Monday, 31 August 2009

High and Dry

Above, Caxton on Marple service point.
Above, Goyt Mill as you leave Marple.
Caxton was left high and dry yesterday - we had run out of water! A trek by Himself to Disley Co-Op for some bottled water meant we could provide ourselves with tea and keep the dogs water bowl filled. This morning at 06.30 we slipped quietly away and headed for Marple and the services there. There was nobody about and I made quick work of the two lift and one swing bridges we needed to negotiate before turning off of the Peak Forest Canal onto the Macc. The service point (a single service point!) was clear so we moored up and proceeded to service the boat. As soon as I had some water in the tank I started the washing machine in an attempt to breach the mountain of laundry that has built up. The Meile has a fast wash cycle which is about all it is used on aboard Caxton, so I was able to get two washes complete before another boater appeared needing the service point at which we promptly decamped and left the newcomer to service his boat.
We are now moored just north of High Lanes past bridge 7 and the canal is very busy today, we have had to spring Caxton, fore and aft to dampen the movement from passing boats. As I sit here the tumble drier is working its way through our bedding and towels - next load will be the dogs towels and beds. I know we can fill our water tank at Lord Vernon's Wharf tomorrow so I intend to clear the back-log of laundry today. Now there's domestic or what?

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Gritty Walks

Yesterday Jill and I headed off towards Lyme Park, a 1400 acre deer park belonging to the National Trust. The Park is perhaps a mile and a half from the boats and criss-crossed by any number of trails and public footpaths including the Gritstone Trail, The North Cheshire Way and the The Lady Brook Valley Interest Trail.
Above and below, the Gritstone Trail. We headed off on the path you see above with thoughts or even plans? of walking the high moorland above Lyme Park House. Sadly after about a mile of rough going we came across a gate the was marked 'Bull in the Field' and also, though not mentioned, a herd of cattle and their calves. Now dogs and cows don't mix too well so after some consideration we turned and retraced our steps and went to plan B.
Another stunning view from the Trail.
Above, ancient beech trees adorn the park land and dwarf the dogs.
Above, a view of The Cage, a hunting Lodge of rather grand proportions!

Dry stone wall under repair.
Coming back into Disley en route to the boats we passed the church.
And below, a stone of heartbreak.........

James and Emery Sarah Boxall buried five of their children, the oldest being only 3 years whilst Mum and Dad made 62 and 66 respectively. There must have been a lot of heartache in that family.
Above The Rams Head which sits at the crossroads in Disley alongside the A6. Built in 1690 and formerly belonging to Lyme Park, then becoming a Coaching Inn. Good food to be had here.
So walk over, it was back to the boats, wash the Labradors on the towpath because they were distinctly odorous after finding a dead thing to roll in, then go blackberry picking. The mission today is to get some bramley apples and make a apple and blackberry crumble of course.

Move a Mile

Friday morning we moved the boats up a mile or so towards bridge 25, Higgins Clough Swing Bridge. The mission was to get both boats close to a bridge so that Graham, returning from Abingdon, and a funeral, in a hire car, could unload said car. The load, a 100 bottles of wine.
No, there is not a drink problem aboard Caxton or Matilda Rose, it was just that the wine needed a home. Graham's sister and husband are emigrating to Australia and we have bought their stock of 'club' wines. Saturday morning we were all aboard a listing Matilda Rose sorting a hundred bottles of wine before finding somewhere to 'stuff' our share aboard Caxton. That done I left Joe to watch the F1 qualifiers and the dogs and I headed off for a four hour walk in the company of Jill and the Tibetans.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Sett Valley Trail

Above, a New Mills resident, Mr Llama.
Moored at or very near New Mills has provided access to some stunning walking Country, there are no end of trails that you can get on from here and the Sett Valley Trail is just one of them. The River Sett joins the River Goyt in the Torrs Gorge in New Mills and the trail has been created by using the bed of a redundant railway. Leaving the towpath and cutting across two countryparks at New Mills, we were able to walk into the Torrs Gorge and the start of the Sett Valley Trail.
Above, the switchback trail that provides access from the Torrs Gorge into the town of New Mills and below the condition of much of the trail.

The Sett Valley Trail takes you into the picturesque village of Hayfield which is one of the access points for Kinder Scout.
The Pack Horse above is a gastro pub but two ramblers and their four legged companions were welcome. We sat outside in the sunshine and had a pint and the dogs were brought a bowl of water, how kind...
We had just set out to walk back to New Mills and the boats when the heavens opened and there was a dash to a bus shelter to avoid the deluge. Spookily a bus came along. 'Two adults and four dogs to New Mill please' - well it's all another experience for the dogs don't you know...


Just about the only thing that frustrates me here aboard Caxton is broadband Internet signals; or lack of them... Plug in, connect, high speed and two seconds later it is 3g and dropping out. I don't know how many times this week I have tried to blog only to find nothing will load or everything appears to be saved when it isn't - gnash. I have T-Mobile and Joe has 3 - I am reading that Vodaphone have a good reputation as well so when it is contract renewal time I will be looking at whether Internet providers have improved or can even deliver on their promised service.
Frustrated of the Cut..

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Great Scott!!!

Water cooled two stroke motorcycles circa 1929. I stumbled across a Scott Motorcycle Rally in Buxton last Saturday.

These motorcycles were manufactured in Saltaire and went out of production in 1950. The early examples, 1913 - 1917 were winners of the TT races in the Isle of Man apparently achieving an average speed of 58mph - wow!
I didn't even recognise the name so I know nowt but for those that do, enjoy the photo's

New Mills Old Mills

Yesterday, late morning, we wandered into the town of New Mills so named because, yes you've guessed, there was a 'new mill' built here; five actually. The new is now a bit if a misnomer though because these mills were built a couple of hundred years ago.

New Mills has a Heritage Trail and an Information Centre which are well worth a visit. The Heritage Trail takes you through the town to the Victorian Station (1864) and then down a steep path into the gorge where the mills were built to use the fast flowing waters of the River Goyt and Sett.

Above you can see the Torrs Millennium Walkway built with lottery monies and subscriptions an engineered by Stan Brewster who died in the London bombings in 2005.

The mottley crews of NB Matilda Rose and NB Caxton 'cepting me who was behind the camera of course.
The viaduct built in the late 1800's after some poor man had lost his life trying to cross. The Coroner was not impressed that the local authorities had not built a proper bridge across so this was the result; 94 feet high and nine months work to build.

Above, the double arched Church Road Bridge.
In the afternoon after a heavy shower of the wet stuff I walked down the hill from where Caxton is moored with the two dogs into the Riverside Country Park. This park extends for two miles along the river is is a bit special as you can see..

If you are passing this way do stop for a couple of days here as the walking and access to good walking is very good.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Bye, Bye Bugsworth

We pulled pins and moved out of Bugsworth Basin this morning. Some of you might have wondered why Caxton has been loitering at Bugsworth when there is a 48hr mooring restriction and the reason is that NB Matilda Rose, our travelling companions have had to deal with a family bereavement. Both boats were given permission to stay and we have shown our appreciation to the Inland Waterways Protection Society, the custodians of Bugsworth Basin.
We serviced Caxton a moved gently north up the Peak Forest Canal for a couple of miles mooring at Br 29 New Town. Above, Caxton at our current mooring, and below, the view from the boat. Not bad is it?
Walking along the canal this morning with the dogs I had time to take a photo of the live willow bank (see below) that has been planted in places here.
See also where perhaps it needs a bit of cutting back...

Buxton Tourist

Yesterday morning I left Joe with the dogs on Caxton and headed off to Buxton. Below, Brian Jarrett and Ghost his dog. We met Brian and Ghost as we were heading off to Whaley Bridge to catch the train.
Above, Whaley Bridge Station festooned with flowers.
A room in the Buxton Museum and Art Gallery.

Above, The Crescent built by the 5th Duke of Devonshire in the 1780's when 'taking the waters' was moving into the height of fashion.
Formal gardens and Pavillion.

A Brass Band raising funds in the High Street. The age range of band members was very wide and illustrated that 'northern bands' are alive and kicking.

The Thermal Baths above.
The Old Hall Hotel, rather posh...
The botanical Gardens once a place that the rich perambulated in and now full of 'riff-raff' like me... Below, The Opera House.
I did add some details bout Roman and Regency Bath but this crashed and I lost the lot so xcan I be asked to do it again, nay.