Friday, April 23, 2010

Furness Vale to Whaley Bridge

Looking across the canal this morning I noticed the amount of effort that must have gone into stabilising the opposite bank.  There are several hundred yards of willows planted and interwoven to hold back any slippage.

The level crossing from the entrance to the marina and in the background the pub that was visited last night.  Nice beer and a welcome.

The first thing I had to do today was get the bilge pump sorted.  At Furness Vale is the company TW Marine. It was unfortunate that the pump behaved like a computer ie it didnt do what was expected off it.  I went through the usual routine by making sure it pumped water while connected to the battery and that the hose was clear but what ever I did the pump would not push it through the hose. 

In the end I went back to TW Marine and asked their advice.  Without further ado they replace the now manky   pump with a larger model for which I am forever grateful - it Worked. I just paid the difference in price.  The annoying thing is that when they set the pump up in a bucket of water it pumped like a good one. So if you want help, advice and a sympathetic ear call in at Furness Vale and TW Marine who will pull out all the stops to get you moving again.

While I was sorting out the pump a hire boat went past.  I had mentioned on Facebook that although it was St Georges day today it was not really noticeable.  Well some people were making the most of the decent weather and having a booze up cruise. :-)

So its back to the mooring, fit the pump and get ready to move on to Whaley Bridge where Ian has sent my Premium Bond winnings.   Its not all bad news for me.

No sooner had I got on board but the coalman went past.  He is off to Whaley Bridge too.

On the way the canal sticks to the side of the hill and now and again views up and down the valley are there to enjoy.

And if it comes to that the locals seem to be a friendly lot.

As you approache Whaley Bridge the canal becomes a bit congested with long lines of moored boats.

Once we reached the basin there was a snag in the shape of someone that had little thought for other canal users.  The book says that you shouldn't run the engine in gear while charging your batteries. However this pratt is running his astern which throws the water to the otherside of the canal making a turn round somewhat difficult in a limited space.

Whaley Bridge

The market town of Whaley Bridge is the terminus of the Upper Peak Forest Canal. Originally it was the start of a railway line that carried goods over the Pennines to the Chesterfield Canal.
At Whaley Bridge, the three 'Rs' meet - road, rail and river, in a triangular site built especially to facilitate the transfer of freight from one transportation system to another. For this reason you will find that the town centre is just a short walk away from the canal - and that the canal is within easy reach of the railway station.

The coalman waiting for business.

History of Whaley Bridge and the peak Forest Canal
Next to the canal you can see the transfer warehouse where goods were moved when the Peak Forest Canal’s traffic was at its height. The canal entered through the central arch and stretched the full length of the building plus a few feet. The two side arches admitted tramway tracks so that cargo could be transferred under cover.
After the completion of the Peak Forest Canal in 1800, which had its terminus at Whaley Bridge, a number of ambitious but impractical schemes were devised to link it with the Cromford Canal. All were abandoned in favour of a railway, but as it was built by a canal engineer Josiah Jessop, the stations were called "wharfs" and the long level sections were interspersed with sharp inclines (instead of locks), the steepest of which were aided by stationary steam engines. Only the Middleton Top engine survives. It is beautifully restored and is "steamed" on advertised days throughout the summer.

And another group of people celebrating William Shakespeare birthday come round the corner as we ready to move off the water point. I suppose it could be St Georges Day.

The mooring for tonight.

I shall have a wander in Whaley Bridge tomorrow first thing.

A large group of youngsters have just walked past.  While hanging about several started throwing rocks, bricks etc in to the canal.  A couple of lads tried to shift a very large slab of stone into position to drop that in as well but when I appeared with the camera they had second thoughts.  They were not nasty and the girls that were there apologised when I explained that them throwing debris into the canal could cause several thousand pounds worth of damage to my or other peoples boats when our prop hits it.

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