Sunday, 31 August 2014

Two for the Price of One.

We’re  making our way back along the same route (for a while at least) as we used on our journey into Manchester, so we’re pretty familiar with everything around us at the moment.


The duplicate locks at “Heartbreak Hill” are a God send as it’s often the case that one will be empty for you.  The six we did when we left our mooring yesterday morning near Church Lawton were very easy.


We took on water at Red Bull services and, while waiting, there’s a very nice ‘themed’ garden house (and garden) opposite to enjoy.

P1060238`The officially named Pool Lock aqueduct takes the Macclesfield Canal over the top of Trent and Mersey Canal.  It’s been standing for 150 years or so and  there wasn’t a drop of water leaking through as we passed under!


We always like to take a picture of our blue boat floating on the most orange water you’ll find as it’s around here.  The iron oxide leaches into the canal from the surrounding underground springs.   The north portal of the Harecastle Tunnel waits for just us to enter.  Being “Billy No Mates” with no other boats to join us we had a pleasant trip through the tunnel, taking 32 minutes.


The now disused original tunnel was opened in 1777 and was one and three quarter miles long. Teams of “leggers” had to lie on their backs and walk the boats through.


This is what happens in long tunnels – Doug takes to vacuuming or ironing.


Travelling back through Stoke, what’s left of the old potteries at Longport and Middleport provide an iconic view into the past.


At Etruria our paths crossed (for the first time) with fellow blogger Jennie on nb “Tentatrice”.  It was good to meet up and chat. 


Not all is well with the locks around these parts!  One of the original wooden construction beams is still visible beneath this hole in the lock wall.


Quite by chance (pun intended) we caught up with Barry and Sandra on nb “Areandare” and pitched up with them at Stone for for the night.  We were treated to their generous hospitality and sampled their home brewed wine.  They are licenced canal traders and sell the wine kits from the boat.


This morning dawned onto an auspicious day for us.  It’s James’ birthday (21 again!) and also the 2nd anniversary of our Civil Partnership.  Our thanks to everyone for their best wishes and kind words for both occasions.  James was treated to the best gift ever this morning – he woke up and still had a pulse!

We said our farewells to Barry and Sandra as they waved us on our way, hope we meet up again soon.


  1. Happy Birthday James
    Happy Anniversary Boys

    Hope you have a great day
    Kevin xx & Harry xx

  2. Congratulations to you both. Glad you enjoyed Manchester, but you certainly seem to be in a hurry to get away!

  3. So glad you finally got to meet Sandra & Barry - long overdue!

  4. Was that really two years ago? Happy Birthday and Congratulations.

  5. I am a couple of days (or so!) behind, but it was good to meet up with you both albeit very briefly. Shame I did not have my camera in my pocket! I have just been over your travels two years ago up to Droitwich (our home territory) and am so glad you discovered the Gardeners Arms - you certainly found the right place to eat. Jennie nb Tentatrice