Sunday 17 July 2016

Summer Cruise Day 6 - Bosley top lock to Bollington Aqueduct

More like winter cruise :-)

 Moorings you can get into are not very frequent on the Macclesfield and all the best spots are usually taken.  As soon as a boat leaves another nipps into its place quick as a flash.  You see a mooring you takes it, simples.

Our mooring this morning

Today could be best described as "ORRID!"  From the outset the heavy drizzle persisted all day.  We debated whether to move or not but we have a 60th birthday meal to sort out so on went the wellies and wet gear.

As the day went by so the rain got heavier.  Everything got soaked including our new Pearsons guide.  Our spirits did flag a little I must admit but we willed AmyJo on past OakGrove, the home of the coal boat Alton.  No sign of Brian but we guess he was beavering away in the workshop.  Not one to sit still is Brian.

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 At Bridge 49 one comes across an electrified swing bridge, our first this trip.  Chris took the C&RT key and operated the bridge to let AmyJo through.  

After passing through a chat with another boater revealed a second manual bridge (47) further up that he had difficulty working.  We set off in search of said bridge.

Electrified swing bridge just before Lyme Green.
 Sure enough after 30 minutes said bridge appeared.  A key is required to unlock the mechanism then a handle (shown below) has to be lifted to release the bridge.  Its then a case of manually pushing the bridge open.

The lift handle to unlock the bridge proved tough as advised but Chris managed it just fine.
 I liked the comment in the Pearsons for this bridge :-

"Be methodical in following the instructions and don't panic if you suddenly find a queue of motorists delayed by your boat's snail like passage through the bridge.  For although it's only a minor road it can be surprisingly busy, especially during the school run when Cheshire's womenfolk take to the roads in 4x4s which appear better suited delivering aid parcels to remote villages in the third world".

The approach into Macclesfield is guarded by an impressive walled embankment that one feels like we are entering a fortrus.   But once passed the city opens up to the visitor.

Walled embankment and bridge as one enters Macclesfield.
 A note of caution.  Pearson's shows a water point on the visitors moorings on the towpath side opposite Brook Street wharf.  In fact its now been moved to the the other side of the wharf  (former home of Hovis) alongside Swetenhams Maintenance yard on the offside.  You'll also need to watch your step too as swan droppings are plentiful here.

Brook Street Wharf.  This was taken from the moved water point.
 After a brief shopping stop we continued on to Bollington.  We'll return and explore Macclesfield on our return trip.  At Bollington we stopped by the Adelphi Wharf for lunch but boats double breasted on moorings opposite meant we were causing a restriction so were not happy to stay.

We move on through to Bollington Aqueduct moorings and Clarence mill though as it was getting late we did not hold much store finding somewhere to tie up.  Sure enough, boats were moored on what we thought was every available space.

The very popular and busy Bollington Aqueduct.

Nothing for it we cruised through the town and tried mooring up out of town but too shallow for us and we could not get in.  As a last resort we winded and returned to the town.  This time we were in luck as Chris spotted rings just after the bend by the mill and so we counted our blessings and squeezed in.  We shoe horned AmyJo onto them, just, with her stern 3 feet from the bank but still with plenty of room for boats to pass easily. 

Clarence Mill Bollington

The moorings just outside town but too shallow for us.  You can see the weather was closing in too.

The last available mooring with AmyJo's stern overhanging the bend slightly.

Bonus too, there does not seem to be a time limit shown on a post so one suspects these are 14 day moorings though 7 days is probably more realistic.  With that in mind we're having a weekend off cruising.

Guess what.  Within minutes of mooring the rain stopped and the sun came out.  Not fair!

Total distance:8.79 miles Elapsed time:6h3m0s Locks:0 Bridges:28 
Average speed:1.51 mph (1.51 lock/mph)

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