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Picturing the Past: NarrowBoat, Summer 2006

Brian Lamb

On the 40th anniversary of the National Rally at Marple, we look at some much earlier photographs of working boats above and below the locks.

1. Ring o’ Bells BridgeMore correctly called Church Lane Bridge, this ‘turnover’ bridge takes the towpath across the Macclesfield Canal at Marple without the need to unhitch the horse from the boat. This is achieved by the horse climbing the curving towpath and going back on itself across the canal and down the ramp at the opposite side. The bridge also carries the Marple to Hawk Green road across the canal. There are six of these elegant and distinctive bridges on the Macclesfield Canal (shown below with distances from Marple Junction):• Junction Side Bridge (22 yards) • Church Lane Bridge (176 yards) • Clarke Lane Bridge (8 miles 1490 yards) • Foden Bank Bridge (11 miles 1638 yards) • Morris’s Bridge (21 miles 924 yards) • Lamberts Lane Bridge (22 miles 1584 yards). The rising curve of the ramp may be seen just beyond the bridge hole on the towpath, just to the right of the group of people. The view is looking north-east to…

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