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Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Another leg of the Cheshire Ring completed.

Last nights film. 'Their Finest Hour' was very good. I laughed out loud and had a little weep a couple of times and enjoyed a film about making a war film with in a film about making a war film! The Theatre is also a throw back to the old days. £5 to go back in time, but much neater and no smoking. I was a little flummoxed when the film stopped at one point, but quickly realised that it was the ice cream break!

We got underway about 0930. We had heard a few boats moving before us but didn't know where they were heading. Once we got in the top lock we found that there was a single hander ahead of us, so no records will be broken today. Only 8 miles to Dukinfield Junction but not so quick.

That is the first lock done and on the way down. What with going a couple of locks down to help out the boat ahead and closing his gates etc etc I'm afraid I didn't get many photos of our trip down the locks today.

After a few locks you pass Oldknow's Warehouse. He was one of the promoters of the Peak Forest Canal as it would obviously help in his business. I don't think I had really taken in the fact that there was a covered berth when we have passed before.

Helen has been spending a bit of time at the bottom of locks, where the sun doesn't shine, so has been feeling the cold. Where as I was stripping off layers of clothes as I went.

After the main road at Lock 9 the canal becomes much more rural and enjoyable, as there are still plenty of folk about to chat to. By the top locks there are mainly locals who have seen it all before and not too interested. Further down there are the walkers and visitors, and they are always good for a chat. Everywhere is greening up now.

Almost there, just two  more to go I think. There was a tug and butty following us down with several crew, who when we met up had a quiet winge about us going slowly. I was unusual calm and said nothing other than I am helping a single hander down as well as our own boat. They didn't offer to close up my bottom gates for me, just lingered above until I had done it. Not very friendly. We did see a strange, to us, bird. We thought it may be turtle dove, but it may have been a female cuckoo!

The lone boater stopped for his lunch at the bottom so we were ahead of the pack as we passed over the Goyt Aqueduct with the railway viaduct next to it. It all has reminders of  Chirk on the Llangollen Canal.

Soon afterwards we were entering the Hyde Bank tunnel. Normally we would moor up just before here following coming down the flight, but we continued onwards to the Junction.

Next came Woodley Tunnel which is very definitely single working. The fog hasn't descended in the picture, it is our stove as I have just put some wood on it.

This company started in 1874 when a partnership between Andamson and a Henry Booth was formed as a boliermakers. Soon after this building was built, in 1887, Henry Booth retired but Admanson continued. Next to this part of the factory are another two large extensions dates 1898 so business must have been good. They started to make factory overhead cranes at the turn of the century. In 1904 his two sons joined the business and Joseph  passed away in 1920. The business carried on though and diversified as industrial needs changed and in 1960 they were making boilers, electric cranes and doing press and welding work. As far as I can tell they are still in business today. 

This is the Peak Forest Canal version of a turn over bridge at Hyde with a cast iron bridge.

The last bridge on the canal is this lift bridge. It was just what Helen needed, a bit of exercise, to get her warmed up.

After the Woodley Tunnel we swapped the Goyt valley for the Tame valley. There seems to be a linear country park along the way, along with a massive sewage works as you get closer to the junction. Both are quite steep and wooded. Here the first view of the Portland Basin Chimney, or more properly the Junction Mills chimney, which was built in 1867 and is 210 ft high. This are must have been fantastic in those days as every time a boat passed there must have been some new structure of building to see that wasn't there the last time! The bridge is a rail line.

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