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Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Many mills to Marple.

The forecast was correct, with the morning dawning bright blue but 1deg. Luckily I had heeded the advice of the Met. Office and bought a bag of coal, and more to the point had set the stove to stay lit through the night, so we woke up to a very comfortable boat.

Just through Bridge 37 are new ponton 2 day moorings, new to us that is. I suppose it was easier than moving the debris that stopped you getting close to the side.

The sun shining on the gorse on the hills drew the eye to the gilded sight of the slopes above, and more views to see. No snow overnight though.

On the approach to Bollington is the Adelphi Mill. The mill was built by the Swindells family in 1856. They were owners of other mills in the area. It started as a cotton mill and then converted to silk before going back again. During WWII the mill was producing parachutes for aircrew before finally stopping production in 1960's. It was then taken over by Britax for making webbing straps for automotive use. They in turn stopped in the 1980's and now is a mixed use property. It is really good that it has been saved and certainly adds gravitas to the town. 

The second mill by the canal was also built by the Swindells, in connection with the Brooke family in 1834. It had five stories for spinning, 2 for weaving and an engine house. It was further extended in 1841, 1854 and 1877. To survive after this date the local mills had to specialise to survive. The Clarence Mill went on to make fine cotton counts for use in lace and muslins. In 1936 they were spinning silk and then in 1946 they were making 'Sylex', a thread so fine it was like silk. The mill closed in the 1970's but survives like the Adelphi Mill the other side of he aqueduct.

Looking back from the aqueduct is White Nancy that sits atop a local hill. It was built in 1817 to celebrate victory at the Battle of Waterloo by a local farmer. It is named after one of his daughters, or after the horse that carted the material to the site! It was unpainted until about 1926 and is normally white. However for special celebrations it gets suitably adorned. We stopped for fuel at Braidbar boats. Not the cheapest at 73p but needs must. I can now boast that I have had 'dealings' with Braidbar boats, and I didn't have to polish the paintwork before they would allow me alongside either. I saw a No. 146 is that the newest?

At High Lane this bridge marks the entrance to a short arm that was originally a T shape, but is now L shaped. The missing arm lay to the south where coal was brought from pits on a railway. The pits closed by 1914 and the arm was filled in with pit waste. The other arm was used for transhipments by road and this continued up until between the Wars. Pickford's were known to carry barrels of hats made in Stockport, bound for London. By 1943 the boaters that were using the arm for mooring banded together to form the North Cheshire Cruising Club.

The outskirts of Marple are heralded by the Goyt Mill. This mill was relatively late, being built in 1905 as a steam powered spinning mill. At it's peak in 1930 it employed 500. It closed in 1959 but went on to produce plastic foam, but is now small unit lets.

 We topped for water at the services at Marple and dumped the rubbish before heading to the junction and turning to back down the Peak Forest to moor opposite the club there. So that is the Macclesfield Canal completed once again.
A lovely house from where to watch the comings and goings at the junction. The Marple looks start their descent to the left.

There is a terrace of new houses the other side of the Charity boat moorings and the old covered warehouse is getting even more decrepit. The The Canal Company Offices right by the bridge appear to be under developement at the moment, and I wonder if the old plans to develop the wharf are going ahead after many years delay. 

After a bowl of parsnip soup we headed into town to track down the Post Office. The sun on some hill were in juxtaposition with the heavy black clouds that gave forth snow/hail for fleeting minutes. But we have managed to stay dry all day.

I was impressed that the street furniture represented the canal too.

On the way back there was this heron and crow that seemed to be having a bit of a slagging match. In the end the heron flew off being dive bombed by the crow. The Regent Cinema in Marple has the 'The Finest' showing for £5 so we will spend the evening out. That must mean there is no Master Chef on the TV!

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