Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
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2008 Voyage - July

Cruising Log Index

Macclesfield Canal

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Tuesday 1th July 2008

From to Pearson Bridge No 64 arriving at 5:55 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 15 minutes. 9.25 miles and 2 locks, averaging 3.46 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 94 hours 20 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 161 locks, averaging 2.77 lock/miles per hour.

We caught the 7.10 train from Kidsgrove this morning to go back to Birmingham so Beryl could see the doctor. When we returned we walked down to the Red Bull for lunch. We set off at 14.20 and turned on to the Hall Green Branch of the Trent and Mersey then onto the Macclesfield Canal. We stopped for 20 minutes at Heritage Boats for a pumpout and then came on to moor just before Stanley's Bridge No 65. A warm and sunny day.

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Wednesday 2th July 2008

From Pearson Bridge No 64 to Royal Oak Swing Bridge No 49 arriving at 1:50 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 45 minutes. 4.75 miles and 12 locks, averaging 4.47 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 98 hours 5 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 173 locks, averaging 2.78 lock/miles per hour.

Saw a kingfisher after Wallworths Bridge No 58. Went up the Bosley Flight and stopped for 10 minutes to top up with water. Moored just before the swing bridge and went to the Fools Nook, where we had an excellent lunch. A cloudy and dry morning but we had some heavy showers after lunch.

Thursday 3th July 2008

From Royal Oak Swing Bridge No 49 to Whiteley Green Bridge No 25 arriving at 5:20 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 10 minutes. 4.75 miles and 12 locks, averaging 5.29 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 101 hours 15 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 185 locks, averaging 2.81 lock/miles per hour.

Set off at 10.35 but had only been going 20 minutes when the temperature alarm came on. We stopped and I checked the water and oil which both seemed OK. Tried starting again but after a minute the alarm came on again. I called out Nantwich Canal Centre, who had fitted the new engine and they arrived about 1.30. The fault proved to be air in the water cooling system that had probably been trapped in the cooling tank. We started off at 2.30 and came on to Whitely Green to go to the Windmill for dinner. A showery day.

Macclesfield Canal to Peak Forest Canal

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Friday 4th July 2008

From Whiteley Green Bridge No 25 to Marple Top Lock No 16 arriving at 12:15 am. The time taken was 2 hours 35 minutes. 7 miles and 0 locks, averaging 2.71 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 103 hours 50 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 185 locks, averaging 2.74 lock/miles per hour.

Came down to Marple Junction but the moorings opposite the facilities were full so we came through the bridge and backed into the first mooring om the Peak Forret canal. We had a roll and a drink in Marple and then went shopping at the Co-op. A mostly sunny day.

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Saturday 5th July 2008

From Marple Top Lock No 16 to Hatherlow Aqueduct arriving at 4:20 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 20 minutes. 2.5 miles and 16 locks, averaging 5.55 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 107 hours 10 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 201 locks, averaging 2.81 lock/miles per hour.

A wet morning caused us to delay our trip down the Marple Flight until the afternoon, which luckily was mostly sunny. We had an early lunch on the boat before setting off. Moored just after Bridge 14.

Peak Forest Canal to Ashton Canal

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Sunday 6th July 2008

From Hatherlow Aqueduct to Dukinfield Junction arriving at 11:30 am. The time taken was 2 hours 0 minutes. 5.63 miles and 0 locks, averaging 2.81 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 109 hours 10 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 201 locks, averaging 2.76 lock/miles per hour.

A cloudy morning with showers as we came down the rest of the Peak Forest Canal to Dukinfield Junction. Saw John Fletcher by the Museum and asked him if there was a water point there but he did not know so we moored and asked one of the Museum staff who showed me where it was. Stopped here for 25 minutes while we filled with water.

Ashton Canal to Huddersfield Narrow Canal

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From Dukinfield Junction to Hartshill and Stalybridge arriving at 1:55 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 0 minutes. 2 miles and 6 locks, averaging 4 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 111 hours 10 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 207 locks, averaging 2.76 lock/miles per hour.

Came on to the Huddersfield Canal and moored opposite Tesco. We went to lunch at the Millpool. The weather continued cloudy with showers but there were sunny intervals after lunch.

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Monday 7th July 2008

From Hartshill and Stalybridge to Terrace Lock No 11 W arriving at 4:05 pm. The time taken was 1 hour 45 minutes. 1.13 miles and 4 locks, averaging 2.93 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 112 hours 55 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 211 locks, averaging 2.75 lock/miles per hour.

Went shopping at Tesco this morning then had lunch at the Millpool. Set off in the rain and moored above Avenue Lock, No 10. A wet showery day.

Tuesday 8th July 2008

From Terrace Lock No 11 W to Wade Lock No 21 W arriving at 3:05 pm. The time taken was 4 hours 35 minutes. 3.5 miles and 10 locks, averaging 2.95 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 117 hours 30 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 221 locks, averaging 2.73 lock/miles per hour.

We kept going much longer than we intended as there were no suitable moorings that we could find, most of the canal being very shallow at the edges, so we came on to Uppermill, where we had moored before. The canal was also shallow in the middle in several places and we spent some time manouvering around various obstacles. At Wade Lock we met a BW man and asked him about getting cards for the pumpout at Wool Road. He very kindly phoned his boss and arranged for two cards to be brought to our mooring tomorrow morning. A cloudy but mostly dry day.

Thursday 10th July 2008

From Wade Lock No 21 W to Saddleworth Aqueduct arriving at 11:40 am. The time taken was 50 minutes. 0.38 miles and 3 locks, averaging 4.05 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 118 hours 20 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 224 locks, averaging 2.74 lock/miles per hour.

Filled with water at Uppermill then set off to Wool Road Bridge, where we got a pumpout (10) using one of the cards that BW delivered yesterday. We then backed over to the other side of the canal to take our place as third in the queue for the Diggle Flight tomorrow. Went to the Navigation for lunch and then walked up to the charming vilage of Dobcross, where we bought some bread rolls, before walking back by a different route. A mostly cloudy but dry day.

Friday 11th July 2008

From Saddleworth Aqueduct to Standedge Tunnel (South-west End) arriving at 11:00 am. The time taken was 2 hours 30 minutes. 1.38 miles and 9 locks, averaging 4.15 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 120 hours 50 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 233 locks, averaging 2.76 lock/miles per hour.

Came up the Diggle Flight behind the 70 foot narrowboat Andante from Tardebigge. A showery trip but we made resonable time given that many of the paddles would only open half way. Stopped before the tunnel to wait to go through. There were no boats from the opposite direction.Standedge Tunnel (North-east End): Convoy ready to enter tunnel - 11th July 2008.
Standedge Tunnel (North-east End): Convoy ready to enter tunnel - 11th July 2008.

Friday 11th July 2008

From Standedge Tunnel (South-west End) to Standedge Tunnel (North-east End) arriving at 3:40 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 10 minutes. 3.13 miles and 0 locks, averaging 0.99 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 124 hours 0 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 233 locks, averaging 2.69 lock/miles per hour.

We came through the tunnel on the passenger pod while Lorna-Ann was towed behind as the last of the three narrowboats pulled through. Took our packed lunch and coffee flask with us to have on the way. A heavy shower greeted us at the Marsden End of the tunnel. We walked down to The Railway for dinner.

Saturday 12th July 2008

From Standedge Tunnel (North-east End) to Booth Lock No 31 E arriving at 10:55 am. The time taken was 2 hours 35 minutes. 2.13 miles and 11 locks, averaging 5.08 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 126 hours 35 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 244 locks, averaging 2.72 lock/miles per hour.

We set off at 8.20 to be escorted down the locks by BW. Moored just before Booth Lock. In the afternoon Angela and Graeme came to see us on the boat and then took us back to their flat and later on th Da Sandro's restaurant in Huddersfield for dinner.

Sunday 13th July 2008

From Booth Lock No 31 E to Slaithwaite arriving at 2:40 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 40 minutes. 1.13 miles and 10 locks, averaging 4.17 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 129 hours 15 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 254 locks, averaging 2.74 lock/miles per hour.

There were lots of walkers and cyclists who stopped to watch us go through every lock on the way down to Slaithwaite. We moored between locks 22 and 21 and went to the Wharfside Inn for an excellent roast beef lunch. A dry day with sunny periods.

Monday 14th July 2008

From Slaithwaite to Golcar Aqueduct arriving at 2:40 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 40 minutes. 1.88 miles and 12 locks, averaging 5.2 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 131 hours 55 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 266 locks, averaging 2.77 lock/miles per hour.

Nearly all the locks were against us as we came down to Milnsbridge and moored between locks 8 and 9. We looked for a suilable eating placs here but did not find one so we had lunch and dinner on the boat.

Wednesday 16th July 2008

From Golcar Aqueduct to Aspley Basin and Junction arriving at 12:25 am. The time taken was 2 hours 15 minutes. 3.13 miles and 8 locks, averaging 4.94 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 134 hours 10 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 274 locks, averaging 2.79 lock/miles per hour.

We spent yesterday at Milnsbridge and Angela and Graeme came to see us and to take us out for lunch at the Sands, for a drive and back to their flat.

Today we set off down the remaining locks. Some of the bottom paddles were exceptionally stiff and some locks only had one working top paddle. Saw the Sowerby Bridge boat Dorset coming up the canal as we left lock 6. Stopped on the Aspley Basin facilities for water and pumpout (10) then went across to the marina for diesel (132.37 litres @ 80p - 105.90) and a new gas cylinder (21.40). We then turned the boat and backed up hoping to find a mooring but none were available so we came back onto the Huddersfield Narrow Canal to moor at 13.55. Had lunch at Table Table (was the Aspley) and then went shopping at Sainsbury\'s.

Friday 18th July 2008

From Aspley Basin and Junction to Paddock Foot Aqueduct arriving at 11:50 am. The time taken was 2 hours 20 minutes. 3.13 miles and 8 locks, averaging 4.77 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 136 hours 30 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 282 locks, averaging 2.8 lock/miles per hour.

Having spent all of yeserday in Huddersfield we set off this morning back to Milnsbridge and moored above lock 8 again. Most of the locks were in our favour but we found a shallow part above Lock 6 and again at these moorings. We discovered that the spot where we moored before was one of the few (comparitively) deep places at these moorings. A cloudy day with some light showers.

Saturday 19th July 2008

From Paddock Foot Aqueduct to Slaithwaite arriving at 2:35 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 0 minutes. 4 miles and 13 locks, averaging 5.67 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 139 hours 30 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 295 locks, averaging 2.83 lock/miles per hour.

Angela arrived at Milnsbridge at about 11 a.m. and after a drink and a chat we set off through locks 9 to 21 to moor on Slaithwaite visitor moorings. We went to Wharfside for lunch and Angela went back home just before 6 p.m. A day of sunshine and showers.

Monday 21st July 2008

From Slaithwaite to Booth Lock No 31 E arriving at 12:30 am. The time taken was 2 hours 30 minutes. 1.13 miles and 10 locks, averaging 4.45 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 142 hours 0 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 305 locks, averaging 2.85 lock/miles per hour.

We filled up with water and started running the washing machine before we set off and Beryl went to the Co-op. Had a good trip up the locks. There were lots of people about and Beryl gave a ride through three locks to a couple of young boys who were out with their Grandmother. Had lunch on the boat as the Olive Branch Restaurant was closed this lunchtime. A sunny day.

Tuesday 22nd July 2008

From Booth Lock No 31 E to Standedge Tunnel (North-east End) arriving at 5:15 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 30 minutes. 2.13 miles and 11 locks, averaging 5.25 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 144 hours 30 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 316 locks, averaging 2.88 lock/miles per hour.

We set off up the locks at 12.15 behind Narrow Escape and were halfway up the flight when we discovered a lot of rubbish round the prop, including a wire coat hanger that proved impossible to remove. We moored just after the top lock at 14.30 and were told to wait there until after 17.00, when the tunnel trips had finished. We went into Marsden but no suitable places for lunch were open so we did a little shopping and came back to the boat for lunch. In the afternoon our BW guide up the locks returned with a bolt cutter and removed the coat hanger from the prop. At 17.00 we moved down to the tunnel where we moored for the night. A cloudy day with sunny intervals.

Wednesday 23rd July 2008

From Standedge Tunnel (North-east End) to Dungebooth Lock No 22 W arriving at 5:10 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 50 minutes. 4.75 miles and 11 locks, averaging 5.56 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 147 hours 20 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 327 locks, averaging 2.9 lock/miles per hour.

This morning we came through the tunnel in the passenger module, which took about two and a half hours. After re-assembing the cratch we set off to go down the locks at 12.05, only to be stopped at 12.10 by a problem with the second lock, where boats coming up the flight were delayed by a faulty paddle. We moored and went to the Diggle Hotel for lunch. After lunch we waited for the repairs to be done and for the boat coming up to get into the lock below before we entered the top lock to go down. We got through the next lock but the problem reoccured and the boat behind us was not able to get through. After coming down the Diggle Flight we went through two more locks and moored at Uppermill. A warm sunny day.

Friday 25th July 2008

From Dungebooth Lock No 22 W to Hartshill and Stalybridge arriving at 2:25 pm. The time taken was 4 hours 40 minutes. 4 miles and 15 locks, averaging 4.07 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 152 hours 0 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 342 locks, averaging 2.91 lock/miles per hour.

After spending yesterday at Uppermill we came down the locks to moor opposite Tesco at Stalybridge. Although the water levels were up and the by weirs all flowing we still found many places where we went aground in mid channel. For the last few locks we were accompanied by a BW man who kindly prepared the locks for us. We went to the Millpond for a late lunch. It was a hot and sunny day although we had some showers in the evening.

Huddersfield Narrow Canal to Peak Forest Canal

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Saturday 26th July 2008

From Hartshill and Stalybridge to Leach Bridge No 13 arriving at 6:00 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 55 minutes. 7.75 miles and 6 locks, averaging 3.51 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 155 hours 55 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 348 locks, averaging 2.87 lock/miles per hour.

This mornining we did our shopping at Tesco's then we had lunch at the Millpond. Came down the remaining Huddersfield Canal Locks and turned onto the Peak Forest Canal at Duckinfield Junction. Stopped for 15 minutes at Portland Basin Marina for a pumpout (15) before coming up to moor a little way before Holehouse Fold Bridge 14. A hot sunny day.

Peak Forest Canal to Macclesfield Canal

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Sunday 27th July 2008

From Leach Bridge No 13 to Marple Junction arriving at 2:20 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 50 minutes. 3.25 miles and 16 locks, averaging 5.02 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 159 hours 45 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 364 locks, averaging 2.9 lock/miles per hour.

Came from near Holehouse Fold Bridge No 14 and up the Marple Locks. Met a few boats coming down. Turned onto the Macclesfield Canal and stopped 35 minutes for water. Then we moved through the Church Lane Bridge to moor and went to the Ring O' Bells for lunch. A hot sunny day.

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Monday 28th July 2008

From Marple Junction to Buxton Road Bridge No 37 arriving at 12:05 am. The time taken was 4 hours 5 minutes. 10.88 miles and 0 locks, averaging 2.66 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 163 hours 50 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 364 locks, averaging 2.83 lock/miles per hour.

Set off at 8 a.m. and came down to Macclesfield and moored just before the bridge. Had lunch at the Castle in town and did some shopping. A hot sunny day.

Wednesday 30th July 2008

From Buxton Road Bridge No 37 to Royal Oak Swing Bridge No 49 arriving at 11:30 am. The time taken was 1 hour 20 minutes. 3.38 miles and 0 locks, averaging 2.53 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 165 hours 10 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 364 locks, averaging 2.81 lock/miles per hour.

Yesterday we went back to Birmingham to collect Beryl's prescription, which took all day as the one that had been prepared was wrong. This morning, while I was pushing the boat off of the mud with the boat pole it slipped and I went headlong into the canal and was completely submerged for a moment. This is the first time I have fallen in to a waterway and hope it may be the last. We came down to the Fools Nook where we had lunch.

Thursday 31st July 2008

From Royal Oak Swing Bridge No 49 to Park Lane Bridge No 75 arriving at 1:40 pm. The time taken was 4 hours 0 minutes. 3.38 miles and 12 locks, averaging 3.84 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 169 hours 10 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 376 locks, averaging 2.81 lock/miles per hour.

We stopped for 30 minutes at the top of Bosley Locks to fill with water, then we came down the locks and on to Congleton, where we moored and had lunch at the Railway Station Hotel. WE had intended to stop here for the day but after lunch our domestic water pump stopped working so we set off again to get it replaced.

From Park Lane Bridge No 75 to Kent Green Bridge No 87 arriving at 5:10 pm. The time taken was 1 hour 15 minutes. 3.38 miles and 0 locks, averaging 2.7 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 170 hours 25 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 376 locks, averaging 2.79 lock/miles per hour.

We stopped at Heritage Narrowboat to get the water pump replaced. The shop and facilities were closed but a very helpful engineer came and did the job. I found that the pump had started leaking when it failed so I had to sponge 8 buckets of water out of the bilges. A dull day with some light rain.

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Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
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