Wednesday, 15th May
It was still raining this morning when we left our mooring just over the aqueduct at Marple for a run along a deserted Peak Forest Canal to Dukinfield Junction.Mark was coming by train from Oxford to join us and he arrived shortly afterwards, having walked up the cut from Guide Bridge station.
We reached Fairfield Junction at 13.00 and started what proved to be a trouble-free descent through the 18 locks to Manchester, although with each paddle needing to be unlocked and re-locked behind us it was a slow and frustrating business at times.
Nicholson's Guide had warned us about bridge 21, which is very low, but I think Bridge 6, which nobody warns you about is even lower and I had fears for the flue pipe of my Morco water heater, which protrudes a good eleven inches above the cabin roof.
I remember the Ashton Canal from the bad-old-days when it passed through a derelict post-industrial landscape and you reputedly took your life in your hands with every passage. But I was shocked at just how much regeneration had taken place in the short time since I last came this way about eight years ago. I've lots of photos of some of the more stunning examples of re-development but perhaps because I'm having to use my phone as a modem to post anything at the moment I can't seem to get any photos on to the blog again today.