The C Word. 27th September

Hall Green Lock to Bosley Bottom Lock 12

No rush this morning, mainly because it was raining! We laid in bed with our Saturday newspaper as the temperature outside dropped, it was cold. Other boaters were out and about. We heard the click click click of the lock paddle gear being wound a few times. On one occasion this was soon followed by shouting, the sound of an engine that got closer far too quickly to be passing moored boats and the approach to a lock! We peeked out of the window to see a boat very close to us. Then the name came past as the chap at the helm carried on shouting to the boat that was leaving the lock to leave the gates open. It was the ramming boat from the Staffs and Worcester the other day. Inside Oleanna we both used the same expletive.

We pulled back and filled the water tank as the rain eased off and eventually the sun came out. Hooray! We have a schedule to keep to and need to do around 4 hours a day, come rain or shine, so it was better that it was shining.


Today we pootled onwards, the long pound all nine miles of it heading towards Bosley Locks. Currently there are time restrictions on the locks to help conserve water on the summit pound so we’d not be able to pass up the locks today. Our aim however was to moor on the River Dane Aqueduct so as to be ready for the flight in the morning.


With a zoom meeting arranged with the Production Manager of panto we needed to keep going and not stop for lunch, which suited Tilly better.


Soon we were going under the first of the lovely bridges. Oh those curves!

Mow Cop, one day we’ll go up there

A first glimpse of Mow Cop, maybe next time we’ll actually walk up there if we can find enough puff.


Bridge 87 not only has the lovely curves, it also is built on a skew and for some reason the stonework seems to be more eroded than on other bridges. Maybe the stone came from a softer layer.

Ramsdell Hall and Tilly’s railings. We’d thought of carrying on to moor here yesterday, but chances were that it would have been full when we got here. Of course today it was far too early to stop at such a nice mooring.

Framed curves

The curvy bridges come thick and fast, all lined up, framing the view up the canal and themselves.

Maybe Billy was a tight rope walker

Billy Tights Bridge still makes us wonder how it got it’s name. He sounds like he should have been part of Mr Kites performing troop on Sergeant Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band. PS this used to be a swing bridge.

Lamberts Lane Bridge 77 is the first snake/roving bridge. Not quite as pleasing as those in Macclesfield and Marple but a good preview of what’s to come. The great white wall of Congleton then shows it’s face opposite the visitor moorings.

Today a large bough of tree lay across the towpath and into the canal. Last nights wind must have brought this down. Already parts of it had been sawn up and stowed on the bows of surrounding boats. Thankfully it doesn’t look like anyone had been moored beneath it.

Over the aqueduct to bridge 76 another snake bridge, followed by a busy stretch of moorings below the pub. Bridges after bridges follow, criss crossing road and rail high above us.

A long straight stretches out in front. In the distance we could see a boat heading away from us, then one coming towards. The water point had a couple of work boats tied at the end, a large pile of dark aggregate looked like it was going to be loaded for towpath works.

I waved, but no Ben Tom

We passed a boat with a snoozing cat in the cratch, could that have been Betty or Olga? Shame not to have seen Ben to say hello.

Blanche back on her mooring

At Crossley Hall Farm, where the painted cow used to sit, I was glad to see NB Blanche on it’s mooring. Boatwif’s blog of a few days ago had suggested the boat no longer moored there, but they must have been out and about. A great shame the cow has gone though.

Moo cows

Coming towards us had been several boats over the last hour or so and we half expected there to be a few moored below the Bosley Flight. One boat faced away from the locks at the end of the moorings, the rest was empty. Just where to pull up? I suggested we should sit at the end nearest the locks, claiming pole position for the morning. The views still pretty good.

A while after we arrived the hire boat we’d followed through the tunnel yesterday arrived, shouting to make themselves heard over their engine. They were getting ready to climb the flight. Mick popped out to give them the bad news that the locks were closed. ‘WHAT!’ was the reply. He then mentioned it was to do with saving water and the lady calmed down a touch. They’d been wanting to reach Macclesfield before winding to return to Stone, if they waited till the morning for the locks they wouldn’t have enough time to get back to base. After a while they ascended the first lock winded and headed back towards Congleton a pint at the pub to console themselves.

Pole position

Time to get ready for my zoom meeting, which got postponed by an hour. Mick made himself scarce as had Tilly so that there were no distractions. Finally I had a meeting that could/should have happened at least a month ago. Details of the set finally being discussed. Currently there is nowhere for me to do a weeks painting booked. One possible in a village nearer Banbury than Chipping Norton, ideal if the boat was on the South Oxford this year, but not so good when she’ll be much much further north.

Tilly and The Cloud

If anyone knows of a dry, reasonably warm space with lights and water near Chipping Norton that I could use for a weeks painting from the 18th October, please shout out. I’m clean and tidy and would make you some sausage rolls as a thank you!

PS The C word today was Curve

We’ve got Owain back!

0 locks, 8.78 miles, 44 bridges, 1 wet start, 1 dry day, 1 full water tank, 220 curves, 3.5 hours! 2 pounds low, 5 sets of gates closed, 4m or 4.15m? 4 or 5 D rings? 1 problematic sight line, 1st in line for the morning, 1st top bought, 0 other boats.