So in the last few weeks we slowly brought the boat back up the Macclesfield Canal, occasionally leaving her moored in Congleton, Gurnett, Poynton and Marple in order to commute back home to Manchester and deal with work committments which were getting more pressing now summer was over and the autumn kicking in. During the journey we noticed the boat now had a new problem, which was that once the engine had been running an hour or so, it would start cutting out when it was on tickover making a slurring noise just before it did so, so going through the locks at Bosley and passing moored boats became a bit problematical and I would have to listen for this change in engine tone, then knock the boat out of gear so it could pick up again, otherwise it stopped dead leaving us adrift and needing to restart it. It never used to do this before it went into the boatyard, but by now we were far away from Stoke, so returning there and having her looked at seemed impractical. Instead we just wanted to get her to our home mooring for the winter and sort out all this stuff at our leisure over the coming Winter months. Checking the engine over, I noticed their was diesel oozing from one of the injectors. No sooner do we empty the engine bilge of diesel from one leak than a new leak springs up!
At Marple we finally went through the 16 locks there that take you onto the Lower Peak Forest Canal.
We passed the restored Samuel Oldknow Warehouse by the canal side in one of the lock pounds, which is a beautiful Grade II listed building from 1801 mentioned in a previous blog entry.
Once through the locks we were onto the Lower Peak Forest canal heading through the suburbs of Greater Manchester to our designated winter mooring. Pretty soon after leaving the locks you come to the impressive Marple Aqueduct, which runs parallel with a railway viaduct over the river Goyt.
Not recommended for vertigo sufferers as there is no barriers and a sheer drop on the right hand side.
Eventually we came to Romiley, a suburb of Stockport, which we knew well already so thought would be a good, safe place to spend the night, although it was a bit difficult finding a spot sufficently deep along the towpath for us to moor. There are lots of pubs, cafes, shops, and eateries in Romiley. Of all the pubs, our prefered one, due to it having a good period exterior and being not too bad inside either, was The Duke of York. Going away from Romiley on the towpath side of the canal there is The Spread Eagle down some steps near a church and pretty close to the canal so convenient. It’s part of a chain but is cosy enough and has a restaurant area serving food.
The next day we carried on our way stopping momentarily just past bridge 6 at Hyde where we knew there was a good pub that we’ve been in many times previously, right next to the canal and named The Cheshire Ring in connection with it. They have a massive selection of real ales and craft beers.
By evening we’d reached our winter mooring and so, greatly relieved, tied the boat up there and stayed the night to see what it was like. Back home in Manchester, the Tory Party Conference was now in town and there was big demo against them and we decided to go along on that because, in a nutshell, we don’t like them very much. Or even at all. Coincidentally, at the end of the demo some protesters congregated to hear speakers at Castlefield in the Gaint’s Basin Arm, the same place we had been moored a few months earlier.
In the evening we went to hear a speech by Jeremy Corbyn at Manchester Cathedral but it was packed full to the rafters so a crowd a several thousand gathered outside and he came out and repeated the same speech again to these waiting crowds. The atmosphere was such, that at one point I thought he might whip out a few loaves and fishes.
When we watched BBC News later, they said there had been around 200 people at the speech, which kind of confirmed my suspicions that the BBC is increasingly not able to be trusted as a reliable news source. Especially where Corbyn is concerned.
We checked back on the boat a few times and all seemed ok. So, content that the boat was now safely in her winter mooring we left her hoping to get all these niggardly problems and other jobs that need doing sorted over the winter months so we can take her out again come the Spring of 2016. Maybe or maybe not, we will carry on with this blog. It’s a lot more work than I thought it would be!