Monday, 30 September 2013

Congleton Town.

IMG_4523 Congleton TH IMG_4530 TH Bear  IMG_4529 IMG_4532

Our cupboards were almost bare so we set off with our two shopping trolleys under Dog Lane Aqueduct down theroad three quarters of a mile into town. The first building we saw was the Town Hall adorned by a clock tower. In the entrance hall sits a large bear, as the town once had a real live bear. The main street was cordoned off for an arts festival/street market. her Madge and Prince Phillip came strolling up the street and started dancing to the music.

IMG_4525 Ws Counting House  IMG_4526  IMG_4531

We sought out Wetherspoon’s Gothic style Counting House for a meal to celebrate our anniversary. It is at times like these that we miss the good company of our boating friends! There are several little streets with some interesting timber framed pubs and shops. A cafe by the bus station was amusingly called “ Bear Grills”! The last pic has a dwelling with a date of 1671 above the door and offers Colonic Hydrotherapy, which we didn’t try btw!

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Congleton Wharf.

IMG_4481 IMG_4515 IMG_4494 Congleton Railstation IMG_4516

One of the lovely old sandstone milestones along the towpath told us how many miles we had come from Marple in sixteen days. We left our quiet countryside mooring and cruised on past Congleton Station under many bridges on a straight bit.

IMG_4517 B76 looking east IMG_4480 Dog Lane Aqueduct IMG_4522 IMG_4521 Congleton Wharf

Through a dark cutting past the busy Feed Mill, over Dog Lane Aqueduct to moor at Congleton Wharf. The old wharf warehouse opposite has been tastefully converted for residential use and surrounded by similarly styled new housing. Armco made tying up here easy on the 48 hour designated moorings..

Friday, 27 September 2013

Hightown Aqueducts.

IMG_4458 The Cloud  IMG_4496 Railviaduct  IMG_4483 Hightown Aqueduct

It was rather misty again when we left our lovely quiet mooring with The Cloud in the background. As we cruised along it began to rain, so we stopped short of our destination and moored above an aqueduct again. The view from the boat looked across to another railway viaduct in the distance.

IMG_4493 watercress  IMG_4499 steps to CRT Asset  IMG_4502 Oakfield above

On my walkabout the canal towpath and overspill weir seemed to merge and watercress was growing well here, so I picked a bunch for lunch mmm. Following a CRT Asset sign down some steep steps I was in the field below the aqueduct where cows were grazing. Unfortunately the aqueduct is not visible because of all the undergrowth, but Oakfield is in the gap above the embankment.

IMG_4500 IMG_4501 IMG_4503 IMG_4504

This was the Dane-in-Shaw SSI Pasture and a few of the wildflowers were still in bloom. The path crosses over the river on a metal bridge, up the bank and through the wood.

IMG_4513 aqueduct overoldrialway IMG_4512 IMG_4498 IMG_4452

Then onto the old railway line where you can see that the canal runs in a metal trough in the stone aqueduct over it. There are some interesting fungi flourishing in this warm damp September weather too. I really enjoyed my little circular walk!

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Dane Aqueduct.

IMG_4443 Dane viaduct walk IMG_4449 IMG_4448

As it was such a beautiful warm morning we followed the footpath near the aqueduct through the fields and underneath the Railway Viaduct. We passed through a farmyard/small industrial area, where, inside a large barn we could see Traction Engines being restored. There was an old working engine standing out in the yard too.

 IMG_4453 nr B62 IMG_4454 IMG_4460

Then we had to dodge the traffic on the busy A54 to return to the canal at Bridge 61 where we glimpsed Crossley Hall Farm, a fine Tudor building, on the opposite bank.

  IMG_4455               IMG_4456

There was a painted Blue-cow reclining on the wharf side and a real cow with extremely short legs! Could this be a special breed, or have her legs worn down from continually circulating around the hillside I wonder? Back at the boat we were able to don the shorts and sit outside for our snack sunning ourselves. Meanwhile the chap next to us spent all afternoon polishing his boat to a mirror finish.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Bosley Locks.

IMG_4433 Royal Oak Swingbridge 49          IMG_4435

It was a misty-moisty morning when we set off and we passed through our first obstacle which was Royal Oak Swing Bridge. This is a key operated electrified bridge and I held up a small string of traffic by pressing a button, while Oakfield glided through the narrow gap. We filled with water at the top of Bosley Locks and were hoping to find a mooring hereabouts, but no luck. So we made our way down just as a boat came out of the top lock. The locks were then in our favour, but we met several boats coming up too. There would have been splendid views all around from some locks, if 0nly the mist had lifted.

IMG_4437 Lock 5            IMG_4440

This attractive looking Farmhouse was peeping over the road bridge  at Lock 5. We could just make out the ghostly images of the hills as we descended.

IMG_4442Completing the twelve locks we had dropped down 118 feet altogether and found a space to moor by the River Dane Aqueduct. As you can see by the size of the sheep photographed from there, it is quite high up.

Monday, 23 September 2013


IMG_4415 Gurnett Aqueduct IMG_4432 IMG_4431

It was easy to moor on the Gurnett Aqueduct as there were rings opposite the old BW working boat Gailey. There were some nice views over the rooftops to the hills and up to the golf course on the hill behind us.

IMG_4408 Old Smithy IMG_4409 IMG_4430

The aqueduct passes over a road and a stream with this quaint little cottage, which still seems to be occupied, placed between the two. As you can see the rings were oddly spaced, so we had to ‘reverse moor’ as the cabin boy puts it.

IMG_4406 IMG_4411 Old Kings Head 1695 IMG_4413

On arrival I went in search of a post-box as I had a Birthday card to send. I asked a lady who was walking with her dog for directions to the nearest one which was in the adjoining village of Sutton Lane Ends. This turned out to be about a mile long walk but I made it before the collection time, luckily.  Amazingly the card arrived the next morning on a 2nd class stamp, swift service indeed. I did find a Farm Shop open and got some nice crusty bread though. On another of my walkabouts to the garden centre I found a post-box not far from the aqueduct, never mind, I needed the exercise. It was a fabulously warm sunny weekend so I was able to finish touching up all the paintwork on the other side of Oakfield. Sunday we walked all the way down the steps from our mooring to The Old Kings Head, an interesting pub dating from 1695 with the adjoining Smithy, now being residential..

I must apologise for posting some of our blogs in the wrong order of where we moored, but i expect some of you spotted that, didn’t you Paul?