Old Before Her Time. 1st October

Bancroft Bridge 8 to Marple Junction, well just about

Not far to go today, but would there be space. The traffic on the Macc may be a lot less than that on the Staff and Worcester and the Trent and Mersey at the moment but mooring spots can be full, especially when the weather isn’t too good.

Not many bridges left

We’d slept in, so we didn’t push off until gone 11am. A rather unpleasant aroma was wafting over the fields so we were glad to be moving on. Not quite a mile and a half to reach our destination.

Goyt Mill

A boat was just pulling into the first gap before Church Lane Bridge. We pulled into the other space, being very careful of our footing as we stepped off. These moorings became known to us as Dog Shit Alley as locals didn’t seem to tidy up after their hounds and autumn leaves tend to disguise the locations!

Dog Pooh Alley

With the wind still being quite strong the other boat decided to see if there was a mooring through the bridge, there was along with another. We followed avoiding being under trees for the rest of the day and pulled in alongside Tilly’s Great Wall of Marple. Well today is her 6th birthday, so she needed a treat.

Our mooring with the wall Tilly scaled when she was a whippersnapper

This afternoon we left Tilly in charge, sunning herself in one of the windows. We walked down the locks which were locked. Opening times of the locks are the same as last year to help conserve levels on the summit, so the padlock had been on for a couple of hours already. When we reached lock 9 we veered away from the canal down the steep hill towards Marple Station.

Top Lock locked

Here two gate posts stand alongside a slightly wonky tall house. They looked like they should lead to a big house, but there seemed to be no sign of it. Brabyns Hall was actually set quite a distance from the road here, on the other side of the railway. Map link. I wondered about it as we walked down to the station, we bought a duo ticket into Manchester and walked over the bridge to the other platform.

Gate posts and the gardeners cottage

There was a board telling us all about Miss Fanny Hudson a lady who helped shape Marple. On the day WW1 broke out Fanny announced that she would offer her home as a hospital, this was Brabyns Hall. Wounded soldiers returning from the Western Front were brought on hospital trains straight to Marple. By 1918 the number of wounded returning was escalating so Fanny Hudson arranged for Rose Hill House to open as an annex to the hospital.

Brabyns Military Hospital

In the 1940’s the house was passed onto the local authority, they had hoped to open it as a community centre but by 1952 it had deteriorated so much that it was demolished. Now it looks like the site of the house is just a car park, the gardeners cottage by the gates one of the last buildings to survive.

Piccadilly in the sunshine

We took the train into Piccadilly, then got the free bus 2 over to Shudehill. Across the way is where we met the London Leckenbys who were in Manchester for a few days having a look round as a possible University City for Josh in years to come. They had had difficulty booking hotel rooms, we now know due to the Tory Party Conference, so had ended up with a serviced apartment for a couple of nights.

Slightly worse for wine

Manchester was humming as if there hadn’t been a pandemic so we decided on staying in for the evening. A big red fish Reg had been bought from the fish counter under the Arndale Centre which was accompanied by salads and roast potatoes. Then followed by my very chocolatey pudding with ice cream and raspberries, very rich and very nice. There was enough left over for us to bring back to the boat for tomorrow.

The return train journey was busy, a full train and only two people other than the guard wearing masks, us. The walk back up the hill to the boat earnt us another glass of wine, well we did have to celebrate Tilly’s birthday somehow. Just a shame we’d forgotten to feed her before we went out! The other day we’d stocked up with a box of her current favourite food, only to discover that it was actually old gits food, 7+! Well it turns out that she is really rather partial to senior food a year early! We keep trying to alternate between 1+ and 7+, the whippersnapper food gets ignored, but the old gits gets devoured, even the same flavours. Old before her time!

Birthday Girl, home alone

Happy Birthday my little thug xxx

0 locks, 1.32 miles, 2 moorings, 1 bit of creative mooring, 2 trains, 2 free buses, 3 London Leckenbys, 3 bottles wine, 1 re fish, 1 slab of chocolatiness, 1 hungry birthday girl, 1 very annoying barking woofer at midnight! 6 years going on 40.


3 thoughts on “Old Before Her Time. 1st October

    1. Pip Post author

      She did have her biscuit dingding first thing along with the remains of the previous night’s food that she would have rejected otherwise

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