Kerridge Dry Dock
Bow Thruster "repair" and Blacking - 16 to 19 Feb 2013
34 Bow thruster repair photos - 28 Blacking photos

History of Kerridge Dry Dock
This beautiful model, in the office of current owner John Jackson, shows the dock as originally built as a loading dock for stone.  History as reported by John:
The complex was built to transport quarried stone.  The stone came via rail (tramways ?) down to this facility.  Here it was sawn (and perhaps lime treated in kilns ?).  It was then loaded onto narrowboats for onward transport. 
By the end of WWII the whole area had been flattened and over-filled with rubble from a demolished mill / factory.  The land was bought by John's father-in-law, and in 1960's John set about clearing it with the aim of establishing a dry dock and general narrowboat maintenance facility.  BW supported this aim as a useful addition to the Macclesfield canal, and suggested the removed soil & rubble be deposited nearby, on the site of an earlier breach.
Thus all the existing buildings are < 30 years old. The base of some of the cranes remain, one is shown in the photos. 

Bow Thruster "repair"
The Bow Thruster had not worked since around Nov 2012.  It was clear something had been sucked into the tube, and was blocking the mechanism.  Attempts were twice made to unblock it at "Painting Point". Then in Jan 2013 an attempt was made to get better access in shallow water by using the ramp at Lyme View Marina.  This nearly resulted in Brian getting hypothermia (there was still some ice on the canal) but only showed the blockage was: a) cloth, b) VERY badly entangled.  Next step = a dry dock !
Once in the dry dock, it quickly became apparent that no amount of effort would have ever resulted in clearing the obstruction from the near, propeller (left) side of Augie.  In fact there was a large amount of material on the other (drive) side. Pushing the bits back over the propeller, allowed it to be removed as the photos show.  The item turned out to be a pair of cut-off trousers !!!  Note also the two vertical bars added to each tube grill, hopefully enough to prevent anything similar being sucked in again ?

Having got Augie into a dry dock, we were well aware there was little point not cleaning and blacking
(= painting a bitumen based paint on all areas below the water line).  Shouldn't need doing again for 3 or 4 years now !