Wednesday, 12 September 2012

StaleyBridge to Marple

Monday 3rd September to Sunday 9th September 2012

11 Miles, 22 Locks, 3 Tunnels, 1 Lift Bridge for this week

Totals: 1351 Miles, 1114 Locks, 46 Tunnels, 20 Lift Bridges, 91 Swing Bridges

Monday morning and time to move on – we had enjoyed our stay in StaleyBridge – still had time to chat with some locals who were pleased to tell me (after they had uncovered that I was Australian) that their daughter and her husband had just emigrated to Perth – but not so happy to tell me that their grand-daughter was also gone – they were waiting to sell their property and were moving there as well.

They were such pleasant people to talk to that it is only fair that we should allow them into the country.

The last few locks on the Huddersfield Narrow were ahead of us to be negotiated – all without any problems and we were soon heading under the ASDA bridge – why was it named after the supermarket chain – simple really – a dirty great ASDA store had been built on top at the time before the canal had been restored.

Moving down near to the junction a couple of locals (boaters) advised that we could (read as should) moor on the non-towpath side just beyond their private moorings (where BW used to moor their boats) – enough for both of the boats.

It transpired that mooring on the other side of the canal, where there were rings left us a bit open to some of the less friendly folk to untie the boats – a practice that had happened on a few occasions previously.

We were very thankful for their advice.

The maps of the area suggested that there was a market area and a number of other shops that we might be interested in not very far away so over the next few days we did just that – the shopping area was really quite extensive.

Stella decided that in view of the continued pain in her ankle it was wise to seek further medical advice from the nearest A&E – so she was duly bundled off in a taxi (on her own, but with a book for company).

Returning within a few hours she had had X-rays and consultation – a return appointment had been arranged but appeared that there was a chipped bone and possible ligament damage.

We needed to move as we had arranged to meet up with some friends who lived in Romily, so with a clear plan to get back together we headed off – pumpout and diesel were however the first order.

Mooring at Bridge 14, we met up with Margaret and David, whom we had first met 2 years ago in Western Australia during a wine tour at Margaret River.

The lovely Margaret and equally lovely David
Their son Anthony and his wife Karen as well as Margaret’s sister Barbara and her husband John (all of whom I had previously met back in 2010 when I was still looking for a boat) joined us for dinner and we had a really enjoyable night – we can highly recommend The Duke of York for a fine meal and good ales on tap.

We had earlier explored a bit of the Romily village area – I think that it was a ploy by Diane to ensure that she could get her Saturday paper delivery (when I took the dog out for his morning walk).

Mike and Stella arrived as planned after the second hospital appointment – extensive ligament damage and the resulting "foot-in-cast" scenario was observed.

We ventured up to the Duke of York for a second day, this time with Mike and Stella; Margaret and David were on their way - a lovely fresh home-cooked apple pie and the apples for the next one were in the bag - thank you very much it was extremely delicious which had the following day.
Himalayan Balsalm which has flanked the canals almost all of the
since Huddersfield

A plan had been hatched and we didn't think that too much could go wrong with it all, for our pasage up the Marple flight on the Saturday.

We would take both boats down to the bottom of the flight and take up one boat, moor it up and come down for the second one.

All went well; we were moored up at the bottom of the locks with Chris and Geoff (nb Elsie Crisp and The Squire) ahead of us - nothing to go wrong - or so we figured.

The pound above Lock 6 was for all intent completely empty and several others down from there were well and truly down

The pound above Lock 6 looking up towards Lock 7

Looking down toward Lock 6

A collapse of the pound wall caused by excessive build up of
water in the bywash when a xmas tree found its way down this
bywash - almost certainly deliberate
 CaRT had been notified but due to some other problems in the area could not get to us until mid-afternoon. In the meantime Geoff had been to the toplock - 16 - to open the topgate and bottom gate paddles slightly to start letting water down - we were advised that it would take many hours to get the situation to a navigable stage.

Oh well - nothing much to do but wait. Diane quickly decided that a roast lunch was in order so the meal was underway - Stella, Mike, Diane and I all sat down to a delicious roast lunch with apple pie after - by which stage we could see the effects of the water coming down - pound 6 was starting to fill nicely.

Certainly a lot more water in here than when we first saw it

It was about 5pm when we got the word from the CaRT man that we could proceed if we wanted to - he did advise that it would take about 3 hours to ascend the flight and that we would need to keep 2 locks apart to help the pounds to cope.

Chris and Geoff were first away and then Mike and Stella - due to Stella's injury we had some wonderful help from Liz and Graham (nb GRandMA dot) who worked them through all 16 locks to the top finishing about 9pm in the dark with Diane and I. They had decided that they would wait for the following day.

Diane at the helm going past the fall in Pound 6

Despite everything else, the settings and the scenery around the
flight was magnificent

Finally mooring up at 9:15pm in pitch dark, Diane in jumping off to help secure the boat managed to lose her footing and roll heavily on the ground and shortly after I stepped into a hole of some description - it was very dark. Don't think we will be doing that again.

The following morning dawned bright and cheerful and it wasn't long before 12 that Liz and Graham had made it up the flight and moored near to us.

There was only one thing for all of this - to the pub for lunch. We were delighted to see Geoff there so he joined in and Chris emerged from the boat (suffering the after effects of a little food poisoning but ready for lunch).

From the tired bedraggled lot that we were the evening before we certainly set about enjoying the sunshine, the food, the ales and the Belle Vue Brass Band at the Ring'O'Bells pub right alongside the canal.

from left Chris, Liz, Graham, Geoff, Stella, Diane, Mike and Ray
all is well that ends well !

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