Thursday, July 5, 2012

Chilling out at Bugsworth Basin

Yesterday we made our way up from Macclesfield to Bugsworth Basin. A lock free cruise with some wonderful views and yet again some luck with the weather. We could see heavy rain over towards Wales and Manchester but again we managed to avoid it. The mills at Bollington now house offices, but you can imagine the hustle and bustle of industry in years gone by. At High Lane we saw a heron at work catching his dinner with great success.
We turned right at Marple Junction and headed on down towards Bugsworth. I know the area around here quite well. Back in the mid eighties I was a young 'cop' at Glossop and Buxton and still have many fond memories of the area and many friends still reside and work up here. The views over towards Kinder Scout were obscured by rain, but again we managed to avoid the worst if it until we got towards New Mills. The instantly recognizable smell of 'Love Hearts' filled the air as we passed the Swizzels factory. We tried to remember as many phrases as we could from the iconic sweets of our youth.

Nice spot on the Peak Forest
We had a small 'incident' with a hire boat at a lift up bridge as we headed for Furness Vale. They raised the bridge and then the operator jumped back on his boat - not ideal if the oncoming boat is single handed as I politely pointed out to the crew. We also collected a prop foul as we manoeuvred about to allow them through the bridge. A large heavy duty plastic sack was removed with a sharp blade within a few minutes.

Bugsworth is a lovely spot and again the past industry would have been wonderful to witness. We moored in the lower basin and met some friends, Keith & Margaret, in the Navigation pub for a drink and then they took us to a local curry house for a lovely meal. We first met by chance in 2009 at Kilby Bridge when we moored next to them and have kept in touch ever since. We met up last year at Lowsonford, but they have very recently sold their boat 'Misty Lady' and replaced her with a motorhome. We had a lovely evening catching up.

Bugsworth Basin (with blue skies !!)
Today we have had a string of visitors with several of Johns work colleagues dropping by for coffee plus Keith & Margaret calling by to show us 'Wendy' their new motorhome. It has all the mod cons and we're sure they will have lots of fun travelling about in her. We have enjoyed a beautiful day with plenty of sun. We had a late lunch at the Navigation and chatted with 'Dave' who had travelled single handed from Marsworth over 4 weeks to attend his sisters 30th wedding anniversary in Sheffield this weekend - what a character !! We had helped him up Stoke Locks a few days ago. It's great how boating introduces folks from all walks of life through a common theme. All I can say is 'Never judge a book by its cover'.

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