Monthly Archive: July 2012


Bells, blooms – and the Olympic Torch

Sunday 8th July, 2012 Even though the rain was beating hard what better could a boatless boatwif want on a summer Sunday morning than to stand looking at a fine river while church bells ring out joyfully?  In front of Bedford‘s Swan Hotel union flags were being distributed for waving purposes and spectators of all shapes, sizes and generations were gathering five and six deep on the pavements.  Below Bedford‘s Town Bridge rowers of skiffs and teams of rowing fours...


Naked without waterproofs

Thursday 5th July: Bugsworth – Higher Poynton: 10.3 miles, 0 locks, 4 swing/lift bridges Boating neighbours from last night were keen to demonstrate their cross-bed arrangement this morning – and since their boat had been a 2009 Crick Show (Milburn of Daventry) boat they were keen to show off its other features. Cleddau finally set off, cruising out of Bugsworth Basins, past Teapot Row and on towards where the good lifers keep “The Happy Pigs” – except the pigs are...


16 – 4 – 30

Rose Hill Cutting to Bugsworth Basin, 8.1 miles and … No, the title isn’t some obscure date from the last or this century, just some vital statistics: 16 locks up the Marple Flight (a climb of 214 feet); 4 bridges to wind or swing; 30 boats moored at present in Bugsworth Basin. After just under three hours of effort Cleddau reached Marple Top Lock. On the way up at least four boats were passed going down and there was one...


Clogs and cobbles, cotton and canals

Dukinfield Junction to Rose Hill Cutting, 6.45 miles, 0 locks (and 1 trip down the weed hatch) Success this morning in gaining entry to the Portland Basin Museum. Exhibits in the lower galleries are related to local Tameside industries: there is a boater’s back cabin, machinery related to the cotton mills, artefacts from the hat and glove and clog making industries, lathes and sewing machines, the huge water valve from one of the first man-made reservoirs to supply clean water,...



Millbrook, above Stalybridge to Dukinfield Junction, Peak Forest Canal:  5.23 miles, 8 locks It was farewell to the Huddersfield Narrow Canal at about 1pm today. Given that this canal’s most noted feature is the Standedge Tunnel (highest, deepest, longest – you’ve read it all before) it  comes as a surprise to come down through Stalybridge and again think “Tunnels”. By the time the canal’s restoration got under way much of the route through Stalybridge had been filled in and the...



 Mossley to Millbrook: 2.64 miles, 6 locks             “A man needs some sunshine to feed his soul,” pronounced the Captain this morning, as he gloomily contemplated garbing himself up from top to toe in waterproof gear. It was that fine, silent,   “wetting sort of rain.” The hilltops were shrouded in cloud and the tow paths were deeply puddled. Only 6 locks and very little distance achieved – but still it seemed a hard morning. Of course, it helps to be...

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