Voyage of Delight

by Ian H Bruce (2008)

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Turn away from the Red Bull and head nor’ nor’ east
To see many a sight upon which eyes can feast
Though once left to die like a phoenix it rose
With proud tranquil beauty a place of repose

As you look out across the north Cheshire plain
On landscape replaced by an urban terrain
Sunlight glints from the rim of a star-seeking dish
But here nearer home I have all that I wish

As the brown channel snakes through those bridges so neat
Each stone was hand cut ’til the jigsaw complete
We forget the hard labour and skills so refined
Though horses and tow-ropes left scars to remind

The green trail of nature a haven provides
With competitive rail never far from its side
’Til in sun, wind or rain Bosley’s twelve stand so proud
A beautiful scene beneath Mow Cop and Cloud

With the Cloud far behind us White Nancy looks down
As we float on the aqueduct over the town
Of sleepy stone cottages where once silk was made
The canal took the fruits of their looms for its trade

The coal mines, the stone wharves, are sadly no more
Though remains can be found by those who explore
The end comes at Marple top the Peak Forest flight
Two days or more spent of a voyage of delight
The attractive nature of the Macclesfield Canal is often overlooked, particularly by those fortunate enough to have moorings on it. When returning from journeys further afield I am always reminded of how, in terms of interest and beauty, it bears comparison with any other waterway.

One of the last canals to be built, the Macclesfield Canal ceased to carry commercial traffic in the 1960's. Through the efforts of members of the North Cheshire Cruising Club and the IWA it was not allowed to die.

Mow Cop is an interesting feature, visible from many parts of the canal and beyond. The Cloud is a limestone outcrop in Eastern Cheshire, 240 metres above sea level. It also visible from many parts of the canal - including Bosley locks. Bosley Cloud is also the name of a golden coloured ale brewed by the Storm Brewing Company in Macclesfield. White Nancy is a landmark on the top of Kerridge Hill, overlooking Bollington. The 'star-seeking dish' is the radio telescope at Jodrell Bank Observatory.