Thursday, June 6, 2013

Caldon to Macclesfield, with a stop along the way

Leaving our beautiful spot on the Caldon Canal at Consall Forge at a reasonable hour, we slowly made our way back towards Stoke.  Unfortunately we missed, or I should say I missed a photographic opportunity when the steam train passed Consall forge on both occasions.  On it's trip to Froghall, I was up a ridge taking a walk (not much to see though) and on the return trip we had already left Consall forge but only by 5 minutes, so the train was behind the trees and not a nice clear shot.  I did manage to see it though at it's base back in Cheddleton so this was the best I got
It was the black one :)

Just after the locks at Cheddleton we stopped to have a look at the restored flint mill and cottage.

and inside

and a couple more shots of the scenery along the way -

is this is what is considered a 'field day' - the black spots are crows and this was only some of them

and hares

I must admit that on our trip up the Caldon and even some of the Trent and Mersey that we have done this year have reminded me of the first hire boat holiday that we had in 2006 with Andrew's Mum and Dad.  Dad and I did many of the locks together and we had some serious and many not so serious chats while waiting for locks to fill and empty.  I also recall that we spent a lot of time searching for food.  In 2006, with 5 of us on the boat and a very small fridge combined with a hot summer saw us replenishing the supplies every 2 days.  No internet on the boat then so made for some interesting purchases and in places a fair bit of walking to find them.

This also reminds me that I meant to let Caro know that we re-visited the rather nice bakery in Stone, where you made Dad take you back the next morning to get some more cream buns.  I did not sample the cream buns this time but did get the cornish pasties again and still very nice.

But back to today.  We had moored not far out of Stoke, it might look better but still it would seem that boaters are not keen on stopping overnight in town and neither were we.  We did get woken by some of the other boats moored near us moving off at some ungodly hour and then a while later the Canadian Geese starting up but that was fine. We had places to go.  We returned to the Trent and Mersey, with Etruria Basin being a lot quieter than the weekend now that the festival was over. 

The offending aerial removal bridge on the way back

If Andrew is locking then that must mean I was at the tiller!

We stopped on our way out of Stoke at the Burleigh Pottery, or Middleport Potteries as it says on the side of the building.  We stopped at bridge 125 but it turned out that they had a mooring place right outside but as we only went passed that after we continued, we did not know.  Would have saved us a short walk.  Anyway I picked up a lovely bowl from there in the factory shop which I will use as a fruit/salad bowl.  Andrew's comment was where are you going to keep it? I must admit it is a bit larger than the one I really wanted but that one was twice the price and then some.  At the moment it has fruit in it and is on the counter in the kitchen, making food preparation space even smaller :(

We passed Westport Lake on our way to Harecastle Tunnel and I must say that I was tempted to overnight there as it looked so peaceful and the sun was shining.  But by the time I had made up my mind for yes or no we were passed it. We did however manage a quick 'Hi ,we read your blog', 'Nice to meet you in passing' and 'we are off to the Leeds and Liverpool' with nb Ferndale before the distance and engine noise made it impossible to continue.  Nice to see you Diane and Raymond, in person :) 

We had a short wait at Harecastle Tunnel.  The tunnel is only wide enough for one boat, so traffic can only travel in one direction.  As there were 3 boats coming towards us from the other side, we had a pleasant wait in the sun. 

Soon though we were on our way through, Andrew steering and me inside reading a book to pass the time.  40 odd minutes in all.

Entering the tunnel

A short distance after the tunnel we did a sharp left turn onto the Macclesfield which then crosses back over the Trent and Mersey and now here we are, on a new canal that we have never been on before :)

Left turn onto the Macclesfield

and over the Trent and Mersey - looking right

and left

Ramsdell Hall - we are moored up a short way past here
What could have been a beautiful sunset, is spoilt by the fact that there are NO CLOUDS. I should probably not be complaining, but I really would like a nice sunset landscape.

So we are still having fun, I hope you all are.  Stay well everyone :)


  1. It is always great to meet fellow bloggers, but a shame it was only in passing. This is certainly a great life we have : )

  2. Hope you enjoy the Macc. Least its better weather than when we came down it! There was still snow on the hills. Say hello to Brian on Coalboat Alton for us. Great guy!