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Monday, 3 June 2013

On to the Peak Forest Canal

It has turned into a bit of a marathon today. On paper it shouldn't have been too long but with the lines of moored boats it was accomplished at tick over speed just about. We stopped for a while at High Poynton. This is where Braidbar narrow boats are constructed. The premises are not as fancy as their boats though. We jumped off to have a look at the Nelson Pit Visitor Centre. It turned out to be limited but interesting. Unfortunately The Anson Engine Museum is closed on Monday's. This are has a very long history of mining but it wan't until the Industrial Revolution took off that the production got up to industrial scales. Eventually however the seams got to small to be economical and the cost of keeping the pits dry became too high. By 1935 all the local pits were closed. You wouldn't really know these days that they had ever been there.


A rare part of the Norther Macclesfield Canal with no moored boats.

We continued on and as there was nobody on the water point at Marple we stopped and filled up. We then came through some narrows, under a last sinuous turner over bridge and then at the junction. We turned right, turning left would be straight into the first of 16 locks lowering the canal down towards the Cheshire Plain and Manchester.


Marple Junction.


More curves than Gina Lollobrigida!

There are three bridges, two lift and one swing, that Helen had to hop off and open for us to pass. The canal is quite narrow and with the bottom coming up towards the top near the sides. There are lovely, enticing views of the hills on either side of the valley of the River Goyt and seem to draw you ever further upwards, although there are no locks at all on the canal.


View to the East from the Peak Forest Canal.

As we approached Newtown/New Mills there was a lovely smell drifting along the canal. This is the Swizzels-Matlow factory. They still make Refreshers, Parma Violets, Drumstick lollies and Love Hearts, as well as other lines. Matlows was started on a market stall in London  in 1920. In 1933 they amalgamated with a rival and eventually became Swizzles-Matlow. In 1940 the Blitz meant that the factory had to relocate and ended up in New Mills and it is still going strong here. There is no factory tour though. They should try it as I reckon they would be well attended. There isn't even a factory shop! Still we are still  munching our way through the goodies that Sue left us the other day so maybe don't need any more.


Not Quite the Wonka Factory, or Cadbury's Bournville but there is plenty of treats coming out of this unpresupposing building. Swizzles-Matlow Factory.

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