Thursday, 21 February 2013

Tunnel Lamp Trio

Since buying our boat in 2003, we have had three different tunnel lamps.

The first was a heavy lamp, possibly a search light type. The switching system was housed in the back of the light and had siezed, so I had by-passed it. However, the reflector and bulb holder were also bady corroded and when embarrassed by it's intermittant working, I eventually decided to replace it.

 n.b. Song of the Waterways in March 2003, just after we had bought it. Here moored at the late Geoff Dennison's berth on the North Oxford Canal. Note the tunnel lamp has a bow mast light. Here I am running the engine for the first time? Also, note the boat came without a bow tip fender – we ran down to Braunston that Easter to get fitted up with fenders and ropes by Pete at Tradline Rope and Fenders.
So in August 2009, I went the route of economy and bought a car spotlight!
This time mounted direct onto the front cratch board.

Coming down the South Stratford Canal.
First long cruise since retiring.
The car lamp was always an interim measure. So via the amazing e-bay, Chris sourced our third and current tunnel lamp.

This is a Butler spotlight, probably off a Massey Ferguson tractor, although I've seen a reference to them being used for the Ford Popular car.

When up on the Leeds and Liverpool last summer, Adam from PB Mechanicals mounted it with new wiring and re-paint to look a simple, understated and yet effective lamp - much more in keeping with the age and style of the trad.

Coming through Fool's Nook Swing Bridge, doing the 'long' Cheshire Ring due to the breach at Dutton – October 2012
  Close up of the Butler lamp – with the old light fitting/holes still in place!

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Another Wintry Walk - 5th February

I had intended to meet up with the Ramblers, though unbeknown to me, it had been cancelled due to the snow. As it happened, the road into Macclesfield was closed by the Police due to a serious crash, I stopped at Oakgrove.

So parking at Fools Nook, I started off along the Macclesfield Canal towards Lyme Green.

Of possible interest to boaters, there were 5 boats moored along here to Bridge 47, 3 had fires lit and 2 weren't licensed! That makes 40% - a lot higher than the Canal Trust 4%!

Bridge 47

People who know this stretch will recall when this swing bridge was re-instated by (I think?) the Macclesfield Canal Society. There has been an energetic discussion about the footpath Right of Way and the bridge used to be closed to boats and needed opening for navigation. This was the case the last time we came through (September 2012).

Today, Bridge 47 was open, with no sign of a chain for walkers to pull it across to close it.
How would you get across? A One-way footpath!

The optimistic footpath way-mark!
Walking on, the view opens out after Bridge 46 – they say that the Macclesfield Canal is quite beautiful, I suspect living near/on it for all these years we took it for granted.

Coming back now the view is pretty wonderful.

Tegg's Nose Country Park in the foreground with Macc Forest behind
Using local knowledge, I walked across the fields into Sutton Lane Ends and headed up the road towards the Gritstone Trail.

  The feeder from the River Rossen that feeds Sutton Reservoir


There was plenty of water coming through
Having reached the Gritstone Trail, I turned east, uphill and onto very wet fields – although they were covered in a thin layer of snow. Although the path up to Ridge Hill and the Hanging Gate is not far, it took a while as I slithered around in the mud!

 Looking east

Looking west – any guesses where this is taken from?

It now started to snow and it was blowing hard as I descended back into Sutton and picked up the path through to Sutton Reservoir.

  Who went there? The bridge over a feeder stream

 Sutton Reservoir is full! This small reservoir is also known locally as Turk's Head Reservoir – I don't know why? Built in 1838 to hold about 98 million gallons (some 7 years after the Macclesfield Canal was opened).

Turks Head Reservoir – Telford's planning and William Crossley engineering

Looking back to the dam

Plenty of water in the overspill

This stream runs under the road and canal

My last stretch back along the canal was via the newish footbridge (Bridge 48A) over the canal. This was sponsored by the (new) owners of Canal Cottage when it changed hands some years ago. Boaters may remember access to the cottage used to be via a floating pontoon that looked quite precarious and narrowed the channel being moored on the bend!

Canal Cottage from the Footbridge

The newish Footbridge 48A

Finally back to Oakgrove and the car.

I reckon to have covered about 8 miles and climbed the 550 feet up to the Hanging Gate.

The Fools Nook Inn – originally called the Royal Oak dating from the late 1820's when the canal was built. Housed in cottages, these were demolished in 1841 to build the new pub of today. It was not until 1962 that the pub was re-named the Fools Nook.
Sadly, the pub has been closed since been flooded out just before Christmas with a flash flood.

  A wintry walk indeed!