Carrying Coalby Ian H Bruce (2008)Chorus:Carrying coal from High Lane to BosleyThen dropping down through Telford’s lock flightPassing through Congleton, onward to KidsgroveHoping for beers in the Blue Bell tonight’Twas late in the day when construction startedThe railways were coming doom prophets did sayBut in only five years the canal was completedAnd Macclesfield’s goods could then move on their wayLimestone from Bugsworth, coal mined near PoyntonTwist and silk buttons and cotton from millsBarrels of felt hats destined for LondonIn horse powered barges skirting Derbyshire hillsThe boom years soon passed and boat cargoes dwindledOverwhelmed by the railway, the power of steamPleasure boats briefly took tourists to Lyme HallBut the silver strewn highway was a vanishing dreamThe route struggled on for over a centuryWhen closure was planned many expressed concernBut some valiant efforts by keen leisure cruisersSaw closure abandoned, pleasure boating returnFibreglass followed the wooden hulled cruisersNow the steel narrow-boats need fuels to be burned‘Coalite’ for cabin stove, diesel for engineSo the travelling coal boats have now returned This song is a potted history of the Macclesfield Canal which was 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.The web-site of the Macclesfield Canal Society is a useful source of historical information.The original chorus referred to the 'Red Bull' but a more knowledgeable boater than myself pointed out that the 'Blue Bell', at the junction of the Macclesfield and Trent and Mersey canals, was the favoured boaters' pub. The chorus was changed. Recorded on :
Coalboat ‘Alton’, based at Bollington Wharf,keeps up the tradition of carrying coal.
Chorus:[G]Carrying [Em]coal from [C]High Lane to [G]BosleyThen dropping [Em]down through [Am]Telford’s lock [D]flightPassing through [Em]Congleton, [C]onward to [G]KidsgroveHoping for [Em]beers in the [D]Blue Bell [G]tonight