*****Is going there and back to see how far it is.*****

Hi I am Jo…wife, lover, best friend and soulmate to Keith. Lover of all things to do with nature and the canals. I am passionate about the Waterways and its history.

I hope you will join me in my rambles and do please comment – I love to hear from and meet new people in blogland!

Life on the cut through my eyes.

Daisypath Anniversary tickers
*****Stay safe and warm out there..*****

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Between Lomas Br 59 and Stringers Br 60 to the South Portal of Harecastle Tunnel.

Map image

Travelled 11 miles, worked 1 lock in a time of 5 hours 5 minutes.


View from my galley window last night.

With an horrendous weather forecast given last night, we were once again wondering weather we would bother to move off. When I got up the boat was leaning, which suggested the water level had dropped a little over night. When I took Paddy out for his morning walk it was drizzling, more due to low cloud than anything else, so we took the decision to get up and go.


The drizzle did appear to be getting heavier, but once on our way it did not bother either of us.


Paddy and Marmite went to bed whilst we were on the move and I think Marmite was feeling a little cold, because it did feel more like Autumn than Summer, even my hands were cold.


We arrived at Congleton and passed NB Nobody Knows and Kevin wished us a "good morning" and asked "what has happened to the weather", I said " just be grateful it is not snowing" and we both laughed. We have been seeing Kevin from time to time whilst cruising this year.


We crossed the Congleton aqueduct and passed on through even though there were plenty of moorings to be had, which does not happen very often.


Ramsdell Hall looked lovely even in the drizzle. I have written about the Hall in a previous posting back in March. BLOG


It was onward to Hall Green and whilst on the move I made us a coffee and then took over at the tiller whilst Keith took a comfort break.


We cleared Hall Green Lock, with at least a couple of boats behind us.


The farmers wheat crop is getting ready to be harvested in August. If the sun had been out, it would have looked like a field of gold.


We turned right at Hardings Wood Junction at 12.20pm and the drizzle had stopped. We were back into the land of orange water.


At 12.30pm we arrived at Harecastle Tunnel and were told there was a boat coming from the other end, so it would be about a 40 minute wait, which was not a problem, it gave me time to make us some lunch and another coffee. Having eaten lunch we were then told that the boat which had been coming through the tunnel, was now not coming, it had been reversed out of the tunnel having gone 100 metres. At the time we did not know the reason why at the time.


1.15pm we entered the north end of Harecastle Tunnel, which we find very shallow. We were told by one of the tunnel keepers, they have been asking for it to be dredged for the past four years as they know how shallow it is, but it has not been done yet.

As we cruised the 40 minute trip through the tunnel our tunnel light kept flickering and my worry was it was going to go out completely in a smoke filled tunnel, so I stood in the engine with our spot light ready and waiting should it be needed. Thankfully we did make it out of the tunnel without needing the spot light, it was then we found out that the boat which had reversed out of the tunnel had a water pump failure.


We are now moored up at the South Portal for the rest of the day and have a good TV signal, so I will be glued to the Olympics. I have enjoyed today's cruising even with the drizzle.

On the downside, Keith's camera has packed up. We do not have much luck with cameras it seems and my power pack for my laptop has decided to pack up as well. Whilst I was typing this posting I could smell burning and discovered it was my power pack grrrrr.

We now have a flippin motorbike whizzing backwards and forwards along the towpath beside the boat. I hope that it does not stay long, either that it lands in the canal.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Danes Moss to between Lomas Bridge 59 and Stringers Bridge No60

Travelled 4.48 miles, worked 12 locks and 2 swing bridges in a time of 3 hours, 50 minutes.


Now we all know the weather forecasters can get it wrong, and so despite waking up to rain thumping on the roof of the boat, we decided that if it should stop we would make a move.

9.10 am we left our weekend mooring at Danes Moss and in the sunshine set off for Bosley Locks. We got to Broadhurst Swing Bridge and it was open, now we had passed a boat coming towards us and whilst I do not want to point the finger, someone left the bridge open, when a sign clearly asks that boaters close the bridge behind them. It may have been left open by another boater, but if you read the signs, surely you would close the bridge?


Keith dropped me off on the swing bridge side and I shut the swing bridge behind us.


We arrived at the Royal Oak Swing Bridge and I stepped off the the boat to work the bridge. I do love this bridge, because it is worked by a Canal and River Trust key and it stops the traffic. After Keith had bought the boat through, a hire boat also came through from the other direction, I then closed the bridge to allow the traffic to move once more.



We passed Fulbourne, who looked like she was on fire, but it was just the steam coming off of her sheeting.


Cruised past Ann Marie and Brian, but no sign of either of them, but I am sure we will see them again sometime. The weather kept closing in and then the sun would come out as we approached the Bosley flight of locks.


We got our first sighting of The Cloud, talked about in a previous posting BLOG.


We arrived at the top lock to find Alan one of the two volunteer lock keepers on today setting the lock for us. We met Alan at the Manchester launch of the Canal and River Trust, he recognised us and so we had a lovely chat with him and I smiled as I listened to his passion for the canals and his job as a volunteer. He and Bob who was further down the flight oiling the paddle gear, work incredibly hard in all weathers, but they both love the job.


Alan had a radio message from Bob, which told us that there were several boats coming up, so this was to our advantage. Having emptied the toilet cassette and got rid of a bag of rubbish, with Alan's help we descended the first lock and saw a boat coming towards us leaving the second lock ready for us.


This yo yo affect continued for us all the way down the flight to lock 10, where we were then on our own, with a single hander in front of us on Sara Louise. The only problem we had on the flight was we got grounded between locks 7 and 8, but that was soon sorted out when I emptied lock 7 for a couple coming up the flight.


The sun kept putting in an appearance and then we would get a quick shower, but nothing to worry about for us.


Keith making the turn into the last lock of the day.


Last lock and then we hoped we could moored up below the lock. But the moorings were full, probably with the boats which had come down the flight ahead of us, we were told by Alan there were at least four ahead of us, so with no mooring we carried on and tried to get in at a couple of places to no avail. We eventually got in between Lomas Br and Stringers Bridge.


We are not in properly, but it will do. I have a good view across a field of cattle and having put the aerial we have a good signal to watch the Olympic games, so I am a very happy bunny.

Since 2008, we have travelled on Hadar 4363.68 miles, worked 2720 locks and cruised for 2191 hours and 25 minutes.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Sunday at Danes Moss.

I had the best nights sleep and woke some nine and half hours later, only woken by Keith climbing over me. With Keith up, he made us a cup of tea, which was enjoyed in bed with the TV on. At this time the sun was out and it looked promising, but it was not to last.


The Canada Geese which feed on the field opposite us during the day, were beginning to arrive for breakfast and being very noisy as they did so, but that is Canada Geese for you.


After getting up and walking Paddy, Keith cooked us breakfast as he always does on a Sunday. I do the cooking for the rest of the week, so it is my one day off as far as breakfast is concerned. Whilst the generator was on, I stripped the bed and got the bedding washed, which I hung out on the back counter, but no sooner I hung it out, rain began to fall with ever darkening clouds coming in from the west. So I swiftly retrieved my washing and hung it in the engine room.


The sun then came out again and the cows opposite seemed to be relaxing in the sunshine, with Canada Geese in the mix.

After breakfast, I made us some Chocolate Chip Muffins, the smell in the galley was very scrummy. Boats were coming and going, some travelling slower than others past us, but it was hardly worth saying anything, because very few boaters actually listen when you ask them to "please slow down past moored boats". On a couple of occasions the boat lurched alarmingly, just glad I was not carrying anything hot at the time.

With no plans to do much, the TV went on to watch the Olympic Games and I was not to be disappointed, especially after yesterdays men's race which did not end in joy for GB, but the women produced the goods when Lizzie Armitstead got the Silver medal in the Women's Road Race, after an exciting race. Congratulations to Lizzie.


As I sat and watched the games, rumbles of thunder were heading our way, maybe that is why the cows were all laying down in the field opposite the boat, the dark skies were certainly coming our way as was heavy rain, which soon started thumping on the roof of the boat. More success for us in the games with Andy Murray winning his first match in straight sets, beating Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3 6-3, so he is through to the second round. A sport I have never watched before is Water Polo and so Keith and I sat down to watch GB against Romania, Romania beat us comprehensively. Another win for us un the beach volley ball as ara Dampney and Shauna Mullin beat Canada. GB's Gymnasts did us proud, by finishing second behind the American's in the first selection process, so it looks good for us being in the final. So at the moment it is going well for team GB.

As the day has worn into evening, I cooked dinner, washed up, fed the animals and made us coffee. I am now going to put my feet up again and watch the women taking on Japan in the Hockey, at the moment we are leading them 4-0, so come on ladies.

Hope you have enjoyed a great weekend?

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Fourlanes End to Danes Moss.

Map image

Travelled 7.9 miles in a time of 3 hours 5 minutes.

Did you watch the opening ceremony for the 2012 London Olympics last night?

We did, we stayed with it until 12.45 am and then gave up and went to bed. To be honest, no sooner Sir Paul McCartney started singing, that was the time to hit the hay. Sorry but he cannot sing anymore. The opening ceremony was amazing, Danny Boyle did us proud.


6 am and the alarm went off to get us up for an early start. No sooner I stepped off the boat with Paddy, it was clear the heat of the past few days had disappeared and there was an almost Autumnal chill. A lone Heron stood beneath the road bridge hoping to find some breakfast, as the mist rolled along the canal.

7 am we set off from our Fourlanes End mooring.


Just past Braddocks Bridge No 19, two helicopters. How the other half live.


The sun began to put in an appearance at 9 am, but it was still chilly. High on the hill to the south is White Nancy. Bult as a summer house by the Gaskell family in about 1815. It is regularly painted and this year it was decorated for the Queens Jubilee. We had never noticed it before.


I took the tiller just before Clarence Mill for a short while, whilst Keith popped into the boat.


It is a stunning mill and the sister to Adelphi Mill. It was onward through Bollington.


Past the Adelphi Mill, which has 48 hour moorings outside of it, but many of them have been lost, because of the bank collapsing. The mill was once a silk mill, but is now offices.


Before pushing on through Macclesfield we passed the old Hovis Mill.

After Macclesfield we crossed over the Gurnett Aqueduct, all its 48 hour moorings were full. The canal then followed the contours of the land, through a nice area.SAM_3053

As we came close to Danes Moss and the large expanse of flat land, Keith asked did we want to stop, as there were some spaces, so we pulled in to test whether we could actually get in and yayyy surprise, surprise we got in no problem and the sun came out to celebrate the fact. The TV aerial went up and we have a great signal, so we will be watching the Olympics. Whilst Keith updated our boating log, I got on with making a cottage pie and as I was cooking the mince, I saw a green bow coming past the galley window and the name Valerie. This meant only one thing, Jaqueline and Les were coming past.


We went out to greet them as they pulled alongside Hadar for a natter. It is always great to catch up with friends and to find out their news and plans. Les gave us some information on where to pick up some wood, so we may well go and investigate the tip off when we move off on Monday. Having exchanged tales and gossip, they were on their way and I was back to my cottage pie.

Lunchtime and I am now sitting down to Sausage sandwiches, whilst watching our British Gymnasts compete in the qualifying and all bodes well so far. So I will say cheerio for now.

Since 2008, we have travelled on Hadar 4359.2 miles, worked 2708 locks and cruised for 2187 hours and 75 minutes.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Fourlanes End Day 2 and 3.

Yesterday Thursday, was a quiet day at Fourlanes End. We had a visit from In the past couple of days we have had visits from two boating friends. Colin off of NB Go For It and Graham off of NB "Suits Us". It is always nice to catch up with people. Yesterday I did some varnishing in the saloon and some touching up of the paintwork on the boat. The rest of the day was spent hand washing a few items and hanging them out on the back counter, I then enjoyed Film 4 during the afternoon. It was a very unexciting day really.

Today (Friday) we had plans, so having enjoyed our usual morning cup of tea in bed, we were up and about by 8.30am. Paddy and I were off up the towpath in warming sunshine. We were in for another warm day. After breakfast and the charging of the batteries, Keith and I set off to find The Anson Museum.

© Jo Lodge

We walked up on to the road bridge and down the road to a footpath. The footpath takes you along the old line of the former Macclesfield, Bollington and Marple Railway, it also runs close to the Macclesfield Canal. It is an 11 mile (16km), traffic-free greenway from Macclesfield to Marple on the Peak Park fringe. There is car parking, toilets and an information centre.



The old Middlewood station, now a picnic spot. After a good mile of walking we arrived at Lyme Road Bridge and walked up on to the road.


One the junction is the Boar's Head Inn, which we would visit on the return journey. Keith and I walked down Anson Road to search out the museum, which was very easy to find.



After a short walk up the drive we were standing in front of the museum.


Before venturing around the museum, we had a much needed coffee and a sit down. It was then onward around the museum.


The countryside area is well worth a visit.


Rod Ellis, is the blacksmith, he also does some amazing drawings and paintings, which are hanging in the tearoom. SAM_3018

Some of the engines were fired up, and we were entertained by lots of thumping and whistles. It was like being a child in a sweet shop. The Anson Museum is situated on the site of the old Anson colliery in Poynton and there is a huge collection of old engines. The collection was started as a hobby by Les Cawley and Geoff Challinor MBE. The collection got so big that they decided to start the museum, the first building was started in 1986 and opened to the public in 1989. There are some fantastic early engines to be seen.


One of the reasons we went to the museum was to see if they had any information on our National DA2 engine, because we knew they had some national engines there. We got chatting to Geoff Challinor, who took down the details of our engine and went off in search of any information he may have. Keith and I did not think he would come back with anything, because there is limited information on the National engines, but low and behold he came up with the goods.


Much to our amazement and joy Geoff produced a several page original document on some of the history of our DA2. It told us of when she was built, who by and who for, this information is so exciting for us, as we had so little information. Keith and I are now looking forward to seeing if we can unearth any other information from this document. Because we could not have the original document, Geoff very kindly did us a copy of each page and so we left the museum a donating for his kindness. Geoff and others working on the engines were very interested in our engine, so Keith was in his element chatting about it.


Having enjoyed chatting to Geoff and the others we continued our visit around the museum.


The volunteers at the museum have built a model of the village of Poynton C1900. The attention to detail is incredible.


We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the museum and so if you engine mad it is the place to go. On our walk back to the Middlewood Way, we called into The Boars Head Inn for a celebration lunch.



After a wonderful lunch, we walked back along the Middlewood Way in the afternoon sunshine. Because of the information we have now got on our old engine, we will be spending a lot of time researching it further. It has been a very exciting day for us.


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