Narrowboat AREandARE

From the 2009 & 2010 tantalising tales, traumas and stunning photographs of Barry (photographer) and Sandra (writer) from New Zealand aboard NB 'Northern Pride', to the stories of their 2013 return journey, purchase of 'AREandARE', progress on sustaining their live aboard continuous cruiser lifestyle, and Barry's quest to gain residency and 'Indefinite Leave to Remain' in UK ...

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Yet more locks at Marple ...

Our mooring last night was on the flight path to Manchester Airport and they obviously continue flying right through the night! It must be a pain to live here, though I suppose you’d get accustomed to the noise.

We left fairly early on as it was going to be another big day – 16 locks consecutively on the Marple flight raising the canal by 209ft, an average of 13ft per lock. We also needed to travel another few miles to the boatyard.

 P1110665 P1110666


Lovely colours in some of the grasses along the canal side


Rickety old back yards on the outskirts out of Hyde, looks like a shanty town!


Slightly enhanced colouring to the underside of the railway bridge in the photograph below


A very scenic spot, one of many along the way


Entrance and exit of Woodley Tunnel 167yds

P1110678 P1110675

The Rose Hill Tunnel at 166yds long, but the top's now been chopped off it, followed by a stretch of sparkling tree lined groves


 The awe inspiring railway viaduct as viewed from the Marple Aquaduct

 P1110693 P1110684

Barry had a look to go down to the river to get some shots of the aquaduct but it was so overgrown that he doubts he'd have been able to see it, so not the best of photos

On reaching the locks we were in luck, with the first eight locks in our favour, i.e. we didn’t have to empty them before going in and re-filling them which meant half the work. We also had some rare, pleasant weather with sunshine and bits of blue sky for a while. But surprise, surprise, it wasn’t to last long!

P1110698 Nice when another boat is coming down as the lock will be empty and they'll normally leave the gates open so you can drive straight in

P1110701  It also means we can leave our gate open too


The lock flight wound through luscious trees and bush for most of the way

P1110699 Note the long sleeved top and padded gilet ...

  P1110703 So picturesque here

 P1110708 Some, but not all, of the lock paddles were well oiled and moved smoothly ...

P1110706 Another world

 P1110710 You can clearly see the markings of the stone masons who made each individual block for the lock walls

P1110709 Now it's a vest top in the warm sunshine for a brief period!

P1110712  Another lock in our favour


Sandra looks like an expert now manoeuvring round another boat after waiting for it to come through the lock - but in truth shortly before this she'd grounded the boat and been in a state of extreme panic trying to keep it still!

P1110714  What's he doing standing on the lock gate?

 P1110715 P1110717

She's starting to get weary!  Looking pensive - a penny for your thoughts?

P1110720 It was an unusual way of opening the gates - each lock had a footbridge at the end

P1110719 Quaint little cottage beside the towpath - wouldn't you just love to live here?


Still sunny, so far ...

After the half way point our luck ran out – the locks were against us and they were getting quite stiff (though at least here we didn’t have to use the anti-vandal keys that we’ve been using since the Leeds/Liverpool canal!), and the weather turned to crap once more.  The paddles were so hard to open that I had to literally stand on the lock gate and heave the windlass down, then stand up again to wind it further.  I was making noises similar to some female Wimbledon players and eventually Barry got the message and took over!


The heavens opened yet again!!


P1110726 P1110729

Lock 13 which goes under  Possetts Bridge, complete with a separate tunnel for the horse and another for the boatman

The countryside is delightful around here, it’s just unfortunate that the weather doesn’t make it quite so endearing as it could be. We missed going to the end of the Peak Forest Canal to Buxworth, but we’re hoping to return if our power is restored as it goes right into the Peak District in Derbyshire.

 P1110730 The Marple Lock training boat on the left, and on the right is the top lock house - currently for sale along with the Marina next to it, for £1,100,000 - any takers??

P1110740 P1110737P1110732

The Cross Over (aka Snake) bridge at the top of the Marple Flight, so called because they were designed at places where the towpath changes sides of the canal and the horse could then follow without unhitching the tow rope

There’s nowhere to stop for a rest on the flight, so we didn’t get a lunch break until 3pm at the BW moorings as we turned onto the Macclesfield Canal. Barry persuaded the lovely BW workers there to let him charge up the laptop and download his memory card in their office; yahoo, They even gave him a black rubbish bag to get the computer back to the boat in the pouring rain, thanks guys!


The moorings and BW building on the left


A quick shot over the backyards from the BW offices as the rain started again   

P1110743  P1110746


The old 6 story Goyt Mill now home to about 80 business tenants


Whoever is the landlord might just be looking at it as a pot of gold maybe?  There are positives to all this rain and intermittent sunshine!

We had another few miles to travel to the boatyard and not long out of Marple Barry lost his 'Barry's Riverboat' cap as he was looking up taking a photo of the Goyt Mill – we had to manoeuvre the boat back to hook it up - couldn’t lose one of Trish’s prized presents!


Barry managed to fish it out of the canal after some not too skilful reversing


  Found Jim's boat on the way, complete with 'Lanky'

P1110763  Looks sunny but really it's raining ... again!

Continuing on through the pouring rain, we arrived at our destination of Braidbar Boats around 5.30pm and Barry went to see if there was anyone around. A very nice bloke, Peter, gave us our parcel of porthole glass and also came and had a look at the engine to see if he could shed any light onto the problem. After about half an hour he was stumped too and phoned ‘Charlie’ who is a Marine Engineer – living in a boat that was moored opposite where we’d parked, how fortunate was that?! He agreed to come and take a look in the morning.

P1110765 P1110764

On a little walk around the area we came across Nelson Pit Visitor Centre where there was a sort of monument to the coal mines in the district, very nicely done

Another candlelit dinner and early to bed – reading books by torchlight doesn’t do much for our ageing eyesight!

Actually, I lie; we had dinner and then went to the pub for a couple , The Boar’s Head, down the road – a very welcoming and friendly place obviously frequented and loved by the locals. Then we went to bed in torchlight and if we believed in a God we’d have been praying hard that he would send us someone who could fix our power before the inevitable toilet horrors came true!  To save what power's left, I hadn't had a shower for two days; it's amazing what you take for granted living 'on land'!  Maybe this is happening so that we aren't so bereft when it comes time to leave the canals and return to 'normal' life?

Or am I just not tough enough for this gypsy lifestyle - I think I may have threatened today more than once to abandon Barry and get a train to my daughter’s house if things didn’t improve soon …

No comments:

Post a Comment