Steppin’ out; Day 5, Fourlane-ends to Congleton.

Hello out there, a bloody long day today. Set off at 20 to 9 and we headed for Bollington as we needed some diesel and a pumpout. We were level when we saw the signs so carried on as reversing wasn’t an option. We found a boatyard in Macclesfield, Buxton Rd Wharf who deserve a mention as he was really helpful. Pump out done he said right reverse round into the basin. I looked at him like he had two heads, well I would have been there about three hours, thankfully he said he’d reverse it round for me if I liked. I certainly liked. He also explained what he was doing and how, this was very helpful and I know a bit more now about reversing. As we were travelling along I asked Steve a guarded question as I didn’t want to worry him or anything but I thought it looked like the canal and the towpath were running slightly down hill. He agreed it certainly looked a bit like that. A strange feeling when our Grammar school physics teacher of 40 years ago had explained basically that this can’t happen. Does anyon know if there is a gravitational anomally any where near Macclesfield.


Off we set and made good time through some lovely countryside. A nice canal is the Macclesfield. Stopped for lunch which was home made soup that Linda had brought with her. Went down a treat it did. After eating a warming meal we encountered an electric controlled swing bridge which we negotiated well as someone was coming the other way just as we got there so they operated it and let us through.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Then we came to the Bosley locks. The first we had encountered going down hill. Lovely views and nice locks and we met someone coming up after our first lock so they were all set for us going down. Quite deep but easy to use and quick.

We decided to press on with the intention of hopefully getting through Stoke tomorrow as we have been told it’s not the best of places to moor overnight. We trucked on and got to Congleton which doesn’t seem a wonderful place for mooring either. One of our guide books says to watch out for submerged obstacles at Congleton wharf and we certainly had a bit of bother as the rudder and prop kept knocking into things at certain places. The book was written 20 yrs ago, have they not had time to remove the submerged objects then.

A long day came to an end, 16 miles and 12 locks, when we moored up in the middle of Congleton golf course. You should have seen the look on the head greenkeepers face, it was a picture as we tied up to the fourth holes flagstick. The canal is shallow here and we could only get to about a foot from the bank but that seems close enough. Greased the sterngland. Mopped out the engine compartment and sat down to tea/dinner at about 7.30. Now a glass of Bushmills malt and a splash of Weston’s organic still cider with the Stones this time gently in the background.

The Harecastle tunnel and Stoke tomorrow. Oh Lord look after us as we may need all the help we can get.

God bless you all. Nige, Steve and Linda.

Linda says goodnight we’re off for Forty Winks. I’m not accepting responsibility for that one.

Useful Information
Our Nige

55 years old. I work in registered care as a care assistant and have my house up for sale and when sold will be buying a narrowboat of some kind to live on. Been a bit of a dream of mine for many years. Don't know for certain if I'll like it but I'm really looking forward to it and think that I will. I have been looking at boats and reading and talking to people over the last 6 to 9 monts and sometimes I feel like I might know what layout I want. I will be on a restricted budget of about 25 to 35k and will be looking for advice and tips to help me make a fair start on the water.

Paul Smith - Friday,26 April, 2013

As these are your first downhill locks, it’s worth mentioning a common mistake made by those new to narrowboats; make sure that your boat is always in front of the cill marker. I’m sure you know about the cill marker already but it’s worth mentioning because you’ll have a whole lot of trouble if you let your boat drift behind it and get the rudder stuck on the cill.

Are you still enjoying the experience?


richardhula - Friday,26 April, 2013

If it helps I had no issues staying overnight in Stoke. I tied up to rings near other boats just before the pub and marina. There is a Wedgewood pottery factory outlet back a little on the other side although it still wasn’t open at 0915 weekday when I investigated.


pearley - Friday,26 April, 2013

richardhula said
If it helps I had no issues staying overnight in Stoke. I tied up to rings near other boats just before the pub and marina. There is a Wedgewood pottery factory outlet back a little on the other side although it still wasn’t open at 0915 weekday when I investigated.

We’ve moored there on a number of occasions with no trouble at all. You can also moor at Etruria top lock just past the CRT yard towards the Caldon.

However, if you want a mooring with views then Westport Lake about a mile after coming through Harecastle Tunnel.

After you’ve cleared Stoke there are no no-go areas until you get to Burton.

In terms of pubs, if you have time then visit the Blue Bell at Hardings Wood Junction where the Macc joins the T & M. There is the China Gardens at the moorings Richard mentions but it is a chain pub. In Stone you have the Star canalside and the Swan about 100 yards walk.





Comments are closed