With the wind blowing against the bank it took us several minutes to extract ourselves from the mud and get going. We were still heading north toward Congleton where we planned to wind and head back to Kidsgrove for the night, on the way we past these twins enjoying the sunshine tucked out of the wind.
At Congleton, what was marked as a winding hole was only a wide piece of canal where the old wharf stood, its probably a little over 60 feet wide, but one side is now visitor moorings, luckily there was a short gap between two moored boats where I could tuck the stern in to get round.
Last time we came this way these buildings were some type of industrial unit, I think it was a plumbers supply company, now it looks as if they will be houses. The building looks to have been built at three separate times, the centre being the oldest with tie bars running through it terminating in large wooden spreaders.
We stopped for water at Hall Green Lock, the lock is unusual in that the bottom gate is a single gate opening into the lock and the top gates are double, opening into the lock entrance. if they were the other way round the lock chamber could be about 3' 6" shorter saving quite a bit of material and work.
There use to be two locks here with a gap of about 30' between them with groves so that stop planks could be inserted between them. I understand there were two lock keepers/toll collectors working here, one from each company, you can still see the ring which would have had a chain locked to it to stop the gate being opened when the lock keeper wasn't working.
As there were two locks end to end the total length of the chamber must be about 200 feet as can be seen by Harnser sitting in the disused lock section.John replied to my comment about where the Macclesfield canal starts and end. The bridge at Harding Woods Junction has a stone set into it saying Macclesfield Canal and the date which if my memory holds is 1829. We passed under this bridge and turned sharp left to drop down through Plants Lock. Looking back at the cill, you really wouldn't want to catch your bow fender in-between those bars going up. We dropped down to the next pound where there are mooring rings and moored up for the night.