbye) to the town this delightful canal is named after. Bart berths for a while for crew to check out Macclesfield & the new pneumatic tyred wheels (special fenders now they be on Bart) are put into good use. Very handy when our craft cannee get close enough to the bank. Depth ya-no.


Bart all secured & crew are off to Macclesfield. Even the washing is out drying in the breeze. Strange, but true. Very nice place. Don’t believe everything sum people might tell you. A small selection of fine additions are sought & Bart-erd for. Soonest crew is back & Bart is cruising just a couple of miles moor & then re-berthing at Lyme Green. After second attempt, as the ants nest we disturbed during mooring be trying to invade our craft so Cap’n Bart leaves port & moves a few hundred feet (many moor toes) fore-ward

P1150682  P1150689

& find a better position. Back out into the country proper like (almost) opposite a few tittle four legged critters. After a wee while of enjoying the early evening reduced crew of two take a walk to the nearby Homebase where there be an Argos hiding inside. Very handily, Skippet has reserved a 20 toes wide fisherman’s umbrella. No we are not taking up the fascinating sport/past-time of catching the slippery tittle fellas/lasses. Even though you may have thought we might be after watching that Heron yesterday. How wrong you all are. Just need to arrange a mounting for the base pole, local to the stern for the helmsperson. A walk roand the diy store itself proves fruitful. A new, improved bowsaw with an extra blade is acquired (the old one has moor than served its time) & a couple of very handy hand-tools is spied. Just need to check how competitive those prices are.



Tuesday 9th August      Hello Bloggetts. The old intra-web is very useful at times. A quick return visit to diy land adds very handy new kit to Bart’s tool station. New quick release mole grips to replace the very old & long-k-nackered ones. & locking, adjustable spanner. A nifty bit of kit for definite. Bart is readied. Lister is awoken. Nappy pins free, lines slipped & we’re off. Broadhursts & Royal Oak Swing Bridges delay passage tittle,

& soon the Renaissance Canal Carrying Company’s base appears in front of Bart. Great timing. We need to replace our empty gas bottle. It ran out the evening after nb:Alton refilled Bart’s diesel tank.


“What you lot pogging at ??”

P1150678Big lad this fella !!!   Not titch below.


Just like buses, some would likely say. You see a cow, then a second. Just (almost anyway) roand the corner & a whole load moor are right there in front of you.


Frisky bunch this lot of Mo Mooooooossssss


& their off again.

Not too much longer before we reach Top of Boseley 12 lock flight. Dropping Black Bart (quite gently) over 100 feet & one of you will have to work out the toes for yourself. Really must of got the hang of it by now.


P1150740  P1150747

Some of these lock gates are quite unpleasant, particularly with Bart filling the full length of the lock, so cannee keep away from it Cap’n Bart. We even have water coming through, under the stern doors (which are closed as always for such situations) as there is soo much flooding onto the stern apron. Fortunately we are escaping this particular lock before too much water creeps inside Bart.


Thank goodness. Made it. Some of those lock gate’s paddles were Booming Difficult. Really hard work turning the windlass to operate the paddles. Very high turn into bottom lock for a Bart length narrowboat. Time to call it a day. Moored just after second boat below bottom lock. & relax……..

Wednesday 10th August      We’re back cruising again folks.


The cows roand ‘ere are getting stranger & stranger. Not the friendliest looking chap-ess either. Mean look in her eyes.


Nice Boat Mate !!

A much moor chilled gentle glide through the Maccs waters today. None of that white water stuff on this chuggin’ jaunt.


Slight dizzy-ish moment for skip at the helm. Bit high up ‘ere !!!!   Can I come down now please. Feeling a tittle sick !!  These aqueducts are higher than you think.

Following many hours & many moor miles of swimming Bart takes rest as we arrive in Congleton. Roxy stays to look after Bart as ‘She is Such a Good Girl’. Fine Guard Dog. A tittle bit of a walk into town. Well worth it. Lovely place. Foodies snaffled & back to find the canal. Bart is in  cutting, shrouded by trees. Bit dark in’ere. Time to move along & try & find a better situation for our team to relax, chill. You know the drill.P1150786

Tis not far before we is gliding along an’udder aqueduct & then squeezing into a very tight spot. Last one ‘parking space’ left. Just made it. That’s better.

Thursday 11th August      Ciao. Grey out there today. Fine drizzle much of the day. Heavier at times. Bart ain’t going nowhere today. Time for cricket at the Oval & Rio Olympics. All very distracting to someone trying to bring this tittle slightly mad ‘story’ up to date. Events in Rio are Fabulous !!!!   The rain clears for a while & Roxy takes advantage, adventuring out int’fresh-air.


Not sure where she has been this time. Cheeky girl !!!

Friday 12th August      A Brighter morn welcomes Bart & crew to Bart World. A very unusually (you may laugh) relaxed start to the day. Eventually, Cap’n Bart awakes from one’s slumber & soonest, Lister bursts into wakefulness.


Black Bart meats some big critters on today’s cruise.


Pleasantries are exchanged. No need to cause any upset with those horns….


Absolutely Ridiculous !!  ‘Road’ Works causing delays todays. Just cannee get away from them. Even ‘ere. takes us ‘ers to queue through the back-log. Miles of floating vehicles everywhere….


We eventually make it through. Needs a rest after all dat. Tis sunny & hot & a fine bit of towpath is taken advantage of by Cap’n Bart. Aaaarrrggh !!!

P1150813  P1150815

The new bowsaw is unwrapped & sharpness tests ensue. Not Bad. Pleasantly toothy blade proves quite effective. The ‘spare’ blade is also trial-ed. This one has irregular spikeys. Even moor productive. Just a start on preparing the first of the winter fuel stock. Almost starting to feel the warmth of those cosy fires already.

P1150818  P1150819

Bart relocates a few hundred yards to the fore, escaping the growing shadows from the high hedgerow lining our berth. Little Moreton Hall is not far away. If we don’t pay a visit tomorrow will hunt it out next time we swim these waters. The new neighbours are reasonably well behaved. Most of the time anyway. Now. Watch the Olympics. Listen to the Cricket.  Chill.  Slow Down….. That be what this Narrowboating lark is all aboat.

Saturday 13th August      Today a BIG decision has been maid. Today We Cruise. Yes nb:Black Bart is journeying moor of these Wonderful Watters of the Marvellous Macclesfield. We trust there be not (hopefully) any ‘stoppages’ in these ‘ere parts today.


Will definitely return here int’future. Lovely Flag. Look it up. Tis our favourite of Cap’n Bart’s numerous different flags. Nappy pins unclipped. Lines safely stored for cruising & onward we chug. Chuggin’ in-deed we are. Chug Chug…  Chug Chug…  Chug Chug…



Not Chug…. Chug… Chug…  Lister is no single cylinder. Lister is a twin. 18/2 you know. A very satisfying percussion-ary beat if ever there were. Can’t say we’ve heard many that can compete with old Lister. Lovely. We maintain a slow pace hoping to avoid any possible issues heightened by canal depth to boat draught comparisons. Time passes as Bart is gliding through a most marvellous of countrysides. Muchly like we have the absolute pleasure to witness on many an occasion.


Hall Green lock appears ahead of Bart as we duck under said name-sakes delightful foot bridge. Only a foot of dropping. That be aboat sixty toes if one’s mental arithmetic be correct. Not a guarantee, mind. Mind in-deed. Without that operating on at least a 50% efficiency rating we would be in serious troable. Toes, feet, ankles ??  They would quite literally be All Over The Place…..  Maybe even the legs would become ‘akimbo’. Calm Down. Calm Down. & Relax….  Following departure of the almost scarily deep chamber of water Bart creeps through the almost frighteningly long, extended narrows below. Bottom (quite rude sir/madam) of the lock really. Crew (& Black Bart of course) only creep on for aboat a mile moor, if that. A good looking position is found, to provide a few days rest for Black Bart, Lister, old Prop & co.

Sunday 14th August      Good-day all/any bloggets out there (sum-wear). A fine sunny day is here for all peoples to enjoy. After a walk to Kidsgrove railway station & waving Darling Skippet goodbye for a couple of days, back to Bart. Seat box, starboard side in the cratch/forward well is rusty inside. one of the jobs skip has been putting off. Time to take control & deal with it mate. Aggressive combination of implements are brought into action over sum considerable time. Amazing how long such tings take. Wire brushes. Large & small. Cold chisels, small hammer. Sandpaper. Coarse & fine. Time to get on with some real work for a change. Steelwork has suffered prolonged exposure to a nasty mixture of air and moisture, consisting chiefly of ferric hydroxide and ferric oxide formed by oxidation. Basically, there be a rusty infestation. Delamination of the steel’s surface is chiseled away. Easy in some areas. Not soo in udders. A noisy old process. Reverberating through a steel Bart. Luckily, nobody else hear to suffer.



First stage almost finished.

Nice ‘pile’ of

thin rusty slivers of steel

& udder smaller

crumbles & flakes.



Yum Yum in my Tum !!


Yummy Yummy in my Tummy !!  !!



STOP distracting yourself skip. Foo-ell. Get on with it. OK….  Rusty debris be brushed up & bagged. A bit of extra wire brushing & then the gritty old sandy paper stuff. Where did today go ??  Not sure.  Doesn’t time fly when one is enjoying oneself !!

Monday 15th August      Time to continue. An almost exhaustive procedure of repeated washing & wiping takes place. Now back (at the fore actually) to the seat box. That be washed, wiped out. Washed & wiped out again repeatedly too. Finally, the magic smooth glupe of the hammer is opened of tin. Tis applied to every surface in site. Or should that be sight. Never totally sure in one’s mind. Bare With. Bear With.

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The ‘new’ plant troughs & seat support angle is prepp-ed & glupe-de-smoothy-hammered first. Seat box Extraordinaire is ‘attacked’ soon after. Some time later. Not looking bad. Couldn’t have been much worse, to be honest. Bet you be surprised dat one were spelt proper like, eh !!    It’s a game….  Don’t take so serious mate !!



A restfull late evening enjoying

the surrounding countryside,

hills in the distance

& the wonder of

the earth’s moon

& reflections in the

Macclesfield Canal.

Sights be a Gratifying.


Tuesday 16th August      This morn, the mild mess created with much effort past couple of days is to be sorted. & an’udder marvellous blue sunny sky provides muchly smiles for all to enjoy. A long walk to find the rubbish collection point is finally successful. Bart is looking good & homely again. Thank Goodness. Reduced crew of two are off to find a train so crew can be stern to full strength again. The ‘local’ (not soo really) chippy serves Fine cod, cooked to order, Steak & kidney Pudding (YUM YUM) & chips, of course. A rare treat.

Wednesday 17th August



We must bid

our new friend

the Macclesfield Canal

a fond farewell today.



Quite an early start

to our day,

especially compared

to recent times.



Lister warming up.

Chug  Chug…

Chug  Chug…


Nappy pins relieved

of their duties for a

few miles, at least.


Lines neatly looped,

left ready & waiting

if required at any time.


Into forward gear


screenshot_2016-08-05-13-28-59-1.png  & old prop is rotating,

slowly pushing nb: Black Bart

further South, past our

temporary neighbours

& onto Red Bull Aqueduct.

Soon followed by

Poole Aqueduct,

guiding Bart over

the Trent & Mersey Canal.

Then we be turning tightly

East/left slowly passing

nice long term moorings.

Finally a North/left tack

& Hardings Wood Junction

Bridge is there in front of Bart.


We glide under the bridge saying a sad Goodbye to the Macc. A cosy turn East/right as Hardings Wood Junction guides Cap’n Black Bart & crew into


the waters of the Trent & Mersey Canal. See you All there……


Black Bart has cruised South to Red Bull near Kidsgrove from Marple Junction, swimming 28 miles of the wandering majestic Macclesfield Canal, crawling through no tunnels, descending 13 narrow lock chambers, sailing over a railway, Bollinhurnt Brook, Shirley Road, River Dean, Palmerston Street, Grimshaw Lane, Byrons Lane, River Dane, Cattle Creep, Dane in Shaw Brook, Canal Road, Watery Lane, Liverpool Road East/Red Bull, the Trent & Mersey Canal in 14 strange channels called aqueducts, Swimming by three swingingly swung bridges & tick-over-ing under 95 ‘fixed’ bridges.

2 thoughts on “#37 Macclesfield Canal – South. August 2016

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