Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Bugsworth Basin.

0 Locks, 6 Miles, 2 Swing bridges, 2 Lift bridges. Now moored Lower Basin.

Had the sun been shining I feel that the scenery along the Peak Forest Canal would have been more than equal to that of the Llangollen Canal. Unfortunately we were shrouded in mist until mid afternoon by which time we were well and truly moored up in the Lower basin of Bugsworth Canal Basin.There is so much choice as to where to moor in the basin its unbelievable especially as there are only about 8 boats in the whole basin.

Peak Forest 029

We had a quick look around this afternoon and finished up walking the Peak Forest tramway trail which runs for 1.26 miles from the basin. We ran out of time and didn’t complete the hike but we reckon that we walked at least a mile before retracing our steps. What amazed us was that even though we were virtually out in the country between a couple of small villages there were two huge factories. One used to produce paper but is now a plastics factory and the other is presently derelict but looking through the smashed windows we could see modern air conditioning ducting and stainless steel fittings so it hasn’t been out of use for that long.

Reading through a pamphlet about the basin this was one very large and busy operation with Lime kilns, warehouses to keep the lime dry, Gritstone from local quarries as well as coal, farm produce, cotton in raw and material form, Vitriol, Dyes, foodstuffs and paper. The tramway walk we did today brought Gritstone down from the quarries 1½ miles away and took coal back up to the paper factory and then carried on empty back to the quarries. The tramway would have been a hair raising experience as it crossed 3 roads and the wagons used were very basic with no proper brakes and a rake of these wagons would weigh in excess of 20 ton’s. From the quarry it was basically down hill using gravity for propulsion with one man and a boy to control the load and the method of braking was to throw a hook and chain through the spokes of a wheel to literally jam it as the brake. Not  a very safe practice I’m sure. Once empty a team of horses would be harnessed to take the wagons back to the quarry.

Peak Forest 013Gypsy Rover moored in Bugsworth Basin

Tomorrow we will investigate the area more thoroughly and see what other gems there are to find around here.

1671 locks, 3526½ miles, 62 Tunnels, 49 swing bridges and 49 lift bridges since Nov 2006

1 comment:

nb piston broke said...

Hello there we aren't far from you now will be in the basin tomorrow when you will probably be coming out. Hopefully we will at least be able to say hello.