Because we have a few days to wait until Kuranda can come out and look at our inverter/charger, we decided to stay on the 48 hour Gurnett Aqueduct mooring and take a walk into Macclesfield. Sods law I cleaned the brass yesterday whilst on the move and we woke up to rain beating down on the back cabin roof. Thankfully by the time we got up it had all but stopped, so we were still going to walk into the town.
Macclesfield is known as Treacle Town. It apparently refers to the centuries old accident when a horse drawn wagon overturned, spilling its cargo of Treacle onto the cobbles. The Treacle Market is held once a month in its memory. Can you imagine how sticky the cobbles would have been ewwww. Macclesfield was once the world's biggest producer of finished silk. In 1832 there were 72 silk mills operating. Sadly Paradise Mill is the only one still working and that is only as a museum. I worked in a Silk Mill for a few years, not producing silk, but as a gown maker, the silk was still produced though at the mill. Macclesfield is also the original home of Hovis breadmakers, the mill is now apartments. Like so many towns and cities, Macclesfield has lost its industry and in away its heart.
Keith had measured the distance from the boat into Macclesfield at about a mile, so we locked the boat up walked down the steps to Ye Olde Kings Head Pub and headed off along the pavement into the town.
This was not the soap street, but it did make me smile. I do not watch Corrie, but do remember it from years ago when it was brilliant and had people like Elsie Tanner, Hilda Ogden etc in it.
We came across our first gold post box, this one was painted gold for Sarah Storey. This one celebrates Sarah’s gold medal winning performance for the track cycling Women's Individual C4-5 Road Race. Keith needed a new battery for his watch so that was one of the first things we did. Whilst we waited for it to be fitted we had a coffee in The Cheshire Gap.
The place is filled with wonderful pies, cakes and biscuits and has a real homely feel about it as well as great service with a smile. After our coffee it was on to the browsing and retail therapy, we found the indoor market and I got a new zip for Keith’s Summer trousers and some bits and bobs. Macclesfield is a lovely town with a huge history and some lovely buildings.
Having walked around most of the town we had some lunch in Wetherspoons.
The Society Rooms was an 18th-century vicarage and college.
The war memorial which on the 6 posts have a lot of names of soldiers from the town killed in the first world war. Many of them it would appear from the same families, at least going by the surnames.
Before heading back to the boat we went into a charity shop and I bought a pair of brand new unworn Campri Walking Boots in a charity shop for £7.99, bargain! My old ones had a hole in them and even though they will be fine in the dry for a while, they will leak in the wet. I am so chuffed.
Macclesfield is a wonderful town and we really enjoyed our visit. Someone once sad to me that Macclesfield was a drab and dirty town, I could not disagree more, it is beautiful and has begun to re-invent itself. I totally recommend a visit, you will not be disappointed.
We walked back to the boat past Ye Olde Kings Head pub.
It was established in 1695 and was once a working Smithy. We have heard good reports about the food and drink. Having got back to the boat, I wanted to post a card, so I set off out again to the post box we had passed on our way back to the boat. I then went in search of a plaque to James Brindley.
James Brindley was born in Thornsett, near Chapel-en-le-Frith, to James and Susannah Brindley, His mother taught him to read and write by his mother. In 1733 at the age of 17 James Brindley, the famous canal engineer, was apprenticed to Abraham Bennett in Gurnett. A Wheelwright and Millwright by trade, Abraham Bennett lived in the village of Gurnett in Sutton, in the ancient Cheshire parish of Prestbury, near Macclesfield. After he had served his apprenticeship he continued as a journeyman and two years later, about 1741, started as a millwright on his own, first at Leek and then, in 1750, at Burslem.
After taking a stroll it was back to the boat to put my feet up for a while.