Should we go left or right. Hazelhurst Junction.

Decisions decisions, to the left would take us to Froghall, to the right we’d be going to Leek.

Go this way, I’ve set the lock

The canal divides at this point, and as no boat wants to leak we continued to Froghall.

Good choice

This has to be one of the prettiest lock settings, with the 1842 iron bridge and the lock cottage, not to mention the stunning scenery all around.

House envy

But just in case you think I had all the hard work to do, as we worked through the Hazelhurst flight of 3 locks, one of the gates got jammed with a floating island of weed. And it took both of us a lot of effort to haul it out.

There’s a lot of floating reed clumps, at least this one won’t foul the lock

So we could continue our journey underneath the Hazelhurst aqueduct, that carries the Leek arm.

1831 aqueduct

The Leek arm was added after much deliberation and opposition from conflicting commercial bodies, at one stage a direct route from Leek to Marple had been proposed -wouldn’t that have made an attractive canal to cruise now. The screenshot taken from our waterway routes maps shows the earlier route to Froghall.