Wednesday, 27 May 2015


Friday 22 May. 7 miles, 12 locks.

Nice morning. First chance to wash the right side of the boat and give her a rub with baby oil. Filled up with water at the top of the locks and headed down just after noon with a bit of drizzle about. Late lunch at the bottom before heading into Congleton. Text messages back and forth as Marian was finding/reserving a mooring for us. Settled in before we joined Alan and Marian for fish & chips from their favorite chippy.

Saturday 23 May. many miles by car.

Alan & Marian collected us from the boat and we were off on another grand tour. The first stop was Cheadle in Staffordshire where we were taken to Pugin's Gem. A magnificent interior designed by Augustus Pugin who was also responsible for Westminster, Houses of Parliament. A short walk around Cheadle before we drove to Ashbourne where we had lunch. Another quaint market town with bunting across the street making it look very festive. Next town was Leek. We had intended to go here in 2010 but the tunnel on the Leek Branch of the Cauldon Canal was closed so we didn't get that far. Once again a walk around the town observing the Butter Market and the many and varied period buildings. Now time to head for home. On the way we called into the Yew Tree Inn. Hard to describe but it was as one expects an old english pub to look. In addition it was full of collected artifacts (junk). So Many grandfather clocks, guns, Victoriana, Pianola, Gramophones, penny farthing, swords, stuffed animals etc, etc. Had a pint and pork pie. Both very nice. Back to the boat for tea. Later on we walked to Alan & Marian's for the evening.

Sunday 24 May. more car miles.

We were picked up about 1130 and driven to Tatton Park, a National Trust property, near Knutsford about 4 miles off the end of the runway at Manchester Airport. The beautiful gardens included, Kitchen, Italian, Topiary, Conservatory, Fernery and others we didn't get to as it was a cold day. After a bite to eat we went into the big house to experience some more of the English Gentry lifestyle. Grand rooms with ornate ceilings and walls crammed full of paintings by Masters and other artists. Also many large portraits of family and royalty. On the way home we stopped in Knutsford for a look around. Another of those towns with a variety of architecture. The town is the centre of "The footballers Triangle" where more Champain per head of population is drunk than in any other place in the world. This status is obvious in the number of high class eating houses and the quality of cars parked in the street. The day was finished with a vist to "The Young Pretender", Local hostelry where award winning Cheshire pies were the main feature on the menu. Ham and black pudding pie with mash and peas was my tea. Diana's pie was cheese and onion with a salad. It is our intention to visit there again on the way home in September.

Monday 25 May.

Bank Holiday so we had a day off too. Sleep in, Cold day. Mid afternoon I joined Alan to watch a game of Crown Bowls at his local club. Joined Marian and Alan for afternoon tea and enjoyed Rhubarb crumble and custard. This had been made for afters on Friday but we overdosed on F & C. Back to the boat for tea and an early night.

Tuesday 26 May. 5 op shops

For a few days now we have been running out of power overnight. This happened a bit last year but this year with it being cold and having the diesel heater on a lot it was becoming a concern. I had a smart meter installed before we left Furness Vale and this has been giving me a better understanding of what was happening in the batteries. After lots of note taking and talking to Nick from TW Marine this morning we decided to replace 4 old batteries with 3 new ones.
That having been sorted we walked into Congleton and bought a few things for the boat. Had lunch and did a supermarket shop so we can be self contained for a few days. In the evening we returned to Alan & Marion's as they had offered the use of their washing machine. That made life just that much easier.

Wednesday 27 May. 7 miles, 4 locks.

Nick arrived and installed the new batteries. We were on our way just before lunch. A nice slow meander through the countryside in warmish weather with the sun poking through occassionaly. Took on water, drinking type, at the first lock then continued until we turned west on the Trent & Mersey Canal. After 3 locks light rain started so decided to pull over for a cuppa. Still here 4 hours later but it is starting to brighten. Hope tomorrow brings us sunshine.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

2 different days

Wednesday 20 May, 0 miles. 1 op shop.

What a bleak day it was. As Diana was walking down the boat the sun came out but she didn't get to see it as she was between windows at the time. Diana went back to the op shop but I didn't get off until late afternoon when the day improved a bit. I put the first of the silver ferns on the side at the front. It looks great. The other goes on when we moor up on the other side.

It is a Kiwi boat

Thursday 21 May, 7 1/2 miles, 2 swing bridges. 1 op shop.

When we woke the sun is starting to break through the clouds. By late morning it is feeling a bit like spring. We motor off the 3 miles to Macclesfield where we stop for lunch and walk into town. Just a few things to buy. Back on the boat late afternoon and we continue south through delightful country side. We remember why we do this and concentrate on these type of days. End the day sitting on the back, in the sunshine, with wine, cheese and crackers watching the ducklings , listening to the cows and lambs, occasional being reminded of the other world as we hear a train rush past doing 100 mph. Looking forward to Fish and Chips with Marian & Alan in Congleton tomorrow but first there are 12 locks, first this year.

Enjoy the evening Diana there are 12 locks around the corner.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

On the Mac

Sunday 17 May. 0 miles

Gary & List from Wellington and Zena from Napier called in this morning for a good old catch up. Zena left before lunch so that left 4 of us to go to the pub for a Sunday Roast. I have been looking forward to getting back into that habit. I am still waiting. On Saturday we had seen a pub in Marple advertising Sunday Roast. When we got there we are informed that they don't start serving them till next week. A bit of false advertising as the sign looked like it had been outside for a month or more. Never mind we had a pub lunch and enjoyed the catch up with List and Gary before they headed of to Warwick. Another evening with the heater on.

Monday 18 May. 3 miles, 0 locks, 5 op shops.

Cold and bleak in the morning so we aren't going anywhere. By lunch time the rain had turned to lite drizzle so off to do my hardware shopping and Diana the op shops. I later returned to town to meet Diana and do some supermarket shopping as we know the rest of the supermarkets on the Macclesfield are well below canal level. Late afternoon the day is still cold but has improved so, up stakes and head off. There was one heavy shower on the way so I spent a few minutes in the dry looking at the underside of a hump back bridge. Now moored up overlooking an equine centre where there is a bit of activity and the sun is shining.

Tuesday 19 May, 4 1/2 miles, 0 locks, 1 op shop.

Cold and bleak again. Sun pocked through before lunch so we traveled for 10 min to get some water, gas and a pump out. After lunch we trundled down to Bollington. Walked into part of the village for a coffee. By the time Diana had finished in the op shop all the cafes were closed so back to the Molly Rose coffee shop. Here for the night.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

In the slow groove

Saturday 16 May. 2 1/2 miles, 1 swing & 2 lift bridges.

Well we have certainly settled into canal time. Made it all the way to Marple for a late lunch. Diana's luck is holding. The 1st swing bridge needed her attention. 1 lift bridge is broken so was left up then at the next there was a helpful boater that had lifted the bridge for another boat and was still there when we passed, 3 boats later. No rain today but still cold. I'm really not used to wearing long trousers this much. Took a wander around Marple and remembered some of the shops I need to visit on Monday to buy some bits to tidy up the boat.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Off at a slower pace

Sunday 10 May,

Wet in Glasgow, so a slow start with Murray cooking a nice Brunch then to the Glasgow Museum of transport and Technology.
Good selection of cars but you couldn't see half of them as they were stacked 5 high up about a 20 meter high wall. They had the best selection of ship models I have ever seen. Understandable in the middle of a major ship building area.

Monday 11 May,

Spent the morning at the "Art lovers house". A 1902 design of Charles Rennie Mackintosh which was not built until 1989. Interesting and well worth a visit.
Cousins of Diana & Murray, Donald & Morag came for lunch and we had a pleasant afternoon in conversation. We had first Meet them in Napier in 2002.

Tuesday 12 May,

Off to lunch with Morag & Donald's daughter who lives in a 1700's farm house 45min from Glasgow. More chat and pleasant company.

Wednesday 13 May. Mystery Train Trip.

We were on our way before 10 travelling east. Ending up in North Berwick, the southern entrance to the Firth of Forth. They have a seabird centre there with live cameras on near-by islands where the Puffins and Gannets breed along with many other seabirds. Lunch was at the "Herring Bone". Best seafood chowder ever. If you are going that way call in. On the way home we stopped in Edinburgh as Diana had not been there before and Murray went to university there. Walked up to the Castle and then had dinner at Murray's regular restaurant from the past. As we were in Scotland I had Haggis. From Edinburgh back to Glasgow the train followed along the Union canal. Diana is hoping to organise a boat swap up here.

Thursday 14 May.

Fast trip back to Furness Vale to find Nick & Jim have done all the necessary maintenance and Molly is ready to go

Friday 15 May. 2 miles, 1 swing bridge.

Sun shining, Summer is on its way. Spent the morning getting ready to move. Removing the back cover, putting all the cruising ropes back on. tying on the fenders filling up the water tank etc. For some reason the canal level was down a bit and the boat was on the bottom at the back so we couldn't motor out. It didn't take to much effort to pull her out into the canal a bit and then slowly engage the engine. As we approached the swing bridge and Diana was making sure she had all the necessary gadgets, I see a boat coming the other way and the bridge was open We hope, an omen for the next 4 months. Moored up opposite some canal side houses. Walked into Disley, back to the boat for tea and it has started to drizzle. Well this is the English Summer.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

On the water

Saturday 9 May. ? milies

We headed off with Murray by car and then caught a ferry (first time on the water under power this season) to the Isle of Brute. We visited the stately home at Mount Stuart 
A magnificent home with grounds to match. Stayed fine all day. We are starting to get our walking fitness back after a few miles around the gardens.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Abandon ship

Thursday, 7  May. Heaps of miles, 0 locks, many tunnels.

We haven't quite abandond Molly Rose but we have moved off her for a few days. It has been a bit damp and we have decided this year that there is no pressure cruising when it is wet and cold. Murray, Diana's brother, who joins us for a week or so on the boat when we are here, has been keen to show us his new apartment in Glasgow. After a few days of considering the possibility we hopped on a train and arrived in Scotland last night. Quite different to pass through places we cruised last year. There is more to see of the UK than the few miles each side of the canal but at 200 kmph it is but a glancing look.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Back to walking .

Tuesday May 5. 0 miles, 0 locks.
Up at a reasonable hour to return the rental car to Hazel Grove. Bus in Stockport to see how we can improve our mobile wifi. Another mission. After an hour trying to establish an account with the phone company so we can go on a plan. It all fell over when we couldn't give them a post code. Tried the marina one. No go. Tried Murray 's in Glasgow. No go. In the mean time we have a pay as you go at more than twice the price. Not to bad at the moment as the marina has wifi.
The other issue we are trying to sort out is that Diana has lost all her contacts in her laptop and ipad making it very difficult for her to send out her daily photos. Best advice so far is to take a train into Manchester where there is a Mac shop. Another option is to go to the Trafford Centre where there is another Mac shop next to a canal. If we rush we can be there in a week.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Kite Flying

Monday 4 May.Bank holiday.  0 miles 0 locks.
Maybe summer has arrived? And then again it might be only for a day.
We heard there was a fly your kite day at a large National Trust property not far away so off we went. The entrance to Lyme Park is on the A6,   reportedly the busiest road in the UK. As we arrive at the gate to make a left turn there are signs up saying "park closed" with a number of people in fluro jackets trying to keep some order. We stopped to see what the story was. Of course there is no where to pull over so as we talked to the fluor jacket brigade about how we could get in traffic stopped. The car parks are full and also the paddocks. So where can we park? A shrug of the shoulders was the reply. With a bit of tooting from behind we moved on and took a side street where we managed to park and walk the 1/2 mile back.
The kite flying was on a ridge alongside a keep. Great setting and a nice bit of wind. About now I wish we had bought one or two from home. There were some small para foils for sale so we now have 2 kites on the boat.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Canals are filling.

Sunday 3 May. 0 miles, 0 locks
Looks like we may have arrived a bit early. Max temp yesterday was 7 °. Thank goodness we are connected to power with a small 2kw fan heater on almost continuously. The positive side is that the canals are filling up with water, especially the Peak Forest canal where we are. They had a major leak last month and Molly Rose had been sitting on the bottom for a while. All good now. Slept on last night. Great to be back and trying to remember where everything is. Visitors from Napier came aboard for lunch. Traveling from Harrogate to Stratford. That is now 5 from home that can relate to what we are doing.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Awake but not switched on

29-30 April. heaps of miles, no locks.

We are here and Molly Rose is looking in good shape. Quite dry inside but a bit cold so have had the heater on to help bring her back to life. Nick has been busy sorting out the list of maintenance I left him with, including a new Boat Safety Certificate. Like a WOF and good for 4 years. Wonder if we will need to renew it in 2019.
From Macau to Furness Vale. The day started with breakfast then a walk around Macau back to the hotel around 1300 for a feet up, pack up and check out at 1800. Ferry ride to Hong Kong Airport with a departure time of 0100. Been up 17 hrs. The 13 hour flight is one of those life experiences. So 30hrs later we are in Manchester waiting for the morning rush to ease up before venturing on to the M65 and A6. An hour or so with Nick on the boat before some shut eye at the B & B. Wake from that in the evening before back to the boat for an hour or so, visit the chippy and .end the day in a very comfortable bed.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Back Home. Our UK home.

Friday 5 September. 4 3/4 miles, 1 lock.

Beautiful day on a lovely canal. Set off from Kidsgrove in a warm overcast with a light haze day through country side with many beautiful bridges. Reminded us of the Shropshire canal. Pulled into Congleton for lunch then off into town to sort out (try anyway) Diana's phone. I think we are about to give up on T-mobile and ee  networks. Went to Marian and Alan's for tea and then they took us to the birthplace of Reginald Mitchel, then the cloud, the highest point in the area. Couldn't see much because of the haze. They then showed us the flight of 12 locks we need to climb to complete our journey. Apple and blackberry crumble for pudding then back to the boat.

The Aqueduct at Congleton

Saturday 6 September. Nil

We were picked up and taken to Quarry Bank, a National trust Textile Mill. The interesting bit was a tour of the Apprentice House where 60 girls and 20 boys lived while working in the mill for 13 hours a day 6 days a week for board and keep. No wages. Back on the boat by 1700.

Inside the Quarry Bank Mill
The Apprentice House
Went home via Jodrell Bank
Sunday 7 September. Nil

Diana went to Marian's to do some sewing while I fiddled with Molly Rose. In the evening we took Alan & Marian and enjoyed a Sunday Roast at their local pub.

Monday 8 September. 7 miles, 12 locks, 1 swing bridge.

Left Congleton before lunch heading towards Macclesfield. Had lunch at the bottom of the Bosley locks then up the last 12 of this trip. Flat water from here. Planned to stop at a pub for tea but after mooring up found it closed and for sale.

Entering the last lock
The last lock is closed behind us.

Tuesday 9 September, 3 mies 1 swing bridge.

Through countryside until reaching the Macclesfield moorings. A bit disappointing. They were rough, couldn't get into the bank and then there were signs everywhere restricting us to 24 hours and not allowed to run the engine. Bit tough when short of power.All in all not welcoming. Into town and got no joy out of T-mobile even though the shop assistant was doing her best. Changed providers to "3" so Diana now has a new number.

Wednesday 10 September,4 miles.

Went into Macclesfield and visited the Silk museum and had a tour around the Paradise mill. The guide explained all the machinery and turned them on as we went. Lunch in a delli. Diana to the opp shops and I went back to the boat via the hardware shop. Motored on over a high embankment overlooking Bollington and stopped in a country setting further on.

Thursday 11 september, 3 1/2 miles.

Walked back into Bollington and checked out the lower part. Had lunch in a cafe and then checked out the upper part of town which was the nicer of the two. Motored north thinking we may walk into Lyme Park another National trust estate but the house is closed on thursdays. traveled on a bit further then moored up opposite a line of residential moorings.

The Aqueduct at Bollington

Friday 12 September. 8 miles, 2 lift & 2 swing bridges.

Stopped at Marple to do some shopping. We were last here on 14th May at the start of this years adventure. Reaching Marple also completes the Cheshire Ring, which we first got onto on 11th June 2010. Now down the Peak forest canal and back to Furness Vale to moor up in preparation to going home. Tonight the Furness Vale Boat Club were having a meeting so we went along to meet the locals. Some worthwhile contacts here.

Saturday 13 September. Nil.

Worked on tidying and cleaning the boat until about 1600 then off to a BBQ with the boat club.

Sunday 14 September. Nil

Bit of maintenance on the boat. Being sunday we went to the local pub for Sunday Roast in the evening.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

On the Macclesfield

Monday 1 September. 2 ½ miles

Back up to Tunstall (10 min) to try and other supermarket for the bits we didn't get yesterday. Lunch on the boat then headed south and turned up the Caldon canal, filled with water, turned around then walked to Emma Bridgewater pottery, From there we went to the centre of Hanley. Had to have diner in the Reginald Mitchell pub. If you have an interest in aviation history you will know who he was, if not it doesn't matter.

Tuesday 2 September. Nil

Into Hanley to the Potteries museum. Spent a good 3 hours looking at the history, process and a large collection of pottery artefacts. Probably the best collection we have seen. There was a Reginald Mitchell gallery with a spitfire under restoration. A quick look through a large shopping centre then back to the boat.

Outside the Museum
Inside the Museum
Model of a Bottle kiln

Wednesday 3 September. 2 ½ miles.

Set off north heading for home. Stopped for water, visited the Royal Dalton and Wedgwood factory shop, a revisit to Burleigh shop, bought some diesel and moored up for the night.

Thursday 4 September. 3 miles, 1 tunnel.

A short run to the south portal of the Harecastle tunnel where we left the boat and walked to Churchill pottery factory shop, last one! Didn't stay long before walking back to the boat and then through the tunnel. The other times I have been through I was the lead boat, this time I was number 2 in behind a very slow boat so it was idle most of the way and even into neutral several times so I didn't run into him. We were in the tunnel for an hour. Normal time is 35 to 45 min. In the past I did it in 30. we are now on the Macclesfield canal, new territory for us.

Boats leaving the south end of th Harecastle

Monday, 1 September 2014

Back in the potteries

Tuesday 26th August. 4 miles, 14 locks.

No sun yet, no rain either but they day looks bleak Did my first oil change. No problem but took twice as long to clean up than do the change. I should get better next year or organise the changes when the temporary crew are mechanics. A good day of locks with plenty of boats coming the other way. Of the 14 locks only 2 needed emptying and at most there was someone else to open the gates. The OAP's we meet on Saturday came looking for us today and joined as for afternoon tea.

Wednesday 27th August. Nil

A day out with Alan and Marian, the OAP's.

We were picked up at 1030 and delivered home at 2130. first up to a National Trust property, Little Moreton Hall. A Moated Elizabethan house built to impress, to show wealth and gain status. It has been in the Moreton family until given to NT in 1938. The family left the property a century or two ago and the tenants were not allowed to make alterations so the NT inherited an almost original house. They have done a great job with it. Next was Mow Cop via the Astbury church which features on all Cheshire calendars. Mow Cop a ruined castle was built in 1754 on the top of a hill and can be seen for miles around. It looks like the ruins of a castle but was built that way. From this hill we could see almost all of the places we had travelled so far. Next stop was Biddulph Grange Garden, NT. With a quick stop on the way to visit James Brindley's grave. He was known as the father of the canal system.
Biddulph Grange was the Victorian Mansion of James Bateman, who had collected plants from all around the world and laid out the garden in countries. There was the Himalayan Glen, Chinese, Italian and Egyptian gardens along with the Victorian garden. The Mansion had been developed into 5 star apartments and the developer had given the gardens to the NT to return to their original form. Win/Win, apartment owners have a beautiful garden looked after by NT and the people have a delightful garden to enjoy. The real highlight of the this visit was that the manor had been used as a hospital and Marian had trained there and was courted by Alan at that time. Many stories to tell. We finished the day with takeaways at their place and then went and watched Alan play a match of Crown Bowls. Similar but different to lawn bowls.

Thursday 28 August. 3 miles, 13 locks

Finished of the last of the Heartbreak hill locks arriving at the Harecastle tunnel to late to transit so moored at the entrance for the night. At one of the last locks alongside a pub we meet a man with a Barn Owl and got to hold and stroke her.

Friday 29th August. 2 Miles, one of which was underground.

First through the tunnel and moored up by 0930. Set off for the potteries and saw that “Areandare” was a couple of boat lengths in front of us. We have communicated with Barry & Sandra from time to time since meeting Sandra on a tow path a few day over 4 years ago in 2010. We have now meet Barry, who comes from Gisborne. Sandra was away with her sister. First pottery to visit was William Edwards, a boutique pottery we visited last time and thought his work and concept were delightful. The shop was closed but on enquiry a staff member came and opened it up. While talking with her she offered to show us around. Her expertise was to mix the glasses required to match the artists colours. She took us through the whole process from the designs being perfected on the computer, making the screens and printing the transfers. Then a quick look in the factory to see the transfers being hand placed onto the clay objects. Next door is Burleigh Pottery. Last time we were here it was “potters holiday” where all the factories are closed so no tours. This time we found that they now have 2 holidays a year and you guessed it this was the week. The site of the Burleigh pottery is now owned by the Princes trust (Charles) and a few million has been spent on a visitor centre. The factory has been leased out to a commercial operator. After our hard luck story on timing a private tour was arranged and we spent a good 2 hours going through every nook and cranny. Phil the guide, who's Grandfather was there during the war, was so enthusiastic and knowledgeable I'm sure we had the best tour going.

Saturday 30 August. Nil

A day off. Didn't leave the boat all day. Did bits and pieces and a bit of cleaning.

Sunday 31 August. Nil

Wet morning. In the afternoon we walked to Tunstall and found a pub for “Sunday Roast” Best slice of Beef I have tasted this trip. A bit of supermarket shopping then back to the boat where we socialised for a while with the couple from the next boat.

Monday, 25 August 2014

August Bank holliday

Monday 25 August, zero.

Weather not good in the morning so didn't move. Rain stopped after lunch so walked the mile into Sandbach, another of those places where the locals say there is nothing there. A delightful market town with a long history.

7th Century Saxon Crosses

The Black Bear pub with thatched roof

Note the thatched bear

PS. have added photos to last post.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

A Week on

Sunday 17 August. 2 ¼ miles.

Walked back to Walton Hall to look at the Cycle Museum. A grand old gentleman showed us around his collection. Spent about an hour with him as he had been to NZ and best place was Napier. He happened to be there over an Art Deco weekend. Checked out the local pub for a Sunday Roast, didn't stay as it was just a smorgasbord. Lunch on the boat then moved off. After fighting strong crosswind for a while, moored up with the help of two other boaters in the shelter of some trees. Walked into Daresbury and went to the Lewis Carroll centre. Interesting little spot. Having missed out on Sunday roast we went to the “Ring of Bells” for a lovely al-a-carte meal.
A poster at Cycle Museum

A bit bigger than Napier Tower and no aircraft to be seen.
At a scientific centre on the way to Daresbury.

The Lewis Carroll window in Daresbury church

The Ring of Bells

Monday 18 August. 8 ½ miles.

Stopped at Preston Brook chandler just to see what they had, my sort of shop. Bought some LED bulbs and lights to reduce our power consumption. Backed the boat up the canal a bit and turned down towards Runcorn. Stopped and looked around Norton Priory. Mainly ruins but the under-croft survives from the 17th century. Continued to the end of the canal at Runcorn and walked down to two large bridges that cross the Mersey and Mersey Ship Canal then back to the boat through town. Getting late by this time and not going to stop here. Moored up at the Priory gardens for the night.

Two bridges at Runcorn
The end of the line at Runcorn

Tuesday 19th August. 5 miles, 1 tunnel, 1 lock.

Heading south again and after the tunnel strike the first lock for some time. Just a teaser with a rise of two inches. The lock takes us from the Bridgewater canal onto the Trent and Mersey canal. Spent the night above the Dutton Lock where we spent 2 nights on the Weaver river in 2010.

Looking over Dutton Lock

Moored here where this breach closed the canal for over a year, I think.

Wednesday 20th August. 4 miles, 2 tunnels.

Walked into Acton Swing bridge where we had had a delightful experience at a farm shop in 2010. All changed now and very commercial. Later on we passed the Anderton lift which puts us back into old territory. Lift closed for the night.

Thursday 21st August. 5 ¼ miles.

Had some work done on the heater as it needs to be working now with temperatures dropping.(9 degrees overnight). As we head south it is interesting remembering places we have been before. Last time we called into Marston to look at a Salt museum which was pretty derelict. This time they are spending millions on it but won't be open till next year. Who knows we may get to see it in operation. Later on we passed an boat, seeing our flag “where you from” “Napier” “so are we”. We moored up together for the night. Their house is about ½ mile from ours.

Kiwi flags together

Friday 22 August. 4 miles, 1 lock.

A short day into Middlewich through the last double lock of this trip. Bit of shopping & organised a pumpout for 0900 in the morning before all the hire boats return and get sent out again. Bank holiday weekend.

Saturday 23rd August, 5 ½ miles, 8 locks.

Up and away. If we hadn't been committed we probably would have stayed put as the rain was heavy. Pump out complete and we are number 3 for the lock. The private boats are trying to beat the hire boat rush. In a bit of a rush I slip down the stairs onto my back. Bit of a worry for a while but kept working all day. Went through the 4 locks to get clear of the congested area then moored up to wait a change in the weather. After lunch the sun comes out so off we go . A couple of OAP's talked to Diana at one lock then when we arrive at the next they are there and have opened the gates so we can go straight in. They live near the Macclesfield canal so hope to catch up with them when passing. Picked some blackberries then moored up to rest my back.

Sunday 24th August. 1 mile.

Sun shining first thing so boat has warned up after our Sunday sleep in. pleased to find my back was pretty much right again. Around lunch time we moved on to where I had expected to be last night. Moored at the first spot available then off for a Sunday Roast at the local pub. Becoming a bit of an enjoyable habit. After a quick look around Wheelock and a visit to the Farm shop we moved the boat around the corner to a better mooring as we may be here for a couple of days looking at the forecast. The view out the front of the boat is the first of the 26 locks to get us to the Macclesfield canal. Last time we did 20 in the day

A church in Weelock

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Manchester Ship Canal

Friday 15 August, 1 1/4 miles

Walked into Thelwell and down to the Penny Ferry to cross the Manchester Ship Canal, the price is now 11p. The ferry is to give continuing rights to cross over this part of the canal that was previously a public path. On the other side we set off to a bird sanctuary. The first place we checked out the gate was locked so walked on and meet a bloke with high powered binoculars and large camera lens. Yes there is a bird sanctuary but you must be a member to have a key and if I let you in I will loose my key. We reversed our tracks and continued down the side of the canal to the Latchford Locks. Crossed over and walked back to the boat for lunch and then cruised around the corner to Grappenhall for a bit of food shopping.
The Ferry Man

A Ship sized bollard


Latchford lock

Saturday 16 August 2 1/4 miles.

Stopped at Stockton heath boat yard for water & diesel. It was suggested we should go into town so after lunch we did. As the Manchester ship canal is not far away we crossed over on a swing bridge then did a few shops, back to the boat. Moved on and had to stop at "Houghs Bridge". Walked a little further down the towpath to Walton Hall Gardens. An estate now owned by the local Council. Lovely gardens and a large hall that is being renovated as a function centre.

Lots of bridges
Houghs Bridge
Walton Hall

Thursday, 14 August 2014


Thursday 14 August, 2 miles

Generally mucking around on the boat, a bit of tidying and a bit of washing the outside between rain showers that rinsed it off.

Diana in to Lymm to book a haircut then back for lunch. The haircut was at 1400. When she came back the rain looked like it had cleared for the day so we set off on a long trip to Thelwell. Moored up by ourselves in one of those nice spots.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

In your own backyard


We have meet some lovely people on our travels.
There are some I don't want to meet.
This has to be boaters rubbish.

If we want to stop people throwing their rubbish in our canals we had better stop throwing ours on their towpath

To Lymm

Tuesday 12 August. zero

We walked through Dunham Town to "Dunham Massey Hall". A National Trust 18th-C house in a setting of manicured lawns and gardens, lake and woods where the deer have freedom to roam. During WW1 the house had been used as a hospital and was presented as it was in 1918. Quite moving to read the stories and medical notes of the patients. Stamford Hospital, as it was called was in the downstairs rooms while upstairs was how the family used it during this time including one room full of the furniture that had been down stairs.
A private garden in Dunham Town

Dunham Massey Hall
downstairs ward
Operating theatre

Stanford Military Hospital flag

Wednesday 13 August, 4 miles

Set off, and soon looked across the canal to Dunham Massey Hall as we passed. Around the corner and stopped to look at the village of  Little Bollington. Quaint with a mill that had been converted. Around a few more corners and moor up in Lymm. A quick reconnaissance shows us another interesting and slightly different village which will keep Diana's camera busy.

Durham Hall from canal

Tasteful conversion of  an old corn mill.
A walkway into Lymm