The Cheshire Cat – Part 1: Biggles Keeps His Feet Dry

Wednesday morning, and with decidedly better weather Sir decided that we would explore the River Dane Aqueduct before setting off for Congleton and parts south. The aqueduct  – a listed building, it would appear – is pretty high, but not all that long. With CaRT’s outstanding policy on clearing towpath vegetation, you could cruise over it without even noticing it, as we had on the way up. Anyway, now moored just a few yards away, we decided to rectify our omission.

River Dane AqueductRiver Dane Aqueduct

Biggles was quite keen to explore.

River Dane AqueductRiver Dane Aqueduct

It really is quite high above the surrounding countryside, and we couldn’t spot any way down to view it from below without indulging in a significant cross-country expedition. Meanwhile, Biggles was as usual checking out bolt holes should he be beset upon by marauding dogs. Not sure he’d thought this one through, though: there was at least a 60ft drop just there.

River Dane AqueductTired after his exploration

After all that excitement, on return to the boat, Sir decided he would organise the rest of the day’s navigation as we set sail for Congleton.

Wharf near CongletonNear Congleton

It’s hard to believe that this old wharf/arm on the outskirts of Congleton used to be a major transport depot/interchange. And barely three minutes later one is sailing high above the kind of pad that you only ever see in the Country Life property porn pages.

Macclesfield Canal run offMacclesfield Canal run off

One minor oddity that caught our eye was this run-off/spill way. You often see places on the cut where lowered concrete banks allow excess water to safely spill over into a culvert or drain, or around a lock. They’re usually on the other side from the towpath, failing which there’s a bridge or metal grid or summat so that if there is any overflow, the towpath users are unaffected. Not here. Cheshire towpath users must be well hard.

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