Thursday, 22 September 2011

Separate Ways

After watering up at the last tap on the Macclesfield Canal ‘Toulouse’ and ‘Chance’  set forth on their final trip together (this year anyway).002

‘Chance’ and ‘Toulouse’ leaving this morning.


Soon we arrived at the Harecastle tunnel.  At 2926 yards long it’s pretty impressive.  It takes about 45 minutes to get through – there are officials at either ‘portal’ and you get booked in and told when you can enter.  The other impressive thing, at the North portal, is the colour of the water – a very bright orange!  Which clashed terribly with ‘Chance’s’ colour!


The North portal of the tunnel.  To the right of the picture is Brindley’s original tunnel which required the boats to be ‘legged’ through – men on the backs with their legs against the tunnel wall and they walk the boat through.  The new tunnel, originally with a towpath, was opened in 1827 as the old one caused too many hold ups.


Towards the middle the tunnel ceiling gets quite low!

After the tunnel we sped onwards towards the pottery towns of Middleport and Stoke.  A pitiful sight these days with lots of the surviving buildings urgently needing restoration.


Longport Potbank – a beautiful bottle kiln looming large over the canal.


We journey on until it’s time for the two boats to go their separate ways.  We’ve had a fantastic 10 days travelling with Janet and Gerald on ‘Toulouse’ – thank you for some great times!


We now travel alone down through the locks at Etruria – past this wonderfully refurbished Bone Mill.


Not all the sights are wonderful but there you are!

We took very little time to pass through the attractive village of Hem Heath and, just beyond bridge 104, close to the Wedgwood Pottery museum we arrived at one of our favourite mooring sites. Lovely open countryside views and it was sunny (and windy) – just right to dry the washing!



Our new neighbours came round for a drink!!


What could be better at the end of the day? – after cleaning down the boat that is!


  1. H there ! I have been following your journey along the Macc Canal – looked great ! Shame you didn’t stop in Macc you could have had a cuppa with my Dad – it is my home town but we are currently living in Sydney, Aus.
    Hope to meet you next year sometime – on the ‘Cut’ – we’ve just gotta sell our house first !
    You can see our blog for more details
    Elaine x

  2. Hi Elaine and Paul

    Thanks for the comment, we do read your blog, we found it after Paul visited Joe and Lesley on Caxton. We thoroughly enjoyed the Maccie. haven't travelled along it for 3 years. Good Luck with your house sale, are you looking at having a new boat built? Hope to meet up one day in the not too distant future. Best Wishes Doug

  3. Hi Guys
    Definitely second hand, just too far away to have one built. Even more so after the Ben Harp episode!